Like many South Africans I grew up eating rusks, and to this day having a couple with a cup of rooibos tea always makes me think of home. For those of you that are not familiar with these little chunks of joy, rusks are something in between a biscuit and a biscotti. Dunked in a cup of coffee or tea, they make for a comforting and healthy breakfast or mid afternoon snack.
When I visit my family back in South Africa it is still a tradition to wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee from my dad (the barista!) and a couple of rusks on the side. Even Elmo, my family’s Jack Russell, demands his rusk fix everyday. Every morning he takes his position next to the breakfast table and waits patiently for his daily treat dipped in coffee to be handed down to him. (Although we have since come to the conclusion that it might be the coffee and not the rusks that he is craving…!)
Now there is much debate amongst South Africans as to what makes the perfect rusk. Some prefer the traditional white buttermilk variety while others (like me!) love the version made with whole grains, nuts and seeds. This is my recipe with lots of healthy whole grains and a hint of coconut.
- 4 cups self-rising flour
- 3 cups bran flakes
- 1 cup oat bran
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 250g butter
- 3 large eggs
- 600ml butter milk
- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF).
- Start by melting the butter over low heat. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until fluffy and opaque.
- Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the melted butter, whisked eggs and buttermilk to the dry ingredients.
- Using a wooden spoon start combining the ingredients. The mixture will be quite thick so you can also use your hands to combine the ingredients as you would with bread dough.
- Once you have a well mixed dough transfer into an oiled 20cm baking tins. Place in the oven to bake for about 45 minutes -1 hour until golden brown on top. You will know it is ready when you can stick a knife into the bread and it comes out clear.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Once completely cooled down remove from the tins and cut each loaf into about 5cm slices and then cut each slice into 4 pieces.
- Pack your rusks on a baking tray and bake at 100 ºC (200 ºF) until completely dried out. This normally takes about 6 hours. Alternatively you can leave them overnight in a hot oven.
- Store in an airtight container.
Do you have some of your own quick and easy breakfasts or snacks to share? Let us know!