Background to the creation of buttermilk 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.
In Returning to Amanda, she starts every day with a buttermilk rush and a cup of coffee.
Enjoy a karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk - almost inedible until dunked! Then it's wonderful! Click To Tweet
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 some buttermilk rusks!
Sorry the ingredients are metric, but that’s our method of measurement in SA.(See Conversion Table here.)
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
Mix self-raising flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Melt butter and sugar together slowly (body temperature ONLY).
Pour the melted mixture into flour mixture.
Add beaten eggs.
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, 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
Thank you for sharing!! God bless.
Thank you for your visit, Twyla! That earned you 3 entries for the grand prize!
My memory of these Ouma Rusks was in the mid 1980’s. It was my Mom’s passion to bake these rusks and full my tuck tins with delightful snacks. I was at boarding school in Potchefstorm. It was always a mission to hide our tuck tins from the Perfects who had a macabre sense of humor of raiding our simple pleasures and reminders of home from Mum. There was nothing better than, after swimming practise or on the cold afternoon, sneaking out the Ouma rusks and sitting in a quiet corner, away from the prefects, tucking into the rusks and hot chocolate with good friends and memories of Mum and home.
Oops! This comment got trapped in the spam box. So sorry! And it’s so good. What lovely input from you. Thank you Lea-Anne!
I would love the recipe please.
PS I’m enjoying the Africa Book Safari very much
You can copy it off here. 🙂 So glad you’re enjoying it. Thanks for participating so much. That’s 3 entries for you. 🙂
Cut in small squares, might make good salad croutons.
They would be very difficult to cut. They are VERY hard and crumbly! That’s 3 entries for you. 🙂
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 ?
YOUCH you must have very tough teeth!!!! LOL! That’s 3 entries for you. 🙂