Rusks have been around in South Africa since about 1690. That said they aren't anything new. Almost every culture found ways to dry their bread to preserve it.
This is a delicious recipe that really makes the flavour of the buttermilk sing.
This recipe is a fantastic use for sourdough discard.
The acid in the discard and in the buttermilk turbocharge the reaction of the baking powder to produce light, easy to bite, crunchy rusks. The baking soda also calms the acidity down and brings out that delicious buttermilk flavour right out in front.
- 400g Motherdough discard
- 2 eggs
- 400g Cultured buttermilk
- Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 30g Honey
- 600g Cake flour
- 20g Baking powder
- 350g Salted butter cold, 2cm cubes.
- 350g Sugar
- 5g Salt
- 200g Dried cranberries (Optional)
- Blitz the Motherdough discard, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla seeds and honey together until smooth.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in to bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour to achieve a mixture resembling bread crumbs.
- Stir through the sugar.
- Add the Motherdough wet mix and mix thoroughly with in your mixer with paddle attachment until well combined. This can also be done with a wooden spoon.
- Add 150g Cranberries and mix through.
- Place mixture into a deep bread tin or lasagne tray that has previously been very well greased with butter. Smooth out roughly with the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining Cranberries and push gently to fix them into place.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 160 deg. C (fan on) and bake for 60 minutes until risen and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.
- Slice the cool loaf to the desired size, arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Leave in oven at 90 deg C to dry out for about 4-6 hours. Keep the oven door cracked with a wooden spoon to let moisture escape.
- Store in an airtight container.
Use your imagination to substitute the dried cranberries with chocolate, nuts, or other dried fruit. Avoid things like muesli or bran flakes that absorb water. Of course they are delicious plain.
You can also substitute 50% of the cake flour with wholewheat flour.