Hardtack Biscuit Recipe

These classic hardtack biscuits were often used as army rations, given to soldiers because they were long-lasting and inexpensive.

They can be softened by dipping them into drinks such as tea or coffee, much like modern biscuits!


  • 1 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 3 cups self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water

1 cup = 0.25 l


  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Board and rolling pin
  • Baking tray


  1.  Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Place dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the water, mix together until an even dough is formed
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes
  5. Divide the dough into three sections and roll each ball into 1cm thick sheets
  6. Cut into 9cm squares
  7. Make regular holes in each biscuit, you could use a bamboo skewer, chopsticks, or find something creative to use to make these holes. 5 holes across x 5 holes down is a good amount, but some historians claim these biscuits could have up to 49 holes!
  8. Place separated on a slightly greased baking tray
  9. Bake on the centre shelf for 30 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown, then remove from the oven


Leave the biscuits to cool until they harden and then enjoy! These biscuits can be quite hard, as to make sure they were long-lasting, so if you try this recipe take care when biting into them. We recommend dipping them into your drink to soften

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