Cooking with Cpl.Perry
(This ran in the 1999 Feburary Regimental Dispatch.)

Homestyle Hardtack

For 30 pieces of Homestyle Hardtack

You should have enough to make a stiff, dry dough. If dough too stiff to work, add more water. If too moist, add flower. It may be easier to start with moist dough, then add flour to each part as you work the dough with your hands before rolling.

If the dough sticks or stings to cutter, it is too moist.

Roll the dough ¼ to ½ inch thick, use cutter for measuring thickness. Bake on a cookie sheet till bone dry.

Start mixing dough with a fork, then use your hands to forma workable dough ball. Roll out a little of the dough at a time. When the dough is the right consistency, it will take some "power rolling" to get the dough to the right thickness. Use flour sprinkled liberally on rolling surface to prevent sticking.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 70-90 minutes, or until the biscuit can longer be pushed in (soft), using your finger to test it. The hardtack will get harder as it cools, but a "cake-like" inside will not harden and will have to be put back in the over to finish drying (baking). This can even be done the next day.

If you prefer a softer inside for easier eating, reduce the baking time. The overall look will be the same. This hardtack is edible, but storage time has yet to be determined. Do no store in plastic and do not freeze. Store in a dry, tin container for best results.

Legal information and Disclaimer - This hardtack could break your teeth. Soften by dunking in liquid or breaking off a piece and holding it in your mouth till softened.

There is a recipe for Johnny Cakes also. It is not as glamorous as the hardtack but here it is, but I am sure it is a good one for the adventurous ones of our group.

Jonny Cakes

Take the Indian meal(cornbread) mixed with the salt and scaled well with boiling water and bake about half an inch. When done, split through the middle, cut into pieces for the table and dip in butter.

Normal Cornbread

Combine the cornmeal, flour, and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and butter and mix well. Pour into a 9X9 inch buttered baking pan and bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 15-20 minutes.

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