Dipping into the past…


Not something my European guest really knows.(Maybe the Londoners with all the South African living there). Once tasted most people want some more, especially with this recipe! The origin lies with the Voortrekker, in the olden days with it being hard to keep things fresh drying was a good preservative.

So this bread type mixture is baked, cut into blocks and dried in the oven. As with everything there are hundreds of recipes and varieties from Boere beskuit (long thin milky white rusks speckled with aniseed) to modern mixtures of wholesome flour, bran and seed. Lately you even get Ruscotti’s, a blend between rusks and Italian biscotti’s. It is eaten dipped in tea coffee or milk to soak up moisture again and enjoyed for an early morning delight or a wholesome snack at tea time.


My favorite (and easiest) is still the following recipe

500g butter

500ml buttermilk

15ml/1tbsp vanilla

8oog plain flour

45ml/3tbsp baking powder

350g sugar

45g bran flakes

250ml/ 1 cup seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or a mixture)

750ml/3 cups/500g all bran flakes


Melt butter over low heat. Remove and stir in buttermilk and vanilla

Mix the rests of the ingredients in a big mixing bowl.

Pour butter over and mix with hands together and make sure it’s well blended.

Press in greased bread or square baking tins.

Bake at 180°C for 1 hour.

Leave in pans to cool off. Turn out and cut in blocks when totally cooled

Pack out onto biscuit baking trays; leave enough space to allow air to circulate around pieces. Dry at 100°C for 2 to 3 hours, till it is totally dry and crispy. Keep the oven door slightly open with a tea towel.



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