Bronze's Expedition Log

Expedition Log

Hardtack Factory

I’ve got the process of making hardtack down to a pretty good science now. I made 8 rations this weekend, and 16 last weekend. 70 to go! I combine 4 cups of unbleached whole wheat flour with 1 tablespoon salt. I mix it together in the Kitchenaid with the dough hook, and slowly add water until it makes a dough–usually between 1.5 and 2 cups. There is usually a little unmixed dry flour in the bottom of the bowl but it’s quicker to just let it be than to try and mix it in with the dough.I knead the dough for about a minute and then cut it into 2 chunks. These are rolled out and cut into squares using a cooked piece of hardtack as a template. I poke a set of holes on each side with a fork and it’s ready to bake. Unfortunately my stove has two settings–off, or 550°–which is completely absurd. Thus I’m not sure exactly how long or at what temperature to cook it. I believe about 45 minutes at 350° should do it.

Three tools I recommend, which have made this job infinitely speedier and easier: a silicon rolling mat, a non stick rolling pin, a stainless steel dough scraper. When working on my car, fixing things around the house or undertaking a craft project, I find having the right tools for the job saves precious time and frustration. Baking is obviously no exception. (Unfortunately this is rarely the case for me, witness: the stove.)

Below you will find some photos of the process.




Above is 8 days worth of hardtack. About 2.5 pieces per day, yielding a nominal 400 calories. That is less than 10% of my projected caloric intake, but I figure it will be a welcome change of pace from the pemmican!

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