If anyone is seriously considering making this, please comment and let me know and I'll share my cook's notes with you. By the end of this exercise, I used 3 bags of flour and made enough of this stuff for over 150 kids. Most of them thought it was a great joke and had fun pounding their hardtack on their desks. At the end, I had about a dozen kids coming up and begging me for more. Makes me wonder what their parents feed them OR what trouble they were going to get into on the playground...
Courtesy of National Park Service, Gettysburg National Military Park
Hardtack was a biscuit made of flour with other simple ingredients, and issued to soldiers throughout the war. Hardtack crackers made up a large portion of a soldier's daily ration. It was square or sometimes rectangular in shape with small holes baked into it, similar to a large soda cracker.
Would you like to try some hardtack? It's very easy to make and here's the recipe:
2 cups of flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon of Crisco or vegetable fat
6 pinches of salt ;)
Mix the ingredients together into a stiff batter, knead several times, and spread the dough out flat to a thickness of 1/2 inch on a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for one-half an hour at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough. Turn dough over, return to the oven and bake another one-half hour. Turn oven off and leave the door closed. Leave the hardtack in the oven until cool. Remove and enjoy! (And make sure your parents try some!)