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Food and Cooking

Survival Food: New Hardtack Recipe

Survival Food: New Hardtack Recipe

Looking for a way to use up surplus flour, or make a cheap trail food or durable survival ration? One answer may be hardtack, a baked, unleavened wheat cracker. As a survival food, hardtack has a proven track record.

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Mark's hardtack recipe is tasty and nutritious!

Mark’s hardtack recipe is tasty and nutritious!

by Leon Pantenburg

One of the more popular posts on SurvivalCommonSense.com has been how to make hardtack, a basic survival food. I was gearing up for an elk hunt, so I tried this recipe from Mark, who had commented on the post.

“I’ve been making and enjoying hardtack for years,” Mark wrote.  “I like to use native pecans in mine.” Immediately intrigued, I made up a batch, using Mark’s recipe as a base. Using only the ingredients that were on hand, I had to make a few substitutions.

And, as is my wont, I can’t resist tweaking a recipe when there is potential to make it more healthy. (I always amend flour: For each cup of white flour, add 1 Tbs of soy meal; 1 tsp of wheat germ, and 1 Tbs of dried milk. This creates a whole protein!)

The result was wonderful! Unlike the traditional hardtack recipes which can be nutritious, but REALLY bland, this recipe is tasty! And it’s kind of like opening a bag of chips – you can’t eat just one!

Here’s the recipe – try it yourself on your next camping trip, or if you have some extra flour you want to put to use. But while hardtack is renowned for its longevity, we’re not sure how long this particular recipe will last.

To quote Mark: “I’m not sure of shelf life as they disappear quickly.”

Mark’s Hardtack Recipe

2 cups organic whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached organic flour

2 cups whole rolled oats (I had to leave this out, since there was no oatmeal, or an appropriate substitute. Next time, I will be sure to add this, since oatmeal’s health benefits are off the charts!)

2 cups pecans (chopped) – (I used peanuts, almonds, and some sesame  and roasted pumpkin seeds.)

1 cup rasins or any dried fruit that you like (I didn’t have raisins, but I did have dried cranberries.)

1 cup organic olive oil

1 Tbs tbl. baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

2 cups buttermilk (I had 2-percent milk, so that’s what was used.)

Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately , then combine them. Roll out to about 3/8 -inch thick. Cut into squares or rounds, then bake in the oven at about 375 for about 40 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

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Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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