If you aren’t from South-Africa, you may be forgiven for not knowing what Rusks are. The closest thing resembling rusks abroad would be Biscotti (Italy/France), but it’s not quite the same. Also a twice-baked biscuit, rusks form an integral part of most South-African households. It’s enjoyed as breakfast (which this recipe is perfect for) or a snack at tea time around the country.
Now please, put any memory or knowledge of “ouma beskuit” out of your mind, because THIS is what real rusks taste like!
What I really love about these rusks is how filling they are! Seriously, one rusk with your morning coffee and you’re good to go! Packed with fiber and nuts/seeds keeps you fuller for longer and is good for digestion (bonus!)
- Time: 15 minutes prep ; 1 hour bake ; 4 hours/overnight drying
- Makes: Approximately 2 Kg’s of dried rusks
- Difficulty: Medium
What you’ll need:
- 1 Kg Self-rising flour
- 2-3 cups bran (or mashed all-bran flakes)
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups mixed nuts (I used cashew, almond and pecan nuts)
- ½ cup mixed seeds (I used Sunflower seeds; Pumpkin seeds and Linseeds)
- 500 g Margarine
- 2 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 Liter cream
- Optional: toasted coconut shards; dried cranberries; raisins/sultanas etc
What to do:
- Pre-heat oven to 180C. Prepare a large baking tray by spraying well with spray-and-cook.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together: Flour; 2 cups of Bran; Salt; Nuts and Seeds. (No need to sieve the flour)
- In a saucepan, heat the margarine and sugar together until the margarine is melted. Take off the heat and add the cream. Mix and add to dry ingredients.
- Stir the rusk mixture well, until all the fluid is absorbed. The mixture should be wet and sticky, but not runny. If it’s runny add more bran.
- Press mixture into pan and cut while still wet. – You can use a rusk cutter if you have one, but I just sliced it through with a knife.
- Bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and let it cool down completely in the oven before taking it out.
- Take the rusks out of the oven and cut again (while still soft). Take the rusks out of the baking pan tray, and spread out onto a drying rack.
- Let dry in the oven at 100C for 4 hours (or overnight). If your oven has a fan option, you should switch it on; otherwise just put a large wooden spoon in the door to keep it slightly open for ventilation.
The thing about rusks that always frustrated me, is the amount of time and patience it needs before it’s ready to eat (Thanks millennial instant-gratification)! The recipe is very simple and easy to follow, and believe me the end product will make all the drying-out time worth it!