If you don’t live in South Africa you may be asking yourself right about now, what the hell a rusk is. In essence, it’s pretty much our version of biscotti. They are super moreish and crunchy, last forever and are best dunked into tea and coffee in the morning, which helps to soften them up a little for easy eating.

When made with whole, nourishing, ingredients they are a fantastic breakfast or snack on the go. Here we cut the sugar right down, add buttermilk for flavour and richness, and swap out some of the cake flour for whole wheat before adding a variety of omega 3 and vitamin packed seeds and pulses, and superfood goji berries.

Don’t get bogged down on the fine details here as the fillings are simply suggestions, and any dried fruit or nut will work. If you a die hard chocoholic but want to keep things healthyish, add some cacao nibs for a crunchy chocolate vibe! Head over to The Culinary Cartel instagram, where we cook this recipe break down the building blocks of a rusk, to allow you the freedom to mix and match, and build the recipe around your dietary needs.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bran Rusks

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour

4 Tsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes

2 1/2 Cups All Bran Flakes

1 1/2 Cups Seeds/Nuts
(I used 1C linseeds & 1/2C flaked almonds)

3/4 Cup Mixed Berries
(I used the Goji & Strawberry Mix from Checkers which is amazing in these)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Buttermilk

1/2 Cup Butter/ Margarine, melted

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar/ Coconut Sugar

Method:

Heat the oven to 180C on fan

Add your flours, baking powder, sugar, seeds/nuts and other mix ins into a bowl. Give everything a quick mix and then make a well in the middle. To the well add the wet ingredients, then mix well with either your hands or a rubber spatula until everything is well combined and the mixture has formed a moist, slightly sticky dough.

Line a suitable sized rectangular baking dish with baking paper or a silicone mat on the base, and grease the sides. I use one thats about 20x30cm and has nice 4cm high sides.

Add the dough into the pan, and press it down until it’s about 2-3cm thick. Pop the rusks in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Allow the rusks to cool slightly, for about 10 minutes, which will make them a bit easier to slice. Slice the rusks into batons, roughly 2cm x 10cm (or whatever chunky size you like). Place them back on a tray, leaving a small gap between each rusk, then pop them back into the oven to dry out at 100C for about 6-8 hours.

Once dry and cool, place them into a jar or container, where they will keep fresh for at least a month (that is if they end up lasting that long). Serve dunked into tea or coffee for the full South African experience.

Happy cooking! x