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Hardtack Recipe

Updated on October 30, 2014

In the Early 1860s- and up cornmeal cakes were the staple of the diet. Usually cowboys would take them on the trail.

The settlers of New England learned how to make johnnycakes from the local Pawtuxet Native Americans, who showed the starving Pilgrims how to grind and use corn for eating. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, most of their wheat brought from England had spoiled on the long voyage. read more here ..

Six Servings

Or 2 cups of cornmeal,

1tsp. salt,

1tsp. baking soda

(Or you can substitute above items for 2 packages of Jiffy cornbread mix).

Drippings, Bacon or butter 2 tablespoons

Molasses 2 tablespoons

½ cup of water

Buttermilk 1 cup


In a bowl put your cornmeal, salt, and baking soda. or add your substitute Jiffy mixes. Mix well (I always use seasoning salt when it calls for salt because I like more flavor) Lawry’s “Season All” is good. Place drippings in the center. Get a ½ cup of hot water and mix molasses in the cup. Then pour molasses mixture on the drippings in the middle. Stir it all until drippings are melted and its kind of pasty, next pour in the buttermilk, it will look like a thick batter.

Grease a cookie sheet and pour the batter onto it spreading it evenly by tilting it or pressing it with a wet hand. Pre Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, until the dough surface is cracked and edges are browned. Remove from pan before it cools. After it is cooled you break it into serving portions.

Note: Cornmeal has a tendency to burn, so check it after 15 to 20 minutes and see if you need to cook it longer.

Take it with you on your journey!


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