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The Tudor explorers
QCA Unit 19

Activities for home - Feeding the crew

Tudor sailors spent many days out of sight of land. They had to take food with them that would last. They preserved food by drying, salting, smoking and pickling. They took food which kept naturally, like nuts.

Try this...

  1. Look in the kitchen cupboards, or at the supermarket.

  2. How many foods can you see that the Elizabethan sailors could have taken on their voyage?

    Remember – no frozen, canned or vacuum-sealed food.

    Sweets, pickled onions, kippers, raisins


Now try this...

Making ship’s biscuits

Tudor sailors took these on long journeys. They lasted better than bread.

You will need...

  1. 250g of wholemeal flour

  2. A teaspoon of salt

  3. 50ml of water

  1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and add the water bit by bit, stirring it in carefully. Don’t put too much in at once. Keep adding water until the flour turns into a sticky lump of dough.

  2. Sprinkle some flour on a board and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1cm. Cut out the biscuits.

  3. Prick the biscuits with a fork to let out any air bubbles. Put them on a greased baking tray.

  4. Ask a grown-up to put them in the oven for you. Bake them in a very cool oven (Gas Mark 1, 275°F or 140°C) for about two hours, or until they are hard and dry.

Making ship's biscuits