Samuel Nesbitt’s Cracker Bakery

 Here is an advertisement as it appeared in the March 25, 1862 British Times Colonist:

Cor. Yates and Broad streets

Notice to Families and Housekeepers.
I have this day commenced to retail
Soda, Boston, Butter, Sugar, Water and Pie Nie Crackers,
Navy Bread and Pilot Bread,
At Prices far below that of any other establishment in this city.
A large and fresh assortment constantly on hand.
Samuel Nesbitt

Originally from Ireland, Samuel Nesbitt left California after a successful venture there and moved to Victoria in 1858 where he set up the first commercial bakery.  Later he established a bakery specializing in crackers. He also obtained a lucrative contract to supply the navy with bread and crackers and soon became known as the “Cracker King.”

Pilot Bread is the American term for hard tack. Here is a recipe I found:

Hard Tack Bread Recipe
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

Mix flour and salt and add just enough water so that mixture will stick together, producing a dough that isn’t sticky. Knead dough until stiff. Roll out pieces to 3 inches in length and approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 3×3 squares, and poke a 3×3 series of holes in the center, evenly spaced on both sides. Bake in preheated oven, 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until dry and lightly golden brown. Turn hardtack over mid-way when baking. Remove from oven, let cool and store in a dry place.