Welcome to another Sweet Tooth post and yes, today’s treat is truly South African. Rusks are a firm favourite of all South Africans, something to enjoy with your tea or coffee and at any time of day! In fact when you stay over in a guest house here, you will probably find a little jar of rusks for you to enjoy.
These traditional hard biscuits are most tasty when dipped into your coffee or tea. They originated way back in the old days when our founders had to travel long distances in hot weather without their food spoiling. Ouma Rusks which literally means “Grandmother’s Rusks” are the most famous South African brand of rusks and these days there are all sorts of flavours from buttermilk to aniseed to muesli. Do you have a biscuit like this on your side of the world? I think Italian biscotti or cantuccini is probably the most similar thing. I got baking on the weekend to show you how it’s done…
1¾ cup sugar
1kg Self Raising Flour
6tsp baking powder
500g muesli (I use a muesli that has nuts and raisins in it for extra flavour.)
* Melt the margarine, add the sugar and mix together
*Add the eggs to the mixture and beat well
*Add buttermilk to the mixture and beat well
* Lastly add all dry ingredients and muesli and mix well
* It should create a firm but sticky dough
* Grease a large baking pan well and spoon the dough in (image a)
* Bake at 180?C for 45 min or until golden brown
* Remove from oven and leave to cool overnight (image b)
* The next day, carefully cut it into large sections, remove one section at a time and cut that up into smaller rectangular pieces. Be gentle as it will be rather crumbly.
* Carefully arrange rectangular pieces on a baking tray, you’ll probably need 2 or 3 trays (image c)
* Place back in oven and bake at 110?C with oven door slightly ajar, I usually put a wooden spoon in to keep it oven door open.
* Bake for 2-3 hours until rusks are crispy and hard.
* Remove from oven, allow to cool and then enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!
These rusks are incredibly tasty and very easy to make, it just takes a bit of time but it’s totally worth it because when done, you’re left with a huge batch of rusks that will last for ages! Then again if you like them as much as I do, they may not last that long!