Monday, April 30, 2012

Hard Tack: The Sailor's Saltine Cracker?

This weekend I decided to make some hard tack, in an effort to better understand the harsh diet that poor sailors of the 18th Century had to endure. Just one of the awful staples, though probably "wholesome" none-the-less, was hard tack. It is quite simple to make:

2 cups flour
1 cup water
pinch of salt (or use a cup of sea water if you find yourself out on the ocean!)

Combine the ingredients, knead the dough a bit, roll out thinly on a floured surface. Cut into squares or rounds. Prick with fork tines, and bake for about 25 minutes at 350o. Then let dry on a baking sheet. Actually, I rolled mine out on corn meal, just to be different. The recipe yields about two dozen.

Well, to say they are tasty would be a great lie. To say they are easy to eat...that would be another. To say they are basic food. Yes, I guess you could say that! (And they last FOREVER). I actually had a couple for breakfast this am, though I improved them with honey and some almond butter. I must say, they look nice (see below), but would I proudly serve them to friends and family? I should think not!!!

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