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Buttermilk Cranberry Rusks

Sweet buttermilk rusks with cranberries, nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Drying Out6 hrs
Course: Baking
Cuisine: South African
Servings: 50 rusks
Author: Melby

Ingredients

  • 1,5 kg self-raising flour
  • 12,5 ml baking powder
  • 10 ml salt
  • 375 g butter
  • 375 ml sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup bran cereal, crushed
  • 1 cup dried cranberry, nut and seed mixture See note *
  • 10 ml vanilla essence

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease 3 to 4 loaf tins or one large rectangular oven pan.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar, bran cereal and cranberry mixture and stir through the dry ingredients.
  • Melt the butter and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • Add the beaten eggs and vanilla essence to the buttermilk and mix.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon the dough into your prepared tins or pans.
  • Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the rusks cool down before you cut them into fingers or squares.
  • Place the rusks on baking sheets with some space around each rusk and dry them in a cool oven (65 - 90°C) for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Leave the oven door slightly open to aid the drying process.

Notes

  • For the cranberry-nut mixture: I mix together a ¼ cup each of dried cranberries, raw cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I give it all a rough chop before adding.
  • You can replace this mixture with any other of your liking (I use cashew nuts because my husband can't eat other nuts), or just with some muesli or raisins.
  • I am not very good at cutting rusks, biscuits or brownies into uniform units. I have therefore invested in a rusk pan and cutter (available online at kitchen shops or at baking wholesalers). Once you have spooned the dough into the rusk pan, you spray the cutter with non-stick spray and push down into the dough. Remove the cutter and bake the rusks as indicated. Once the rusks have cooled down, you can break them apart from each other. 
  • The smaller you cut the rusks, the more you will have and the quicker they will dry out. However, don't cut them too small - you need a good-sized rusk to hold on to while dunking!