Missing home? These rusks will provide just a teensy bit of comfort. Healthy as well as delicious – who can say no? Plus, I have a new cookbook called Boerekos met ’n Twist that is a must buy! Check it out on my blog.

Wholehearted healthy rusks will have to cure the winter blues. Since it’s the month of February and all, snuggling up with these or your other half is kind of obligatory. These are just one of my all-time favourite things to eat night or day, meal or snack. If you don’t know about rusks, then you’re missing out. It’s basically baked sweetbread, dried out and generously dipped into a steaming mug of coffee.

This week has been exceptionally cold and I have been so oblivious thinking that the winter might be over already. Spring, where are you? I miss you so dearly. So, what to do when it’s so freaking cold that you don’t even want to look out the window? Bake and bake until there is so much food supply to last you for three winters. I have been trying to make a sourdough bread since forever and I have finally (fingers crossed!) nailed the recipe already with the first try. Yes yes, I know wishful thinking and all… I’ll have to wait for the true judge (my mother) to arrive next week.

So normal rusks I can do. I have this easy recipe that I have been using since we moved to France and had to start cooking for two. This is such an easy breakfast for the husbands and I am sure that once our son gets to appreciate rusks, he will say the same. Then it’s one mealtime that I don’t have to worry about. The job is indeed never done, because as soon as the one meal is done, you have a hungry presque one-year-old tagging on your trousers.

So back to the sourdough… It is a two-day process that allows you to make and bake rusks and bread. You’ll first have to make a sourdough plant – which I will explain in a bit – and then you can make and bake whatever you prefer first. I made a sourdough loaf first and then the rusks thereafter. I kind of prepared them simultaneously, because they can take some time to rise. So, planning and no distractions are key. Even if you make these when it’s naptime, it’s so worth it when they come out of the oven, I promise.

How to make a sourdough plant:

You will need

  • 1 litre boiled lukewarm water
  • 10 ml yeast
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp. of flour
  • How to
  • Pour the water, yeast and potato into a plastic Tupperware container and mix well.
  • Sift the flour on top, but do not mix. Make a hole in the middle of this mixture to allow fermentation.
  • Seal the lid and wrap it up in a blanket and place in a warm area where the heat consists at 24°C. Next to a heater is ideal. (Just be careful though.)
  • Let it stand for 12 hours before opening. It should be very bubbly and smell sour, then you know it’s ready!

Recipe:
Mosbolletjie rusks

Ingredients 

  • 60 g butter (soy butter)
  • 60 ml lukewarm milk (almond milk)
  • 1/2 tub of condensed milk (vegan caramel)
  • 5 ml yeast
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough plant
  • 4 1/2 cup of flour (farine de blé)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 175 ml white sugar

Method

  1. Melt the butter, milk and condensed milk together and let it cool till lukewarm. Add the water, yeast and sourdough plant to this mixture.
  2. Add a quarter of the flour to the mixture and let it stand for 30–60 minutes until bubbly.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to this mixture and then knee the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes before kneeing again. Cover with plastic film and let the dough rise for 2–3 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190°C and smear two bread pans with butter before adding the dough.
  5. Knee again and then roll the dough into balls and place them neatly next to each other in the pans. Not too tight so they won’t fully rise, and they will form bubbles in the dough once they start to bake.
  6. Here you have the option to add the cinnamon sugar on top if you desire them to be a bit more crunchy and sweeter.
  7. Let them rise for another 30–60 minutes and then bake for 30–45 minutes.
  8. Once baked, remove from the pans instantly and break them separately apart with a fork.
  9. Dry them out on a baking tray for 3–5 hours at 100°C.

Vegan caramel 

  1. Heat up one can of coconut cream, add 1/2 cup of maple syrup and let this thicken.
  2. Keep out a close eye so this does not burn, add 1 spoon vanilla essence or extract right before you remove it from the heat. Let it cool in a Maison jar, seal, and place in the fridge.

This recipe is modified from Boerekos met ’n Twist. You can double the recipe like the original version to make four loafs of rusks.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8 people

Vegan whole-wheat rusks

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups wheat germ or All-Bran
  • 125 g soy butter or any other butter of your choosing
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup agave/coconut sugar or honey
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts & pecan nuts mixed
  • 1/3 cup raisins/cranberries/dates
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Then melt the butter and add the almond butter and sweetener of your choosing.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond milk and lemon juice and let it curdle for 5 to 10 minutes before mixing this into the butter mixture.
  5. Mix the flaxseed meal and chia seeds with 1/3 cup of lukewarm water and let this thicken for 5 to 10 minutes as well.
  6. Add these two mixtures to the dry mixture and then add the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Smear a bread pan with extra soy butter or coconut oil and bake the loaf for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Add extra sugar and seeds on top for a crunchy topping.
  9. Remove from the oven to cool. Once cooled, slice into lengthwise strips and place on a baking try once more.
  10. Let them dry out for 1 to 2 hours at 105°C.

So, no more excuses, right? Since it’s the month of love, show your loved one how much you love them by preparing one of these recipes. I can’t lie, I’ll be impressed if my husband makes me anything that involves sourdough, simply because it takes so much time to prepare!

Bonne Semaine à Tous

M*

You can read Mariza’s blog, Life in the South, here and follow her on social media. Her blog is a place where you can be more than one thing: mom, cook, photographer and traveller all rolled into one. Find some recipes, travel information, DIY, useful tips and how to survive living abroad…

 

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Mariza Ebersohn
Mariza Ebersohn

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