Hardtack, also known as sea biscuits, cabin bread, or pilot bread, is the PERFECT survival food. It's a simple biscuit made from ONLY flour, water, and salt, and baked repeatedly to a very hard consistency. Given proper storage it pretty much never goes bad, which makes it a perfect addition to your survival food supply. It has been used for millennia all over the world to keep soldiers and explorers alive in the harshest of conditions.
Each bag costs $25.00 USD (with FREE shipping in the United States), weighs about 1 pound, and contains 10 pieces of hardtack. Each piece is on average 4.0 x 2.5 inches. The size, shape, weight and texture of each individual piece will vary slightly even with the exact same ingredients and preparation.
Don't like what you see? Well check out the competition! They're all about the same price but have loads of delicious preservatives and emulsifiers and sugars and stuff:
Hardtack is...hard, so you may want to dip it in soup, tea, coffee, whiskey, etc. to make it easier to chew. Sometimes people crush it up and even use it as a soup thickener. Be careful if you have weak teeth!
Keep it away from moisture and bugs! And if bugs get into it, hey, extra protein! ;) Ziplock, mylar, paper bags, and jars work just fine. We use plain brown paper lunch bags because synthetic materials like mylar can have weird smells that are imparted to food. Glassine is another pure paper product that's great for storing these bars, but can be hard to find.
Any kind of fat or sweetener or even spices can drastically reduce this food's shelf-life. Not only can the extra ingredients themselves spoil, but they can pull in moisture which will spoil the flour and attract pests.
Lembas is Sindarin (Elvish) for way bread, or journey bread. See https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Lembas
for more info. The exact ingredients aren't given but probably cream and honey or other kinds of sweeteners were involved. Tolkien implies that it can stay fresh for many months, which has been verified by fans who made their own. However lembas will only last a few years max before going bad. https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Cram
is the most similar food to hardtack in Tolkien lore.
Follow the recipe below and check out our instructional video
if you need more guidance.
- Take 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of distilled water, and 2 teaspoons sea salt.
- On clean surface, mix flour with salt, create a well, pour in water and start mixing with spoon or hands so it does not stick. Add slightly more flour or water as necessary.
- Once ready roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut out shapes of your choosing.
- Poke some holes to allow even cooling.
- Place shapes on baking sheet or pizza stone.
- First bake: 30 minutes at 350°F, then take out and let cool.
- Second bake: Same as first bake. 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Third bake: 1 hour at 350°F.