What is Hard Tack?

2 soldiers eating hard tack and coffee

What is Hard Tack? There is a little history that goes with this food item. It is what Civil War Soldiers packed up to take with them. Because of the processing it can last for years if wrapped securely. There has been  record of Hard Tack discovered that was over 100 years old.

Hard Tack is kinda like a cracker only super hard. Soldiers would put piece of it in their coffee or broth from dried jerky in order to soften it up so it could be eaten.

The recipe is as follows:

6 parts flour
1 part water

Dough should be kneaded mixed thoroughly. Roll the dough out on a floured hard surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick (or thereabouts). Cut it into squares. Place it on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Prick the hard tack about 13 times with the tip of a knife, make sure holes go completely through the dough.

Next bake at 325 for at least an hour, turning it over once. Check to see that it is completely cooked all the way through. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool overnight. This will help to get a real hard and dry feeling.

If you aren’t sure bake at 300 for another hour, just to make sure it is really dry. The finished tack will still appear pale.

Enjoy!I like to serve it with my soups. You can add salt or other seasonings to the flour to help the flavor or add it the soup that is already salty to curb the salty taste.






Teresa Fikes
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