How to Make Hardtack


How to Make Hardtack

A Survival Food That Will Never Go Bad

Hardtack, aka ship biscuit, is called so because it is hard. These were found in the civil war rations; merchant ships had these long ago when traveling overseas. They would take these because they don’t go rotten. They have these in museums, and although the hardtack is 150 years old, they’re still edible.

We make these and we store them in our food supply. We’re trying to work out a one-year food supply in case of disaster or emergency. When you think about it, if something bad happened in the world, how long do you think the food would last at the grocery store? Maybe one or two days at the most.

If you don’t have the food at your property or if you don’t have the ability to grow it, you don’t have the seeds, or you’re not raising chickens, or have food storage, you are going to get hungry and starve to death. So we’re trying to be prepared for any kind of disaster.

Check out the video below, and scroll down for our step-by-step guide to making your own hardtack.

You will need:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Knife/pizza cutter
  • Salt
  • Fork
  • An oven, of course


Put some flour into the mixing bowl, filling it about halfway.


Add water.


Then some salt to help in dehydrating and drying.


Mix them all together. When it becomes really sticky, add a little more flour. Then start kneading it.


Spread some flour on the countertop.


Take your dough and knead it together.


Fold, press, repeat, until it’s all mixed in well.



Take the rolling pin and roll it out until you get the thickness that you want.



When you get the preferred thickness, put holes in the dough using the fork. This is to release the moisture and pop any air bubbles.


Take your pizza cutter and slice the dough into rectangles.


Put them on a cookie sheet. Make sure the cookie sheet is clean and oil-free.


You don’t have to keep the pieces far apart since they will not rise.


Heat your oven to 370°F. Set the timer to 28 minutes.


When the time is up, open the oven slide the sheet out a little bit.


Flip them over and bake for another 28 minutes.



To eat your hardtack, soak them in milk for about 15 minutes. Water can also work as a softener.


Our very own ‘Above Average’ Joe also wrote a post about hardtack. Check it out.

Do you have a favorite hardtack recipe? Share it with us in the comments!


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