Dunk and Enjoy! Buttermilk Rusks from South AFrica

This recipe is for buttermilk rusks, one of the snacks you were offered if you attended the launch party for our newly released boxed set of devotional books, In All things. Click here to order the boxed set. A LIMITED EDITION of 13 books for only $0.99. 


Background to the creation of rusks:

The South African karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk can be compared to American biscotti, but they are, in fact, only distant cousins.

The S.African rusk evolved from early Cape settlement and from the pioneers making their laborious and dangerous trip  inland from the coast via ox-wagons. They are extremely hard, almost inedible unless dipped (or dunked) in hot coffee, or as in our case at the In All Things launch party, Rooibos Tea.  (Learn about Rooibos tea over at Anna Jensen’s blog by clicking on the link.)

Enjoy a karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk - almost inedible until dunked! Then it's wonderful! Click To Tweet

Photo copyright Kyle Ueckermann. Recipe copyright Hanlie Morrison.

The best way to wake up in the morning - to a cup of steaming coffee or tea and a S.African rusk (or beskuit). Click To Tweet

So now let’s make rusks!

Sorry the ingredients are metric, but that’s our method of measurement in SA.(See Conversion  Table here.)

Ingredients:

3kg self-raising flour
2 x 500g butter
2 x 500ml buttermilk
8 eggs (beaten well)
1 desert-spoon baking powder
2.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoon salt

Method:

Mix self-raising flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Melt butter and sugar together slowly (body temperature ONLY).
Add buttermilk.
Pour the melted mixture into flour mixture.
Add beaten eggs.
Knead well.

Press into oven pans about 1.5cm high.

“Cut” into rusks about width and length of adult middle finger by pushing a long flat object (eg. ruler or egg lifter) into the dough to separate the dough. Do not try to cut with a knife – the dough will just drag.

Bake for around 1 hour in a 165 degree Celsius preheated oven. Stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. If not and the rusks are browning, cover with foil and bake longer.

Once baked, remove and break into separate biscuits along pressed lines.

Place back into the oven pan, stacking biscuits loosely and dry overnight in a 70 degree Celsius oven.

Make sure to wedge something in the oven door that will keep the oven open fractionally—about a centimeter—so that there is airflow to dry the rusks slowly.

How to eat a rusk:

Once rusks are ready, grab a cup of coffee (or rooibos tea – follow this link to read more),  dunk and enjoy! There’s a knack to dunking. Dip the rusk too long and it’ll break off in your hot drink. Too short and you could just break a tooth! Dip twice before  popping the end into your mouth. And keep a teaspoon handy to fish out any errant pieces that bob to the surface of your drink.

“The accepted and correct way to eat a rusk is to dip it in a cup of tea or coffee. (Anyone who tells you otherwise, does not deserve to eat them.) Click To Tweet

 

8 comments on “Dunk and Enjoy! Buttermilk Rusks from South AFrica

  1. I’m a weird South African and just munch on rusks straight. No dunking required. Yes, it takes longer but hey! at least I get to enjoy my rusk for a while 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.