Recipe: How to Make Hardtack (What is Hardtack?) – Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever wondered about having a survival food that could provide you with carbohydrates, protein, and fiber all at once? Are you faced with survival situations whereby you find it challenging to get something to eat that will keep you alive for a long time?

Maybe you want to store your bunkers with survival food in case of emergencies, but you don’t know how to go about it. The good news is that there is hardtack.

Read through this guide now to find out how to make hardtack so you can overcome all your survival doubts and have a long-lasting survival food.

What Is Hardtack?

You might not be quite conversant with most of this survival food, and most likely, you never heard about hardtack. Therefore, hardtack is described as a survival bread or biscuit that can be easily prepared at home.

It has been known to last long, and it is a reliable survival food that can keep one alive in any survival situation


It is enriched with nutrients needed to keep you alive if you don’t have the necessary food to eat. The nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Because during its preparation, it is usually left dry and hence, very hard. It is stored with moisture-absorbing desiccant to prevent the growth of microbes that can cause spoilage.


Hardtack is indestructible and therefore ideal for supply into bunkers, garages, and so on because of its high shelf life. It does not spoil quickly like most canned foods produced today.


Its ingredients are not hard to find. It is prepared from salt, flour, and water. This makes it relatively easy to prepare by anyone at home.

If kept from moisture, it can last in any survival situation such as in weather conditions, rough transportation, and many more. This shows you how you can depend on this amazing food for survival.

Furthermore, the traditional ingredients stated above (salt, flour, and water) can be improved by adding some ingredients like herbs that can add more nutrients, flavor, and texture. But, additional ingredients might reduce the shelf life of the hardtack

Now that you know about hardtack. You should know how to make it. As stated earlier, it is cheap to make, requiring simple ingredients.

All you need to do now is to continue reading through the guide to discover how to make one of the favorite survivalist food.

Learn more about how you can save your food with tips and more HERE.

How to Make Hardtack?

Finally, you want to make your hardtack which is easy to prepare. It is not stressful and will not take you long hours to do. You will only be baking, and at the end of it, you will be left with a lot of hardtacks that can last for decades without spoiling if stored properly.


Here are the ingredients required to make Hardtack

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 cups of flour

Type of Flour

Before you start preparing the hardtack, you should note that there are options for the kind of flour you can use. There are gluten-free flour and rye flour for people who are allergic to wheat. But we recommend using whole wheat flour.

This is because of fiber and protein content which makes the hardtack more nutritious, but it has no flavor.


Materials needed are

  • Mixing bowl
  • A rolling pinA cookie sheet
  • A cookie sheet

Follow the steps below to make your hardtack

Step 1: Mixing the Ingredients

  • Start by mixing the flour and salt in your mixing bowl.
  • It will help if you preheat your oven to about 375F.
  • When the salt and flour have mixed well, you can add a little amount of water while continue mixing.

Mix the Dough

  • You can mix the dough by hand or with the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer.
  • If you are mixing by hand, you should note that hardtack dough is extremely sticky at first, and this is the best time to remove any form of jewelry like rings on your hands.
  • If it is still sticky after several mixing and kneading, add a small amount of flour.

Once you have formed a solid ball by kneading, make a working space by dusting it with flour, and then place the dough ball in the center of the floured surface.

Step 2: Rolling the Dough

Now, is the time to use your rolling pin. You can use a wine bottle as improvisation.

  • Roll out your dough until it is roughly or thick.
  • It should flatten at this point.
  • Place your flattened dough on the cookie sheet and cut the dough into appropriate serving portions. A regular cracker in the shape of a rough square will do.
  • This size and shape are preferable because it is best for long-term storage.
  • If case you want to soak it with soup or coffee, make sure to cut the dough into a size that will fit in a cup

Step 3: Poking the Crackers

After you have cut the dough, the next thing is to poke small holes on the regular cracker. It should be evenly spaced across each cracker. 9 holes will do.

These holes are necessary because it allows it to bake consistently. The edges and the middle have to bake well. The holes also help to keep moisture out and prevent the dough from rising in the oven.

It also allows for effortless eating because hardtack is quite hard to chew.

Step 4: Baking the Crackers

For about 25-35 minutes at 375F oven temperature, start baking until the surface turns light brown. It will be best if you bake your hardtack to a light tan color. You should avoid baking it dark brown. So pay attention to this step!

After the light tan has been achieved, remove the hardtack from the oven and allow it cool completely. This should be done without haste.

You want it to be cool completely before putting it into any package to remove the moisture that might still be present. Moisture spoils the hardtack so you must make sure it cools entirely if you want to have long-lasting hardtack.

Step 5: Storing your Hardtack

After you must have allowed the hardtack to cool completely. It will help if you now store the dry hardtack. You can store it once it is dry for several months and years.

Using vacuum sealers and desiccants can help remove moisture during storage. You can also store it in a container to keep insects out

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Recipe: How to Make Hardtack (What is Hardtack?)


Hardtack is a portion of great survival food, and it is straightforward to prepare, plus it has a long shelf life which makes it a good option for survival foods. Although man cannot leave bread alone, you will need more nutritious food than hardtack.

You will need proteins and even vitamins to stay healthy. This is why we recommend you to check our website on how to make Pemmican. Pemmican is a superfood that is enriched with lots of proteins and vitamins, and it also lasts for a long time without being refrigerated, unlike most proteinous foods that require refrigeration.

You could take Pemmican and hardtack together. This will increase your chance of survival in any situation you find yourself in.

Keep living!

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  • Kyle Lee

    Kyle Lee was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and he always had an interest since childhood in wildlife. Due to his awareness that the USA and other countries had tension with one another, he studied methods to prepare himself if any type of disaster happened. He learned about how to prep if a natural or human-made disaster occurred. That became his passion, which led him to establish Survival Straps, and Kyle is the chief editor. He works as a manager at a camping and outdoor store, lives by himself with his cats, and enjoys watching war documentaries.

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