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For those who do not know, rusks are similar to Italian biscotti, and are a much loved South African treat.  Dipped into a cup of hot coffee they are a true delight, especially with that first cup of coffee in the morning.  Most South African homes are never without a tin of them in the cupboard.

Rusks date back to the Voortrekkers, the Afrikaners who trekked across South African with their ox wagons and were made out of the need to have foods that would keep for a very long time.

Makes about 20 pieces

Ingredients:

500g / 4 cups self raising flour (farine pour gateau)
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g / 2 sticks cold butter, cut into small cubes
200g / 1 cup white sugar
250ml / 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C / 360F
Butter and flour (or use non stick baking spray) a bread tin (21cm long, 11cm wide and 7cm high (8 x 4 x 3 inches approx))
Place the flour, salt and cold butter into a large bowl
Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Add the sugar and mix
Whisk the buttermilk and egg
Add to the flour mixture and mix well with a fork
Pour the dough into the baking tin
Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a rack
Once cooled completely, cut the loaf into pieces and place on an ungreased baking sheet
Heat the oven to 100C / 200F
Place the sheet in the oven for at least 8 hours until completely dry, crunchy and brittle
Make yourself a large cup of coffee and dip your rusk to enjoy

Bon Appétit!