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Modern "Mosbolletjies" rusks

Mosbolletjies is the king of beskuit (rusks). It is sweetened, leavened yeast buns, delicately flavoured with anise seed, then baked, broken into pieces, and dried.

Mosbolletjies is not common in New Zealand though, because it is a time-consuming affair to make rusks with yeast, but also because "mos" (grape must) is not readily available in supermarkets. Through trail and error, Marietjie developed an easy recipe that is very close to Mosbolletjies, using Surebake yeast and a bread maker.

Ingredients

  • 10 ml Surebake instant yeast
  • 120 gram sugar
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml anise seed
  • 600 gram high grade flour
  • 30 ml ground gluten flour
  • 60 gram butter
  • 300 ml water

Method

  1. Place yeast and all the dry ingredients in the bread maker's bread pan. Add butter and pour water into the pan.
  2. Close lid, set program on "dough only" cycle (called "pizza" cycle on some bread makers) and start machine. It should take about 45 minutes.
  3. After the cycle completed, switch unit off and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Set to the "dough only" program again and start. Switch machine off after finished.
  5. Leave dough in closed unit to rise to double or three times the original size. Remove the dough when it rose to the brim of the bread pan. It will take about 4 to 6 hours at room temperature (or a warm cupboard in winter).
  6. Knead dough down for 5 minutes. You could do it by hand, or set the program on the "dough only" cycle again. Do not let the machine finish the cycle, but switch the machine off after 5 minutes.
  7. Remove bread pan from unit, form dough into small balls, and place balls in a greased oven pan or similar container.
  8. A large bread or rusk loaf pan is ideal (and very traditional) but any shape will do. A square container measuring 25 cm x 25 cm and 10 cm high will be suitable for 36 balls, laid out as 6 rows of 6 each.
  9. Let the dough rise for about 6 hours in a warm place, or until it is three times the original size. On a cold day it might take longer, on a warm day it will be quicker. See the note below if it's the middle of winter.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Paint the buns with milk, and bake for approximately an hour in the oven at 180°C.
  12. Using a fork, gently separate the rusks from each other.
  13. Dry overnight in a slow oven, between 80°C to 100°C.
Notes: 

If the dough won't rise because your kitchen's too cold, you can convert your oven into a warm, damp rising cupboard.

Pour freshly boiled water into a container and place it in the bottom of your cold oven. Place the container with your rusk balls on the centre shelf and close the door. Replace the water every now and then to keep the oven warm and damp, until the rusk balls are three times their original size.