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Dedicated to South Africans living abroad...and all lovers of Traditional South African food

Newsletter #63  - Oct  31,2003

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  Hello everyone!

Hope you are all keeping well!  Only 6 weeks to Christmas! How time flies! better get your shopping done early and beat the rush! Scroll down for a great gift idea!

This time I have chosen rusks as a theme. Rusks have been on the South African scene for decades (centuries?) I am not sure of the origin, but I can remember reading that the Voortrekkers took rusks with them on the Treks instead of bread, as rusks lasted so much longer. If you want to make me really happy, give me a BIG mug of fresh brewed coffee and a plate of rusks. Then just leave me alone for a while and let me enjoy!

I have 8 rusk recipes at the bottom of this page to try, so enjoy!!

Christmas is fast approaching and my next Newsletter will have a Christmas/Festive theme with lotsa recipes. So please pass this letter on to your friends and ask them to sign up before the next Newsletter is sent out. You can join the mailing list at the bottom of the main recipe page, or by clicking here.

I have mentioned before that I am involved with the Danville Help Group, a small group of volunteers who are trying to give 150 needy children and about 60 families a Christmas to remember! Click here to read more about our work and here to read about the planned Christmas function. Any assistance and support will be greatly appreciated. Please contact Elsabe if you are in any way able to assist us, even if you are overseas!

Are you wondering what to get friends and family overseas for Christmas? In South Africa postage rates are exorbitant with no guarantee that anything will eventually get to it's destination. Here is a great solution! My friend, Anna Eksteen, put together a great South African Recipe eBook. The eBook is in Afrikaans and the selection of recipes is really impressive. Email Anna for more info re cost and download instructions. I often shop around for recipe books and this is real value for money! And just in time for the festive season as well. This will make an ideal gift for someone far away, you simply email them the Recipe Book! If you have already contacted Anna and received no reply, she had to change email addresses, please contact her again!

Click here for great posters!



Looking for a specific South African recipe? Email me and I will do my best to find it for you!

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When you have had a look at the recipes below, click here to visit the main recipe page on my site. 

Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now


The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter


Aniseed rusks

1 kg cake flour
7 g salt
250 g butter
30 ml whole anise seeds
20 g instant yeast
300 g sugar
1 egg
850 ml water

1. Sift flour and salt together. Rub butter into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the anise seeds, yeast and sugar. 2. Stir the egg into the water and mix into the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Knead until elastic. 3. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size. Don't knock back. 4. Shape into balls and place in a deep bread tin sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Leave to rise until even with the edge of the tin. 5. Place rusks in the oven, preheated to 200 C, immediately reduce temperature to 180 C, and bake for 45 minutes. 6. Remove from tin. Leave rusks to cool completely before breaking them apart (do not cut with a knife). 7. Dry out in the oven at 100 C.

Buttermilk rusks

1 kg cake flour
8 g bicarbonate of soda
8 g cream of tartar
8 g baking powder
10 g salt
200 g sugar
250 g butter or margarine
450 ml buttermilk

1. Spray two 30 x 36 x 7 cm baking trays with nonstick baking spray. 2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine. Rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. 3. Mix in buttermilk to form a firm dough. 4. Break off small pieces of dough and shape them into balls. 5. Place close together in sprayed baking trays. 6. Brush the side of each row with melted butter before putting in the next row so that the rusks can be broken apart easily later. 7. Bake in a preheated oven at 240 C for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 190 C and bake for a further 35-50 minutes, then brush with diluted milk. 8. Turn out on to a cooling rack and break in three so that rusks will cool more quickly. 9. When cool, break into neat portions and allow to dry out in the oven set at 100 C.

All bran rusks

500 g margarine
600 g sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1 kg self-raising flour
5 ml salt
15 ml baking powder
300 ml milk
180 g bran flakes

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease two 23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tins with margarine. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients, except for bran flakes, together and add to the margarine mixture, alternating with the milk. Finally add the bran flakes and mix well. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tins. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a testing skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the rusk mixture. Cool, slice into fingers and dry at 100 C (200 F).

Brown bread rusks

1 loaf brown bread (day old)
300 ml water
160 g soft brown sugar
125 g butter or margarine
15 ml aniseed
2 ml salt

Cut the bread into 2,5 cm slices. Cut each slice into 5 equal lengths. Bring the water, brown sugar, butter or margarine, aniseed and salt to the boil. Pour a little of this syrup into a deep plate. Roll the bread lengths in the syrup one by one until completely covered. Stir the syrup occasionally. Put the bread lengths carefully on a wire rack. Dry for an hour at 100 C and after that overnight at 60 C until bone dry. Keep in an airtight container.

Breakfast rusks

230 g margarine
400 g sugar
3 extra-large eggs
50 ml peanut butter
5 ml vanilla essence
10 ml bicarbonate of soda
250 ml milk
240 g cake flour
10 ml baking powder
pinch of salt
160 g coconut
160 g oats
120 g breakfast cereal flakes
50 g peanuts, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease one 37 x 13 x 10 cm loaf tin with margarine. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the peanut butter and vanilla essence and mix well. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and add Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and add to the margarine mixture. Blend. (Add a little more milk if the dough is too dry.) Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about one hour or until a testing skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the rusk mixture. Cool, slice into fingers and dry at 100 C (200 F). Makes about 40 rusks.

Health rusks

1 kg wholewheat flour
125 g sunflower seeds
20 g aniseed
5 ml salt
500 g margarine
500 g brown sugar
250 g molasses
20 ml bicarbonate of soda
1 l buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Spray three 23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tins with non-stick spray. Mix the wholewheat flour, sunflower seeds, aniseed and salt in a large mixing bowl. Melt the margarine and add the brown sugar. Stir well. Add the molasses and mix well. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the buttermilk and mix well. Add to the margarine mixture and mix. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to distribute the liquid evenly. Turn into the prepared loaf tins, spreading the mixture evenly. Bake for about 1 hour or till done: a testing skewer will come out clean when the bread is done. Cool slightly and turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely and cut into fingers. Place on baking sheets and dry at 100 C (200 F). Makes about 70 rusks

Kalahari rusks

1 litre milk
500 ml sugar
500 g margarine or butter
3 extra large eggs
2.50 kg self-raising flour
5 ml cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 140 C and grease 3 loaf tins with butter or non-stick spray.
Heat the milk and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and pour the boiling mixture over the margarine or butter.
Mix well and leave to cool.
Beat in the eggs one by one.
Add the self-raising flour, salt and cream of tartar.
Knead together to form a dough.
Shape into balls and arrange in the prepared tins.
Bake for 1 hour or until done and a testing skewer inserted comes out clean.
Turn out, cut into fingers and bake at 80 C until completely dry.
Store in an airtight container

Fibre-rich rusks

500 g butter or margarine, melted
500 ml buttermilk
2 eggs, whisked
1 kg ordinary or bran-enriched self-raising flour
15 ml baking powder
375 ml soft brown sugar
375 ml muesli
250 ml oats
250 ml coconut
125 ml sunflower seeds
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C and spray two oven pans with non-stick spray. Cool the melted butter slightly before beating in the buttermilk and eggs. Combine all the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Stir to mix and turn the mixture into the oven pans, spreading evenly (the batter fills 1 1/2 oven pans). Mark into fingers. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and done. Loosen the edges, turn out onto a wire rack and cool. Cut or break the rusks into smaller pieces and dry out at 180 C. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 90 pieces.



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