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Oh no! Your bags are packed, you’re in your seat and you’re about to jet off to a foreign country to start whole new life, and you just realize that Ouma Rusks are a South African thing. It’s true! Other countries don’t really know what “rusks” are…except in the UK where a “rusk” is a baby’s type of biscuit! Now what? Will you have to live the rest of your life only dreaming about Ouma’s buttermilk rusks, or is there a solution to this particular problem? The good news is that South African rusks are often available at South African stores, which seem to be popping up all over the world. Phew, right?! But what if you don’t have one near you…what then? Well, that’s when you whip up your very own batch of South African rusks.

You probably already guessed it, but we have a buttermilk rusk recipe that will make you remember ever flavourful bite of your last Ouma’s rusk back home! Now that’s a memory you want to hang onto for sure! Prepare for your Ouma rusks recipe to be a big hit.

South African rusks

The Best Buttermilk Recipe

Making buttermilk rusks is all about the end result. You want a creamy rusk that immediately evokes that “hmm” feeling, the very moment you sink your teeth into it. You want your last rusk to taste like more – and if you follow our recipe; it will! Below is a recipe for South African rusks that can make either 20 large rusks or 40 smaller rusks. Whip them up and enjoy!

What You Need:

The Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed into 2 and a ½ tablespoons of water (it will form a thick consistency on standing)
  • ½ a cup of coconut oil (make sure it is in liquid form)
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

The Dry Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of self-raising flour
  • 2 and a ½ cups of bran flakes
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnuts
  • ½ cup of caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup of raisins

What to Do:

  • First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • While the oven is heating, line a baking tray with baking paper – this works better than greasing the pan. You need a tray that is approximately 33cm x 20 x 4cm – it doesn’t have to be exact, but this is a size that works well with this particular portion.
  • In a bowl, sieve the self-raising flour to get rid of any lumps and inconsistencies. Crush the bran flakes into the same bowl using your hands. You want to crush them quite fine, but don’t stress if there are a few larger pieces.
  • Put the hazelnuts into a plastic bag and crush them, then add them to the bowl of self-raising flour and bran flakes. To crush the hazelnuts, use a rolling pin or similar.
  • Add the caster sugar, baking powder, pumpkin seeds, salt, and raisins into the same bowl and mix it all up well.
  • In a jug, measure out your almond milk and add the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to it, mixing well. Let this stand for a few minutes. It will appear to have clotted – this is fine.
  • Whisk the almond milk and lemon mixture together with the flax in water and the coconut oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and combine well with a wooden spoon. You can also use your hands if you really want to work the moisture into the mixture. Make sure that there is no dry flour left – keep stirring and mixing until a dough-like mixture is formed.
  • Place the mixture into the baking tray and use your hands to push it down and even it out. It might seem quite dry, but that is perfect. If the mixture is too wet or sloppy, the rusks will not dry out and become crunchy.
  • Cover the baking tray with foil and then pop it in the oven for 40 minutes. The foil ensures that the rusks don’t cook too quickly on the outside.
  • After 40 minutes, remove the foil and if it’s not cooked properly, put it back in the oven for around 5 to 10 more minutes. The mixture should still seem like semi-cooked dough. It will not be hard.
  • Allow the tray to cool outside of the oven for a few minutes and then use a sharp knife to slice it into your rusk shapes.
  • Spread the rusks out – you might need a second baking tray to do this – and then return them to the oven for a further 30 minutes of baking. When they are golden brown, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  • It is best to leave the rusks to cool overnight in the oven with the door ajar, so that they can fully dry out before you put them into an airtight container.

As you already know, rusks are best served with hot coffee, tea, or any hot creamy drink that you can dunk them into. The only thing that’s left to do is enjoy them!

FinGlobal: your cross border financial experts

At FinGlobal, we love our rusks and coffee time, but what we love even more is simplifying and streamlining the financial and tax emigration process for our customers. South African expats across the globe have made use of our services to ensure that their financial emigration, tax emigration, retirement annuity fund transfers, and foreign currency issues are meticulously handled. With almost a decade of experience behind us, we are confident that we are just the right team to assist you. If you would like to chat to a professional for further advice and guidance, all you need to do is get in touch with us. You can give us a call on +27 28 3122 764 or send us an email at info@finglobal.com.