Nothing beats a good, crumbly buttermilk rusk with my early morning cup of tea. This recipe is from one of my best “go-to” cookbooks – Nicky Stubbs’ For Friends & Family. Nicky says these are really easy and it’s one of her “absolute favourite” recipes. In the cookbook, she says: “My cousin Coral, one of the best cooks I know, gave me her rusk recipe. She dries her rusks in a warming drawer but since I don’t have one, I dry them overnight in the oven at around 100 °C. These rusks are foolproof, relatively healthy and everyone seems to love them.”
Makes 72 rusks
450 g butter
500 ml (2 cups) brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs
500 ml (2 cups) buttermilk
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
1 kg self-raising flour
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
500 ml (2 cups) sunflower seeds
500 ml (2 cups) oats
625 ml (2½ cups) All-Bran Flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and line a roasting pan with baking paper.
2. In a very large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. If you don’t have a large saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together in batches in a microwave oven and then transfer into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the eggs, one by one.
4. Add the buttermilk.
5. Add all the dry ingredients.
6. Mix well (I have from time to time put all the ingredients in the mixer, but mixing with a large spoon in a roomy bowl gives a more rustic, crusty rusk, which I prefer) and press into the roasting pan.
7. Bake for 1 hour.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Cut into rusks, separate, move onto baking trays and allow to dry in the oven overnight or for 6–8 hours at 100 °C.
9. Store in an airtight container.
This recipe is from For Friends & Family by Nicky Stubbs (Human & Rousseau, an imprint of NB Publishers). You can also try Nicky’s Chicken Marbella recipe and this divine Chocolate Self-saucing Pudding.
The award-winning cookbook is Nicky’s tribute to her family and friends, who have fed her, taught her to cook, eaten and cooked with her. Read my interview with her here.