PREP TIME: 30 Minutes

Hardtack is a thin, extremely hard bread that was issued to soldiers during the Civil War. It was widely used because it was a source of energy for the men and was rather resistant to spoilage. These biscuits were sometimes called "teeth-dullers" and usually had to be broken with the butt of a rifle or smashed with the fist. Soldiers usually soaked the hard pieces in coffee, fried them in bacon grease or broke them up into soup.


  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 to 1½ cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet lightly with vegetable spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt and blend well with a whisk. Using your hands, add water until you can form a firm ball. If the dough gets sticky, add more flour. If it gets too dry, add more water. Roll out on a well-floured surface, using liberal amounts of flour to keep dough from sticking to roller. Roll to approx. ½" thickness. Cut dough into 3" x 3" squares. Poke squares with toothpick all over top surface. Place on cookie tin and put into preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

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