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South African Recipes


Recipes on this page:All Bran Rusks, Breakfast Rusks, Brownbread Rusks, Buttermilk Rusks, Condensed milk Rusks, Drive Rusks, Farmhouse Finger Rusks, Kalahari Rusks, Tradional Rusks

All Bran Rusks

1 kg self-raising flour

2 cups of sugar

500 g margarine

5 cups of All Bran Flakes

500 ml buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder.


Melt marge and sugar together.  Cool.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and add marge/sugar mix. Spray oven tray with 'Spray-and-cook'.

Press into oven tray.  Cook for 45 mins @ 180º.  Cut up, then break into pieces.  Lay on oven trays in oven at 100º for a couple of hours to dry.

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 ºC (350 ºF). 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 ºC (200 ºF). Makes about 40 rusks.

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 ºC and after that overnight at 60 ºC until bone dry. Keep in an airtight container.


Buttermilk Rusks

This is a traditional yeast-baked rusk - great for dunking in your tea or coffee early in the morning when you watch the sun rise as the boer trekkers did every morning when they traveled from the Cape to the Transavaal.

If the rusks are to be kept for a long time, do not substitute margarine for the butter.


375g butter
500g sugar
2 extra large eggs
1,5kg self-raising flour
30ml (2 tablespoons) baking powder
500ml (2 cups) buttermilk or plain drinking yogurt

How to prepare it

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cream the butter and sugar together very well. Add the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder together, and add this to the creamed mixture, using a fork to mix. Add the buttermilk or yogurt, using a little milk to rinse out the carton. Mix well with a fork and then knead lightly. Pack lightly rolled, golf ball sized buns of the dough into the greased bread pans close together, and bake for 45-55 minutes. Place the pans in the middle of the oven, with a sheet of brown paper on the top shelf to protect the buns from becoming browned too quickly.

Remove the paper after the buns are well risen and cooked through, to brown the tops. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Turn out the buns on to cake racks, cool them and separate them, using 2 forks. Pack them on wire racks or on cooled oven racks – air must circulate. Place them in the cool oven, leaving the door ajar, for 4-5 hours, or overnight, to dry out.

If no buttermilk or yogurt is available, use fresh milk curdled with lemon juice or white vinegar.



(Makes 120 rusks)

The easy way out for those who can't or won't bake mosbolletjies.

1 tin (397 g) condensed milk
500 ml (2 cups) boiling water
250 g (250 ml/1 cup) butter
200 g (250 ml/1 cup) sugar
500 ml (2 cups) cold water
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
2 cakes of fresh yeast (25 g each), crumbled
1 packet (2,5 kg) cake flour
25 ml (2 T) salt
50 ml (4 T) aniseed (optional)

4 greased loaf tins

1. Mix condensed milk, boiling water, butter and sugar until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Add cold water, eggs, yeast and half the flour. Mix thoroughly to a smooth batter. Do not be too concerned if small pieces of yeast are still visible. Cover and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours to allow the leavening to rise and become spongy.

2. Punch back the leavening and add salt, aniseed (if used) and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Sprinkle more flour, a little at a time, onto the dough board and knead well until the dough no longer sticks to the board. Knead for 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If another pair of hands is available, divide the dough into two and knead separately.

3. Complete dough by leaving it to prove, punching back, pinching into balls, packing tightly in greased baking tins and setting aside to rise again.

4. Bake the rusk loaf for 40-50 minutes. Cover with aluminium foil, shiny side up, as soon as the top becomes too brown. Turn out and leave to cool. Break into rusks and dry out.

 Drive Rusks

2 kg Self-raising flour
25 ml Baking powder
10ml Salt
750 ml Desiccated coconut
500 ml Castor Sugar
4 Xl eggs
500 g Butter melted
1 L Milk
60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
2 each Orange and lemon zested
Pre heat oven to 160°C
Grease two loaf tins
Combine all dry ingredients except sugar
Beat Sugar, eggs, butter and milk until well mixed
Add juice and zest
Combine wet and dry ingredients to form dough
Shape into balls and place in tins
Bake for 20 minutes and reduce temp to 140°C and bake for 60 min (skewer test)


500 g self-raising flour
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
500 ml (2 cups) porridge oats
75 ml (5 tbsp) currants (optional)
125 g butter, melted
2 large free-range eggs
about 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
90 ml (6 tbsp) oil

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. If using bran-rich flour, add the bran left in the sieve. Mix in the sugar, oats and currants, if using, then mix in the melted butter. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil, then add to the flour mixture. Combine well; the dough should be squishy and soft. If using a lot of bra-rich flour, you will need a little extra buttermilk. Turn the dough into either a 26 x 9 x 7 cm loaf tin, oiled and then lined (base and sides) with baking paper, or a 20 x 26 cm baking tin, lined in the same way. In both cases, spread evenly, leveling the top with your dampened hand and a wet wooden spoon. Bake the rectangular batch at 180ºC for 45 minutes. The loaf tin, being deeper, will take about 1 hour. Cool before turning out.

For perfect finger shapes, cut off the crusty sides before cutting across into thick slices and then into fingers. Arrange on baking sheets lined with several layers of baking paper (as the rusks tend to brown quickly) and dry out in a very low oven about 100ºC, for several hours, turning once.

Once dry, leave to cool in the oven before storing. Makes dozens, depending on how thick and short or long and thinly you slice the fingers.


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

Traditional Rusks

2 cups unbleached white flour

2 cups whole wheat bread flour (coarsely ground if possible)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients, pour them into the dry ingredients, and stir until you have a soft dough, similar to biscuit dough. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll or pat it to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough into rectangles about 2 by 4 inches. Bake the rusks about 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheet for about 25 minutes until the tops are crisping and browning a little. Now, eat a few "soft" rusks warm from the oven. Loosely pile the rusks on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200 degree oven all day or all night (about 12 hours) to dry. The finished rusks should be very dry and hard. Cool and store in an airtight container. Rusks will keep for weeks.


Oatmeal-Raisin Rusks: Reduce the white flour to 1 1/2 cups and add 2 cups rolled oats and 1/2 cup currants or chopped raisins.

Almond Rusks: Add 1 cup chopped almonds and omit the cinnamon.

Peanut Rusks: Add 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts.

Anise Rusks: Omit the cinnamon and almond extract and add 2 tsp. pure anise extract or 1 Tbsp. anisette