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Sweet Rusks for Dunking

Posted by AnneMarie

The Modern Bakers are baking our way through Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker. We started with the quick breads. We have embarked on participatory group blogging. We claimed certain recipes to blog about and then bake/blog about whatever other recipes catch our fancy.

The sweet rusks for dunking appealed to me on several levels. Sweet rusks are a quick bread that have been baked so long that it becomes impossible to eat them without dunking them in tea or coffee. Nick says that sweet rusks are common in South Africa and the Netherlands. I work with a woman who is from the Netherlands; I am interested in her critique of the recipe.

I live in a house of backpackers. They have taken pilot biscuits, or hardtack, on some of their trips. I’m not sure that they enjoyed pilot biscuits but I hoped that the sweet rusks would be a delightful backpacking snack.

I assembled the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, egg and buttermilk.

The flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt were combined in a food processor.

The butter was pulsed into the flour mixture. The egg was whisked into the buttermilk, then added to the processor. The mixture was dumped onto a floured surface divided into thirds.

Each third was rolled out and then each log was divided into 12 pieces.

At this point, I would suggest putting the remaining dough balls in the refrigerator. They quickly got more difficult to work with as they warmed up.

The pieces were supposed to be put in a 9 x 13 pan that had been coated with buttered foil. I missed that part. It is up by the ingredients in the top right. Any way, I sprayed my 9×13 pan with cooking spray and didn’t have any problems. Nick wants you to put them 9 x 4 in the pan. I couldn’t quite fit the 9 so ended up 7 x 5.

The rusks were baked until they were golden, in a 350 oven for 40 mins.

Then they were cooled, broken apart and then arranged on their sides onto cookie sheets.

At this point, some children came down the stairs and ate the not yet dried out biscuits and enjoyed them.

I think that if I had used a knife to separate the pieces, they would have been more prone to staying on their sides for the final drying period. They were returned to the 250 oven for 1.5 hours.

After you have dried out the biscuits, you are left with a pretty tasty little morsel. Hard as can be, maybe even dangerous to the teeth if you don’t dunk them in coffee, but tasty. I’m going to bring some into work and get a Dutch review of my baking.

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Comments»

1. Anne Marie - May 24, 2010

I brought these into work and my Dutch friend, Anneke, tried them. She was not impressed. She says that she has eaten nothing like them in the Netherlands.

gaaarp - May 24, 2010

Perhaps she’s never had a South African rusk.

2. Anne Marie - May 23, 2010

My family preferred them between the bakes, although they say that they beat pilot biscuits.

3. gaaarp - May 23, 2010

Nice write up, AnneMarie. And I love your pictures.

I baked these this weekend and will try to get a blog post together for them. I liked them between the two bakes. They tasted like sweet biscuits. After the second bake, they were good dipped in coffee; kind of flavorless with tea.


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