Cooking at sea has always been problematic, but baking, with its idiosyncrasies of temperature and texture, is an even greater trial, whether it's keeping flour dry and pest free, or avoiding a mutiny when weevils inevitably prevail. But before anyone thought to actually bake on board, the first baked goods carried along were a far cry from my chocolate cake. Egyptian sailors ate a brittle millet loaf; Roman galleon crews had bucellatum, a precursor of hardtack. According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the provisioning of hardtack, or ship's biscuits, appears in documents dating to the Third Crusade, when Richard the Lionheart departed from England in 1190 with his ships carrying "biskit of muslin" made from a mixed meal of barley, rye, and bean flour. During the next few centuries, most vessels, merchant or naval, continued to purchase pre-made biscuit from maritime victuallers, though sailors were occasionally treated to better fare when in calm ports. In Lizzie Collingham's The Taste of Empire, she references the ship's mess on the warship Mary Rose, anchored in Portsmouth Harbor on Saturday July 18, 1545, which included boiled salt cod, cheese, butter, and a half loaf of bread: "This made a welcome change from the hard and worm-eaten ship's biscuit they had to make do with when they were at sea." Then, a galley might consist of copper cauldrons suspended over fireboxes resting on sand, as well as stoneware, knives, and other rudimentary utensils. Provisions were also basic: long-lasting salted beef, pork, and particularly cod, caught off the coasts of Iceland and Newfoundland. At the Museum of Food and Drink earlier this year, Edible History duo Victoria Flexner and Jay Reifel prepared a 16th century "First Mate's Cod Pie" for their Secrets of the Trade Winds dinner. According to Reifel, this isn't the kind of pie you'd find served in a roadside diner, but rather a savory dish cooked in an inedible, reusable crust known as a coffin. "It's made often with nothing other than flour and water and actually took the place of the cooking vessel," he said. "Another advantage of these is that they sealed and preserved the contents and, because of the thick walls, often cooked the contents quite gently."