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LEARN to MAKE HARD TACK | Easy Hardtack Recipe

Swedish Hard Tack
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With a variety of spellings, Swedish Hard Tack is simply a long-lasting homemade cracker-like flatbread.  This biscuit type cracker that has been a staple food for decades. Hard Tack has a long shelf life, in fact, with proper storage, it can last for years. Read on and learn to make hardtack.

learn to make hard tack

This is a simple hardtack recipe. It is a perfect food for healthy everyday snacking or to take when hiking, backpacking, camping, or traveling and even as Emergency or Survival Rations.

I had always wanted a Deep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pin and finally found one on Amazon.  This is a heavy-duty, deep-notched rolling-pin specifically made for Hard Tack. So, with my new rolling pin, I was able to begin making my own hardtack!

Learn to Make Hardtack

HISTORY:

Swedish Hardtack History from Western Wyoming:

I was thrilled to learn of this unique long-lasting biscuit type cracker from a recipe made by the Swedish Tie Hacks in the Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming.

The history is that railroad ties were cut from logs, by men called Tiehacks, in the Wind River Mountains near Dubois during the winter months. Due to the difficulty in transporting these heavy ties, flumes were built along the drainage to wash the ties down the mountainside into the Wind River during spring runoff.

Tie Hacks Moved Logs Down River:

These ties were then moved downriver to Riverton, Wyoming where they were processed into railroad ties. Many of these lumbermen were from the Scandinavian countries which is probably how this Swedish Hard Tack Recipe arrived in Dubois, Wyoming.

Learn More about the Tie Hacks in the Wind River Mountains and how prisoners of war had volunteered to work in these camps. This is a fascinating piece of our US History.

This recipe for Swedish Hard Tack arrived in the Dubois, Wyoming area in 1913. I would assume this recipe was in our country much earlier but, 1913 is when it came to western Wyoming.

For even further reading on the Tie Hacks, take a look at this fascinating article: The Warm Spring Canyon Tie Flume

THE Tie Hacks lived in mountain camps all winter long. This Swedish Hardtack Recipe was a staple food in these camps as it was nutritious and long-lasting. I was fascinated with the history of this staple food item plus the simplicity of making it.

Also See

SOLDIERS and SAILORS:

Hard Tack or Hardtack was also a staple food for soldiers and sailors. There is a similar staple food called Pilot Bread which is similar to Hardtack but not exactly the same. Hardtack and Pilot Bread were also widely eaten during the Civil War due to the long-shelf-life.

 

Make sure to look at Best of Original Homesteading

Here is the original Swedish Hardtack Recipe that was obtained from the Swedish Tie Hacks in Dubois, Wyoming. I have updated this recipe to include Einkorn Flour and all organic ingredients but any type of unbleached flour and oil will work out just fine.

There are several recipes on the internet but I have found this to be the Best Hardtack Recipe ever! This is delicious!

This is an interesting recipe. I think you will be surprised by one of the ingredients. There is a large amount of vinegar which seems odd but it was necessary to raise the acidity of these biscuit like a cracker to insure a longer storage time.

The taste is amazingly delicious!!

A Swedish Linden Rolling Pin is used to make Hard Tack.

LEARN TO MAKE HARD TACK:

Swedish Hardtack:

First, combine all ingredients and gather into a ball.

Next, divide the dough into 15 smaller balls.

Roll out each ball with your Deep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pin

Rolling Dough:

Prepare your breadboard or counter to roll out the dough. Sprinkle flour on the surface. Roll each ball one at a time. Gently roll over each dough several times front and back to make sure it is thin enough and that it is perforated nicely. These perforations actually insure that the dough bakes completely through. Plus, since this is a cracker it helps achieve the desired crispness.

Each hard tack ball of dough can be rolled in approximately 4″x 10″ pieces and then broken into smaller pieces when eaten. Or, you can divide the original dough into 20+/- balls and roll dough into 3″x 6″ pieces that are more of an individual serving size. See what works best for you!

Smaller Individual Size Hard Tack Pieces

Smaller Individual Size Hard Tack Pieces

Baking:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes on the first side, turn each hard tack piece over and continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from baking and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Smaller Individual Size Pieces

Learn to Make Hard Tack

Storage:

When cool, you may store your Hard Tack in plastic bags, glass jars or vacuumed sealed jars for long term storage. Store on the counter or in the freezer.

This biscuit-like flatbread is perfect just plain but you can also add butter, peanut butter, and jelly, cheese or any type of dip you would like!

