Rusks (much like biscotti) are hard, crisp treats. One of the most well known commercially available rusks are made by Nola under the brand  Ouma  Rusks - which tells the tale of Ouma Greyvensteyn’s  recipe. Whether fact or fiction -  these rusks have become one of South Africa's iconic tea time treats.  Apart from a list of basic ingredients-the method used for making rusks gives them a longer life span than regular baked goods-making rusks both nutritious and economically viable in times of harsh  realities. The method of toasting or ‘twice baked’ involves the removal of  moisture from the dough resulting in a crispy treat that is best enjoyed dipped in tea or coffee.

While commercially available Rusks such as Ouma Rusks include a variety of flavors-basic rusks can be made using flour, milk, eggs, sugar and baking powder. The recipe shared is Whole-wheat Buttermilk Rusks-using whole wheat flour, wheat bran and butter milk. To make basic buttermilk rusks simply substitute the whole wheat flour with regular cake flour.

Simple Whole-wheat Buttermilk Rusks

Recipe by Georgia

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 30 rusks

  • 500g whole-wheat flour or cake flour for plain rusks
  • 50g wheat bran
  • 125g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g currants
  • Salt
 1.    Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2.    Sift the dry ingredients.
3.    Add the butter to dry ingredients. Mix to form breadcrumbs.

4. Combine eggs and buttermilk. Add to dry mixture. Mix until a soft pliable dough forms.
5.    Place in a lined loaf pan.
6.    Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
7. Remove from oven. Allow to cool then slice.

8.    Place in a lined baking tray. Bake again at 100 degrees Celsius for 3 hours or until the rusks are dry. (I used the fan function).
9.    Store in an airtight container.
10.    Enjoy with coffee.

N.B coking times may vary depending on the make and model oven used. Adjust the temperature and cooking times accordingly.
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