A dear friend of mine returned from Oz last Sunday. I was appalled by her tales of R90 for a glass of vino, charmed by her pics of kangaroos and kookaburras and utterly smitten with the stuffed wombat she brought back for me.
But what I found really fascinating, was the South African chap she met there, who runs a thriving business importing the likes of Mrs Ball’s Chutney, Crosse & Blackwell mayo and of course Ouma rusks. So this one is for all my readers Down Under. Really people, make your own. These are Ouma rusks allright, but they’re MY Ouma’s. And they’re a thousand percent better than that other Ouma’s.
All you need is…
1kg self-raising cake flour
1kg Nutty Wheat flour (or an equivalent light brown flour)
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs salt
2 extra large or jumbo eggs
2 cartons buttermilk
4 tbs milk
Making these buttermilk rusks is so easy, my cat can do it. Simply… Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spray two large breadpans with Spray ’n Cook (or smear lightly with butter).
Mix all the dry ingredients, including the sunflower seeds, in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and milk. Melt die butter in another bowl – I just pop it in the micro, but you can of course melt it on the stove.
Add the egg/buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir through. Now add the butter and knead very lightly just until everything is mixed through. (If you’re squeemish you could try doing this with a spoon, but hands REALLY do work better!)
Now you can divide the dough between the two pans and just sort of pat it in. But my gran (bless her cotton socks) would turn in her grave. No, the proper way to do it and get nicely rounded rusks on top, is to make large balls (about the size of jumbo eggs) and snuggle them in next to each other until your pan is full.
Pop the pans in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked through. (As with a cake, you test it by inserting a thin sharp object like a paring knife. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. If dough sticks to it, bake it a bit longer.) Once done, remove and cool in the pans. Now slice the loaf (like bread) into thick slices of 3-4cm. Then cut each slice into three or four fingers. Voila, perfect rusks! Place them on baking trays and dry out in a low 80 degree Celsius oven until rock hard. It takes quite a few hours. Store these buttermilk rusks in airtight containers and get yourself over to the shops for more ingredients, because your family will demolish these puppies in no time.