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It’s official! ‘Tis the baking season. Before summer goes into full swing and no one on the African continent can imagine spending a day in a sweltering kitchen watching rusks dry out, we kitchen dwellers like to get all our baking wrapped up in November. That way, you’ve got a stockpile of rusks to see you through to January, boozy fruitcakes ready for action at a moment’s notice, and a sneaky stash of fudge thrown in just for fun. And I just can’t imagine feeling at home anywhere without my personal reserve of rusks.


for 24 pieces

500 g (890 ml) bran rich self-raising wheat flour

2,5 ml salt

250 g (270 ml) butter, cut into blocks

200 g (250 ml) sugar

250 ml buttermilk

1 egg

for 48 pieces

1 kg (1785 ml) bran rich self-raising wheat flour

5 ml salt

500 g (545 ml) butter, cut into blocks

400 g (500 ml) sugar

500 ml buttermilk

2 eggs


Preheat your oven to 180 °C. Line a 23 x 33 x 5 cm with baking paper. If you are baking a double batch, you will have to line two tins. Spray with edible food spray.

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix well.

Beat the buttermilk and egg/eggs together, and add it to the flour mixture. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Test with a cake tester and bake a little longer if need be.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before turning it out. Cut the rusk loaf into rusk-sized pieces and place loosely on two baking trays. Preheat your oven to 100 °C and place your rusks in the oven overnight to dry. Store in an airtight container and enjoy with your morning coffee (or tea).

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