Recipe of the Week:

Monday, Apr 15, 2013

Matt The Teacher's Cranberry Pumpkin Pie Spice Hard Tack

I've tried many of the  hardtack recipes that are floating around on the web (including some that have been featured here on SurvivalBlog) and I find that most of them are so bland that they make Saltines seem like a five course meal!  So, I decided to mix things up a little bit and what I came up with is something I've dubbed... 

Cranberry Pumpkin Pie Spice Hardtack:

4C unbleached flour (you can go 50/50 with whole wheat or all whole wheat but I personally don't like it)
2C rolled oats (quick oats, don't have to be steel cut or anything fancy but steel cut will work just fine)
1 Tbsp baking soda 
1 tsp ground sea salt (you can use regular iodized salt but I think sea salt is healthier and tastes better)
Cinnamon to taste
Pumpkin Pie spice to taste
1C milk (I use 2%, but you can use 1%, nonfat or plain water if it's all you've got)
1C extra virgin olive oil (if you've run out of oil you can use an extra cup of milk or water)
1C dried cranberries, blueberries, (or whichever dried fruit you like best)
Mix all the dry ingredients.  Then Pour in the wet ingredients and mix.
Roll out to 3/8" thick (thinner and it'll be brittle, thicker and it'll be too moist inside)
Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter
Put onto 2 greased cookie sheets and dust with flour
Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 F.

Chef's Notes:

I know that a few of the ingredients will probably eventually turn rancid, but I've eaten these out to a month and they just get a little harder.  The real benefit over traditional hardtack is that it's got dried fruits which have sweetness and vitamins and antioxidants and the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon help your mouth to produce saliva so you don't need to down a huge canteen of water to get one down.  Additionally, if I end up making hardtack for myself and other family members who are out on defensive patrols in a grid-down situation they won't have to last over a month.  Remember keeping up the troops morale is important and it helps a lot if they actually like the food.  If all it takes is a little dried fruit and spices to take something uber-bland and turn it into an almost-cookie, then to me it's well worth it.
Imagine how many times you could make this if you had a 50 pound bag of quick rolled oats, 50 pounds of unbleached flour, a couple big bags of dried fruit, etc.
My next step is to try making this on a dutch oven lid over my rocket stove. Soli Deo Gloria!

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