A couple of years ago I wrote a post about 3 year old Leksands Crispbread, this is a rye cracker that I bought at Ikeas. The Crispbread is made with whole rye flour, yeast, water and salt. The cracker is very similar to old-fashioned hardtack.
I have a friend from Finland who has eaten rye crackers all his life and he told me there were great for long-term storage. So in about early 2009 I went to Ikeas and purchased a case. We ate a bunch and set several packages on our shelves. The best use date was Oct 30, 2009.
A couple of years ago I tried some and ate a package they were fine, just like fresh. So a couple of days ago I opened another package. I figure they are at least five years old now. The taste is still good and I can’t find anything wrong with them. So I am eating this package.
Now as regards storage they have been on a shelf in our house in there original packaging. As you can see in the picture, the packaging is just heavy paper. The packaging does not list any preservatives. They do need to be protected from moisture and insects.
The ingredients are very similar to the recipe I have posted for Making Pilot Bread or Hardtack. There are only two differences, wheat flour instead of rye and the addition of yeast. I don’t understand why the yeast is added since this is not a leaven bread.
They are inexpensive, make a good snack with a bit of cheese, and are quite tasty by themselves.
I am going to buy a couple more cases of rye crackers next time I am in town. They are going to be a regular item in my storage, but I will probably rotate them a bit more regularly. However I have a couple more of the old packages and will try them again in a couple more years.
I also intent to try making some at home and will let you know if it works. These are a great example of why our ancestors use hard bread for long-term storage.