I swear, this is something I’ve been threatening to try and bake since forever – buttermilk rusks.
I adore rusks. There is nothing more satisfying on a cold morning, than grabbing a chunky rusk and dunking it into a hot cuppa. Whether it be tea, coffee, Milo or even hot chocolate. I was always under the impression that making rusks was super difficult, and so I kept putting it off. Until curiosity got the better of me.
Originally, I went straight to Pinterest for recipes – it’s always my go to. However, on popping into the store to buy buttermilk, I realised there was a recipe for buttermilk rusks on the carton itself. Score!
I decided to give this recipe a go, following it exactly. This is how I’ve always worked with recipes. If the original recipe works well, I can then tinker around and tweak it to suit me.
So, without further ado, here’s how it went:
(RECIPE FROM THE DANONE BUTTERMILK CARTON)
1kg self-raising flour
500g Danone Cultured Buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a roasting pan.
(I opted to use a silicone baking mat in my roasting pan. I therefore didn’t need to grease a pan)
Sieve dry ingredients together and rub butter in well.
I sieved the dry ingredients, one at a time into a mixing bowl. I couldn’t throw them all in at the same time as there was just too much product. So I used a whisk to mix them together once they were in the bowl. I then rubbed the butter in with my hands until it looked kind of like breadcrumbs.
Beat egg and oil together, then add in Danone Cultured Buttermilk and mix. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
For ease, I poured the oil and egg into my Nutribullet and quickly mixed them together. I then added the buttermilk and shook it all up in the container, before pouring it into the dry ingredients. I rather stupidly forgot to take a picture of this, and by the time I remembered, my hands were covered in dough. I used a spatula to mix the liquid and dry ingredients together at first, and then went in with my hands until it all pulled together in a lovely ball of dough.
Form buns and place them close together in a roasting pan.
This step was super simple. As you can see, the roasting pan I used was a little too small for the silicone baking mat, but this was done for a reason – so that the ends would stick out.
Bake for 45min. Remove from oven and immediately break into sections.
I found my oven needed to be turned down to 160°C after the first 20 minutes, as the rusks browned on top very quickly. This stopped them from burning. When they were done, removing them from the pan was easy – I simply used a cloth to take each side of the silicone mat and pull them out. Easy as pie! I didn’t slice them apart, but they were so hot, and the recipe stated to pull them apart immediately, so I used a butter knife to just edge them apart. Very easy.
Place onto rack, well spaced apart, and leave to dry out in a warming oven overnight or leave at 120°C for 3 hours.
I found that 120°C was too hot to dry them out on, so turned the oven to just below 100°C and left them for just under 3 hours, by which time they were done. Things like times and temperatures will always vary with your oven, so keep an eye on them.
Leave to cool.
Overall, I had the following thoughts:
- Rusks are not difficult to make, they’re just time consuming. But they’re so rewarding once done!
- I would add a little more sugar than the 200ml. They aren’t savoury at all, but they’re barely sweet. I like my rusks a little bit sweeter.
- I’d watch the oven, checking in every 5-10min while they bake. You don’t want burned rusks.
- I’d rather use a smaller roasting pan and make the balls of dough longer. I like how much ‘longer’ Ouma rusks are, even the chunky ones, and these are more like little balls. It makes dipping much messier (and coffee spill all over my deskpad at work).
- Now that I know how easy the recipe actually is, I have so many flavours and extras I want to try! Hubby loves blueberry muffins, so I want to buy some dried blueberries and make Blueberry Buttermilk Rusks for him. I imagine that chocolate chips or grated orange zest would be delicious too. When you can get a basic recipe right, the world is your oyster in terms of flavour combinations!
Have you ever baked rusks? What are your favourite rusks to eat/bake?