RECIPES

Beskuit | Rusks

Beskuit/rusks double as a quick breakfast or an afternoon bite with tea and coffee. They are an all-purpose twice-baked snack and most homes in South-Africa are never without a tin of them.

 

There are all kinds of variations including health and muesli rusks. Rusks date back to the time of French soldiers being sent to war with twice-baked "biscuit de guerre" and when people trekked with ox-wagons into the interior of South Africa, when they needed foods that would keep.
  •   900g (1.98 lbs) self-raising flour

  •   2 tsp baking powder

  •   1 tsp salt

  •   4 cups bran

  •   ½ cup sultanas (yellow raisins) — optional

  •   ½ cup coconut (optional)

  •   500 g (1.1 lbs) butter/margarine

  •   2 cups buttermilk

  •   3 eggs

  •   375ml (12.7oz) white sugar
     

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

  1. Grease a rectangular baking tin/pan of approximately 33 x 23 x 6cm (13 x 9 x 2.5"), or spray with non-stick spray. Tip: line the bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper and also spray with non-stick spray.

  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.

  3. Add bran, sultanas and coconut.

  4. Add the butter, use your hands to rub into the flour mixture. Tip: use surgical gloves. 

  5. Beat the buttermilk, eggs and sugar until well blended and stir into the mixture.

  6. Spoon the batter into the tins and spread level with a spatula. Have a bowl of quite warm water ready, and dip the spatula into it. 

  7. Bake 45 - 60 minutes until done. The rusks should be golden-brown on top. Do peek, and don't let it burn. Test with a skewer.

  8. Let cool slightly. Put a breadboard on top of the baking tin. While carefully holding the tin and board together turn upside down. Carefully remove the tin. Cut/slice rectangular pieces. Tip: it's easier using an electric knife. Use the same tin and stack them very loosely in a single layer at an angle, one row supporting the next. Try to leave a small gap between the rusks as well so that they dry evenly.

  9. Lower your oven temperature to 80°C (175°F). Place into the oven and leave to dry for approximately 7-8 hours or until completely dried.

  10. Next day make sure rusks are dry, cool well, and keep in airtight containers.

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