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.