Hard Tack, Laughing Cow Cheese and Strawberries on a pewter plate

Hard Tack, Laughing Cow Cheese and Strawberries are perfect for snacks and light lunches!!

SPECIAL HARD TACK RECIPE NOTE:

Make sure to add enough flour so your dough is not sticky. Flouring your deep notched rolling pin keeps your dough from sticking. I made the mistake of rolling my dough when it was too sticky and this is what happened!!

hard tack rolling pin

NOT fun to clean out…..make sure your dough is not too sticky!!!

 
Yield: 12 Servings

SWEDISH HARD TACK | Simple Hardtack Recipe

IMG_6066

Hard Tack is a delicious long-lasting cracker-like flatbread!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Milk Powder
  • 3/4 Cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/8 Cup Organic Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oil (I love using Avocado Oil)
  • 3 Cups  Organic Rolled Oats 
  • 3 Cups Whole Wheat Einkorn Flour
  • Plus, 2 to 3 Cups of Unbleached Einkorn Flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and gather into a ball. Now, divide into 15 smaller balls. Roll each balls thinly out with your Deep-Notched Linden Swedish Rolling Pin. 

Rolling Dough:

Prepare your bread board or counter to roll out the dough. Sprinkle flour on the surface. Roll each ball one at a time. Gently roll over each dough several times front and back to make sure it is thin enough and that it is perforated nicely. These perforation actually insure that the dough bakes completely through. Plus, since this is a cracker it helps achieve the desired crispness.

Each hard tack ball of of dough can be rolled in approximately 4"x 10" pieces and then broken into smaller pieces when eaten. Or, you can divide the original dough into 20+/- balls and roll dough into 3"x 6" pieces that are more of an individual serving size. See what works best for you!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes on the first side, turn each hard tack piece over and continue to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from baking and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

When cool, you may store your Hard Tack in plastic bags, glass jars or vacuumed sealed jars for long term storage. Store on the counter or in the freezer.

Notes

This biscuit like flat bread is perfect just plain but you can also add butter, peanut butter and jelly, cheese or any type of dip you would like!

Please Note:

Make sure your dough is not sticky and that your deep-notched rolling pin is floured. I made the mistake of rolling my dough when it was a bit too sticky and this is what happened!!

Nutrition Information

Yield

48 serving

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 167Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 75mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 5g

PRINTABLE RECIPE:

Large 8"x10" Pieces of Hard Tack which can be broken into smaller size pieces.
Large 4″x 10″ Pieces of Hard Tack
 
 

So, no matter how you want to spell it, Hardtack, Hard Tack or Hard Tak……I hope you will give this recipe a try and begin enjoying this long-standing traditional food today!!!

LEARN to MAKE HARD TACK | Easy Hardtack Recipe promo image

How to Make Hardtack was first posted on OriginalHomesteading.com

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8 Comments

  • Read the Full Content
    May 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      May 11, 2018 at 12:03 am

      So glad you stopped by! As far as this particular hardtack recipe…..it truly is delicious and good for you, too! Hope you enjoy making it as much as I do!

      Reply
  • Lisa Lombardo
    June 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    This looks like a wonderful recipe and I am intrigued! I’ve often thought about cooking more ‘pioneer foods’ and will have to try this.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Our party is up and ready for your great posts this week…hope to see you there!

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      June 4, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Lisa, I so appreciate your willing spirit….I am excited for you to try this Vintage Recipe for Swedish Hard Tack.

      Reply
  • Rose
    August 17, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    1st time to visit your site.
    Can you date your recipe for the Swedish Hardtack.
    I do historical reinactments and always on the look for period recipes
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      August 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Rose, to the best of my knowledge, this recipe for Swedish Hard Tack arrived in the Dubois, Wyoming area in 1913. I would assume this recipe was in our country much earlier but, 1913 is when it made it’s way to western Wyoming. For further reading on the Tie Hacks, take a look at this fascinating article: Swedish Tiehacks in Dubois, Wyoming. I appreciate your interest……Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Max
    September 3, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    An interesting article, thanks. But the term “tack” is old English sailor slang for food which goes back centuries before America was even heard of.

    Reply
    • Original Homesteading
      September 14, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      That makes sense…I have also read that the term hardtack was used during the American Civil War for biscuits that were “hard as tacks!” From what you have stated, it implies this word “tack” is a carryover from long ago. Interestingly enough, here we are still talking about it and making “hard tack” today! Thanks!

      Reply

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