South African Buttermilk Rusks

18 Jan

I’m very grateful that I managed to leave the office today at a reasonable time.  After two late nights and not having enough time to cook dinner, let alone try out a new baking recipe, I was getting a little frustrated. 

After my first attempt that wasn’t really successful, I thought I would try a couple of recommended recipes, and today it was Buttermilk rusks, a South African recipe.

My boyfriend is South African and his mother gave me this recipe.  It looked really straight forward and I know what the result should look and taste like (which is always helpful) so I thought I would give this a shot.

With the recipe below, you’ll notice that the first ingredient is flour – and it’s a lot of flour!  1kg in fact.  I only have one mixing bowl and once I (measured first – see an improvement already!) poured the flour into my only existing mixing bowl, it filled it to the brim.  Ah.  Something to add to the shopping list.

So I decided to half the recipe, to make it possible.  This seemed to be going fine, until we got to the egg and the salt. 

How do you half an egg?  No matter how much I tried, this wasn’t possible for me and I’m sure trying to watch an amateur baker attempt to half an egg is quite amusing.  Picture it in your head – I looked ridiculous! 

Next problem was the salt.  For some reason (especially after the egg fiasco) I completely forgot to half the measure and added the full 5 gr.  I realised after I added it to the bowl.  So I tried to take out as much as possible.  As sugar and salt in appearance look relatively similar, I had to taste what I pinched out of the bowl, to ensure I had the right ingredient.  First I tasted sugar and then salt, then more sugar, then more salt, etc.  It certainly wasn’t a taste test I enjoyed.  I’m sure I again looked ridiculous – with my facial expression of surprise, when I thought it would be sugar and instead it was salt.

Anyway, we got there in the end and all I can say is that this recipe must be fool-proof, as the end result is how I expected, thank heavens….

South African Buttermilk Rusks

Perfect to dip into your breakfast coffee or tea.

1kg self-raising flour
5 gr salt
200 gr sugar
250 gr butter
500 ml buttermilk
1 egg
25 ml oil

Turn your oven to 180 C / 350 F.  Grease a roasting pan with oil / butter.

Sieve the dry ingredients together into a (large!) bowl.  Rub in the butter well.

Beat the egg & oil together, then add buttermilk and mix.  Pour onto the dry ingredients and mix in thoroughly.

Press the mixture into a roasting pan and mark with a knife where you are going to cut (approx 6×3 cm or 2×1 inch).  Bake for 45 min.

Remove from the oven and actually cut where you have marked.  Place into baking tins, well spaced apart and leave to dry in 100 C / 210 F oven for 2-3 hours until hard.  Store in a biscuit tin.

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4 Responses to “South African Buttermilk Rusks”

  1. Sarah Healy January 19, 2012 at 06:12 #

    oooh i love rusks! different to the recipe i have used so i should give this one a go.

  2. learntobake January 19, 2012 at 08:23 #

    Let me know how you go! I’ll have to get your version too – so we can test the difference.

  3. Nadine January 20, 2012 at 15:43 #

    Well hello there, fellow newbie baker! I’m the girl with the “learning2bake” account on Twitter. I was quite amused to see you tweet, “How do you half an egg?,” as this has been perplexing me the past few months as I experiment with recipes and often try to half them the first time ’round. I’ve tried several things–from splitting the yolk and white separately, to combining them and then *trying* to split them in half, among other things. As you can probably guess, none have been entirely successful, due to those egg whites being near *impossible* to separate! My current method, which is a bit over the top, I’ll admit, is to gently combine them, weigh them, then extract half the weight with a turkey baster! Crazy, I know, and requires these tools, but so far it’s been the best and most reliable method. Hope this helps!

    • learntobake January 20, 2012 at 16:22 #

      Hello! I’m glad I’m not the only one finding this hard. Thanks for your comments and suggestions, I’ll give it a try! Cheers!

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