Safari Memories: Healthy Rusks

My next door neighbor is from South Africa and she craves her Mother’s cooking.  We were discussing favorites and of course, rusks topped the list.  These are so good in the morning with a cup of Roobois tea or coffee.  On a safari vacation, they were served every morning & I got totally addicted. I’m positive these are based on hard tack biscuits from the Dutch trading ships….maybe that is just a romantic illusion.  Rusks will last forever and they can be loaded up with all the healthy things you love…..nuts, dried fruit, oats, seeds….yummy.  I hike a lot & these are the absolute best trail snack.  True….the wildlife in the woods of the MidAtlantic is a bit different from an African safari.   I’ve heard rusks referred to as African biscotti, but I think they are much better.  Give it a try and you’ll become addicted, too.  Enjoy !!


1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup sugar ( I use Splenda)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cream of tartar(optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk (or whey)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.

Combine all the wet ingredients, pour into the dry.  Stir until you have a soft dough, like biscuit dough.  Roll into small walnut-size balls & pack tightly in one layer in greased loaf pan.  Turn the pan on end to assist stacking the balls in the pan.

Bake for about 25 min until tops are crisp & browned.  Remove loaves from pan & pull or cut the rusks apart.  Loosely pile the rusks on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200 degree oven all day or all night(4-5 12 hrs) until dry.  The finished rusks should be very dry and hard.  Cool and store in an airtight container.   Rusks will keep for weeks.

Option: Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and pat in a 1/2 thickness.  Cut the dough into 2×4 inch rectangles.  Bake about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.

Variations:  Use peanuts, pecans or walnuts; dried cranberries, flaxseeds, and/or sunflower seeds.

About Pat Thomas

I love what food brings to our lives other than the needed nutrition. I share all my foodie experiments with friends & family. Thankfully they are usually delighted but always kind with whatever I've cooked up.
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