Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Hardtack

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    49

    Default Hardtack

    Does anyone have a great hardtack and salted pork recipe for making the stuff at home? I have searched high and low on the internet and haven't found any really good ones. Thank yoU!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    off the bottom of the scale
    Posts
    854

    Default

    Google terms : How to make hardtack civil war : https://www.google.com/search?q=how+...w=1290&bih=788

    Using the same terms on google but substituting the phrase, salt pork, for hardtack caused a dandy of a thread to be revealed on the a/c : http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...t-Pork-Recipes Within this thread you will find a link to the thread of threads when it comes to authentic rations.
    - Silas Tackitt

    "I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, exceedingly conceited, and totally selfish." - - Lafayette McLaws about James Longstreet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    3,396

    Default

    To the best of my recollection:

    Hardtack:
    Flour, water, and if you like, a bit of salt. Supposedly the original flour used equals out to a mix of general purpose flour and cake flour (Swan's Down brand, for example). Can't recall right off the ratio. Minimal water, just enough to make things stick together. Fold the dampened flour over on itself as many times as you can to layer it. Roll it out between .25 and .50 inches thick, and cut into pieces 3-4 inches on a side. Put 9-16 holes in it, depending upon size of the cracker. Bake at low heat, turning it often until it browns. Remove from oven and let it cool and finish drying.

    Salt pork: In a barrel (or large plastic container, if you wish) place a layer of NON-iodized salt, then a layer of pork, layer of salt, pork, salt, etc. until the container is full. End with a salt layer. Fill the container with water (distilled? Not sure on that) and cover. Leave it alone for a couple weeks or so, then open it, skim off the crud, add water to cover the meat and reseal. Leave it alone for a couple more weeks. Some might choose to cure it for a longer time.

    Others feel free to throw in. Going by recollection.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    543

    Default

    Save your time and avoid the frustration -- Can't beat the real McCoy, from an original supplier. http://www.bentscookiefactory.com/hardtack.html
    Darrell Cochran
    Third U.S. Regular Infantry
    http://www.buffsticks.us

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, FL
    Posts
    3,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Regular3 View Post
    Save your time and avoid the frustration -- Can't beat the real McCoy, from an original supplier. http://www.bentscookiefactory.com/hardtack.html
    No argument that the company was in business and supplied bread to the army, but there have been several past discussions on this and other forums that show that the product isn't the same - they use modern additives to create an airier, more edible product, more like a thick saltine than the dense bread actually used. They are tastier and easier to eat, that's for sure, as I've used them several times over the years. I'd add that the price of the ready-made crackers from them can be cost prohibitive compared to making your own much cheaper and more authentic product, using only salt, flour, and water.
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    King of Prussia, PA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    Ross,

    Let a Bent's cracker get six months old. Trust me they will be hard enough to suit you!
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
    King of Prussia, PA
    wrodman1@aol.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill, FL
    Posts
    3,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheQM View Post
    Ross,

    Let a Bent's cracker get six months old. Trust me they will be hard enough to suit you!
    I tried that myself by taking them out of the plastic and leaving them in a cool, dry wooden box for a few months. They did indeed get hard, but were not dense enough due to the air pockets baked into them by the modern recipe and leavening. They just broke apart into hundreds of pieces as soon as they made contact with something. I'm not arguing that Bent's doesn't make a good product, just that several discussions have shown that they aren't as authentic as they purport and its cheaper to produce something yourself that better replicates the horrendous bread we all know and love (to varying degrees)
    Ross L. Lamoreaux
    Tampa Bay History Center
    www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
    On Facebook at: Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs

    "The simplest things, done well, can carry a huge impact" - Karin Timour, 2012

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clermont County Ohio
    Posts
    374

    Default

    If I remember right. At least in one quartermaster papers it was stated that Hardtack was made from white wheat flour. Add salt and just enough water to make it hold together.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Huntsville
    Posts
    605

    Default

    Pete Paolillo used to have a face book page under Double P's Sheet Iron Cracker Company but I can't find it now.

    He had a thread here:
    http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/sh...-supplies-last

    Edit:

    Oh, here he is on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Double.P.Crackers?ref=ts

    But he says he is not selling to the public anymore.

    Steve
    Steve Sheldon

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    off the bottom of the scale
    Posts
    854

    Default

    I remember a Confederate diary account from Lookout Mountain that I read more than ten years ago. Cannot recall the writer or unit. My recollection was how a small number of soldiers - two to four - from each company were ordered to the rear to make hardtack for the regiment or company. I'm sure the finished product didn't resemble factory produced crackers.

    Since reading that, I've gradually gone away from using one of those tin cutters and make them more like they had been produced in the field. I cut 'em by eye and poke a bunch of holes with a fork. Sometimes I substitute a cup or two of cornmeal to the batch to replicate a field expedient measure. ("Not enough flour, but we've got corn. How about using some of that, sergeant?") A few times when doing late war Confederate, I used virtually no flour and nearly all corn. They're not perfect crackers, but they wouldn't always be perfect. In the field when you're hungry, it's all good.
    - Silas Tackitt

    "I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, exceedingly conceited, and totally selfish." - - Lafayette McLaws about James Longstreet.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •