I’m teaching a class at an upcoming event on preserved foods of the Viking age, and I’ve started doing some prep work ahead of time for the class.  I’ve made many batches of barley based flatbread in the past based on the archeological evidence from Birka*, but always before with an eye toward eating them pretty much right away.  Yesterday I set about baking some to keep to see how they hold up.  I made two batches, each with about 80% barley flour and 20% rye flour, and both with a little bread yeast added.  One batch I made with water, and the other with some leftover whey from skyr making.  I balled them up and let the (pretty wet) dough sit most of the day, then formed them into flat patties about 1/2” thick and 5-7” across, and pricked the surfaces all over with a sharp-pointed chopstick.  Then they baked in the oven at 200° for 2-3 hours until they were pretty dry.  They’ve been sitting in the oven since then, so hopefully they have dried out pretty thoroughly.  With any luck they will be dry enough to keep the two weeks until my class.  While the dough didn’t really rise, per se, it was quite a bit lighter in texture than it would have been without the yeast, and I’ll be interested to see what the final texture it like when they are dry.  They look very much like 19th C. hardtack.

*Hansson, Ann-Marie. On Plant Food in the Scandinavian Peninsula in Early Medieval Times. Theses and Papers in Archaeology B:5. Stockholm: University of Stockholm. 1997.