Healthy South African Sourdough Rusks with Oats, Nuts and Dried Fruit

South African rusks are twice-baked cookies. The second round in the oven makes the cookies crispy and dry, giving them a particularly long shelf life. Similar to Italian cantuccini, the rusks are therefore ideal for dunking in coffee or tea. This recipe is made with sourdough discard. This gives the cookies additional flavor and leavening power. If you use plant-based alternatives instead of butter and milk, you can also make the rusks vegan.

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Rusks: Healthy breakfast or small snack

These rusks contain wholegrain flour, nuts, flaxseed, rolled oats and dried fruit. They are great as a healthy snack between meals or as a small breakfast, especially for those who are short on time or not very hungry in the morning.

What you need for these South African sourdough cookies

  • Wheat flour, all-purpose or type 405.
  • Rolled oats: If you use quick oats, the rusks will crumble less when you cut them, but the recipe also works with old-fashioned rolled oats.
  • Whole grain wheat flour: Self-milled whole grain flours have a richer taste and more nutrients compared to supermarket flours. However, they do not keep as long and should be used immediately after grinding. If you don’t have the opportunity to grind your own flour, you can of course also use store-bought flour. If you want to use more wholemeal flour than listed in the recipe, you will probably need to increase the amount of water. Wholemeal flours absorb more water than white flours.
  • chopped walnuts: You can also use other seeds and nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds.
  • Flaxseed, ground.
  • Cranberries or other dried fruit, such as raisins or apricots. Larger pieces of fruit should be roughly chopped with a knife beforehand.
  • Sourdough discard or sourdough starter: Because this recipe contains an additional leavening agent, it is not important how fit your sourdough starter is. It works just as well with freshly fed sourdough as with starter that has been waiting in the fridge for a week. I feed my sourdough starter with roughly equal parts flour and water. I use a mixture of wheat and rye flour. If you feed your sourdough in a different ratio, you will probably need to adjust the proportion of water in this recipe.
  • Melted butter (or a vegan alternative) and a neutral-flavored oil. Baking and frying oils are best suited for the rusks. Cold-pressed oils usually have a very strong taste of their own. If you still prefer to use cold-pressed oils, you could use sunflower oil, for example.
  • Sugar for sweetness.
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can mix normal milk with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. This also works with oat or soy milk for vegan rusks.
  • salt
  • Baking powder is used as a leavening agent. That’s why you can bake these rusks not only with sourdough starter, but also with sourdough discard.

In three steps: How to make rusks

  1. Mix the liquid ingredients with the ground flaxseed and leave to rest briefly. Mix all the ingredients to form a dough.
  2. Preheat the oven, place the cookie dough on a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Leave the rusks to cool briefly, cut into pieces and bake for another 30 minutes until crispy.

Helpful tools – My recommendations

The links with an star* are affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and buy something, I get a small commission and you support my work (thanks for that 🧡). This does not change the price for you. You can find more information on privacy policy here.

  • A grain mill* for freshly ground wholemeal flour.
  • A Danish Whisk* – especially if you don’t use a kitchen machine. This allows you to mix your ingredients without the whole dough sticking to the spoon.
  • A kitchen scale*.
  • You can use a stainless steel dough knife* to cut your dough pieces or shape your loaves.
  • A steam tray consisting of a stainless steel oven mould* and lava stones*. The tray is filled with the stones and placed on the bottom of the oven during preheating. When you put your bread in the oven, pour hot water onto the stones. This creates steam, which ensures that your bread rises well.
  • A cooling rack* for bread, rolls and waffles.
  • A stainless steel kettle* with different temperature settings for soaking ingredients.
  • A sharp bread knife*.

You can find more product recommendations here.

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Recipe: Healthy South African Sourdough Rusks with Oats, Nuts and Dried Fruit

South African rusks are twice-baked cookies. The second round in the oven makes the cookies crispy and dry, giving them a particularly long shelf life. Similar to Italian cantuccini, the rusks are therefore ideal for dunking in coffee or tea. This recipe is made with sourdough discard. This gives the cookies additional flavor and leavening power. If you use plant-based alternatives instead of butter and milk, you can also make the rusks vegan.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Drying 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course biscuits with Sourdough, Rusks, twice baked cookies
Cuisine south african
Servings 40 Cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g wheat flour or type 405
  • 100 g rolled oats
  • 75 g wholegrain wheat flour
  • 75 g walnuts chopped, or other nuts and seeds
  • 75 g flaxseed ground
  • 100 g cranberries
  • 125 g sourdough discard or sourdough starter
  • 125 g oil with neutral taste
  • 125 g butter or a vegan alternative, melted
  • 125 g sugar
  • 250 g buttermilk or oat milk with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder

Instructions
 

  • Mix the melted butter with the oil, buttermilk, sourdough starter, sugar, salt and flaxseed and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly toast the rolled oats and chopped nuts in a pan and leave to cool.
  • Roughly chop the cranberries.
  • Mix the flour, wholegrain flour, rolled oats, nuts and cranberries into the liquid ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper, place the dough on it and press it flat with wet hands.
  • Bake the rusks for about 50 minutes, leave to cool briefly and cut into about 40 oblong pieces.
  • Divide the rusks between two baking trays so that there is more space between the cookies.
  • Reduce the heat to 160 degrees and bake the rusks for another 30 minutes until crispy. Turn halfway through the baking time.
  • Store the rusks in a closed container.
Keyword breakfast, discard recipe, healthy, snack, whole grain, with sourdough

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South African sourdough rusks

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I’m Theresa and I bake – preferably with sourdough. I share my favorite recipes with you on my blog Krümelig.

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