These muesli rusks are easy and delicious to make and the bonus is they are gluten-free and low in sugar. You could also replace the sugar with erythritol. They are also the most popular recipe on my blog. South Africans and people with links to South Africa are making them all over the world!!
I love rusks, with early morning coffee on camping trips, holidays, hiking trips, and coffee in bed. It has been very much ingrained in me. If there are rusks in my home I will eat them. So I don’t buy them often and to the disappointment of my family, I don’t bake them often. That is until I developed this recipe.
What are rusks?
Rusks or beskuit are very much a South African thing and are basically dried biscuits something similar to biscotti but less sweet. It can be dunk in coffee & tea. It is often eaten for breakfast. If you have never made your own rusks you won’t realise what high quantities of butter and sugar are in rusks. Our grandmothers really did know how to add sugar & butter to baked goods. Some recipes claim to be healthy but in reality, only the fibre has been increased by adding bran.
I have tested many rusks recipes, reducing sugar, and making them vegan. Adding various gluten-free flour blends has ended up rock hard or a crumbly mess.
So developing these ‘Healthier’ gluten-free rusks had me feeling like I won the rusk Lotto. My sister had a baby three weeks ago and I made a batch for them and got the thumbs up. Next time I will double up the recipe because it did not last long at all.
You can also try your hand at making your own gluten-free flour mix, try this recipe and store in jar.
Gluten-free flour mix
290 g white rice flour 290g brown rice flour 230g potato flour 175g tapioca flour 14g xantum gum
Sieve ingredients together a few times to make sure it is mixed through.Also, use balloon whisk to stir Store in a 1L glass container. Use instead of wheat flour in baking
You can get creative by adding different nuts and seeds. I added cranberries instead of raisins and often find that raisins swell up and burn when baked so I actually prefer currants. Other replacements could also be desiccated coconut, poppy, sesame, and even hemp seeds.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand use plain yogurt or add 2tbs of vinegar to milk and leave for a few minutes to curdle.
All gluten-free flour blends differ, but if you want to make sure that the risks don’t crumble. Add 5ml xantham gum to the dry ingredients.
I love using my Panneman rusks pan, they work so well. The small pan will work for this recipe.
Working with Gluten-free flours are a tricky balance and to make life easier try to use a Gluten-free self-raising flour blend where the work has been done for you. This is a delicious rusk recipe with reduced sugar content and a good crumb texture.
1/2 cup sugar but could be increased to 3/4 cup if you like your rusks sweeter
1/2 cup raisins or cranberries
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup flaxseeds
250 ml buttermilk or yogurt
125g melted butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
5ml vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180˚C
Add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir. Now add the sugar, oats and all the nuts, raisins and seeds.
Measure the buttermilk in a measuring jug and add eggs, vanilla, melted butter and olive oil. Mix with a fork and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until you get a thick dough-like batter. Do not add more flour. This is a soft dough and is fairly sticky.
Empty the mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper and greased with oil or butter. The baking tray should be about 23 x 33cm and 3-5 cm deep.
Spread it evenly around in the tin and bake for about 45minutes until cooked and golden brown.
Remove and allow to cool, turn out onto a large chopping board and cut into even fingers. Place back in baking tray on sides. Leave some space between rusks. If it is easier you could also cut the rusks in the tray and just turn them sideways.
Dry out overnight (8-9 hours) in a 60˚C oven or for 6 hours in a 100˚C oven. Turn them over once if you can so the rusks can dry on both sides.
Another drying method I often use is to preheat the oven for about 10 minutes and then turn the oven off. Leave the rusks in the oven until completely cooled down. Or place the rusks back in a hot oven after you used it for something else. And let the oven cool down with the rusks inside. Repeat this process about 3-4 times until the rusks are dry. This will save you some electricity costs.