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Beskuit (rusks)

Beskuit, known as "rusks" in English, is made from dough, broken or cut into chunks or slices after baking, and then slowly dried in an oven. It is usually briefly dipped into a warm drink such as coffee, tea, or rooibos tea before being eaten.

The one downside of rusks is that you need to time your dunk-time perfectly. Perhaps, like Jaco, you don’t want the bottom half of your rusk to break off when you get distracted while dunking. Which is why he likes these egg-free buttermilk rusks; they are dense, and less likely to splash into your coffee.

Custard and almonds add a delicate flavour to rusks.

The original recipe for custard and almond rusks appeared in Woman's Value, back in 1998. It is about time to put it under people's noses again, so here's Marietjie's version, which introduces just a hint of spice.

Marietjie's mum enjoyed sewing and during the 80's she attended Knitwit classes for home dressmakers, which taught quick and easy ways to work with knit and stretch fabrics. They also exchanged fast and easy recipes, and this recipe was known as Knitwit Bran Rusks.

Orange juice rusks not only have a refreshing citrus flavour, they are also ideal for people with lactose-intolerance when made with dairy free margarine.

This is one square meal in a rusk - and it is a health rusk (gesondheidsbeskuit) too, because it is high in fibre and packed with healthy seeds and nuts.

It's a flexible recipe, so you can easily change the recipe. See the notes below the recipe for some ideas.

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.

Two or three rusks and a hot drink can replace a meal, especially if the rusks are made from ingredients that are high in fibre, such as All Bran.

Wholewheat rusks are high in fibre and therefore quite healthy.

Buttermilk is a popular beskuit flavour. It is quick and easy to make, because you can use self-raising flour.