Aniseed Rusks

These Aniseed Rusks are such a traditional South African staple and one of my favourite rusks to keep my kitchen stocked for that early morning or in-between snack. I knead the dough by hand because of the large volume – it literally is too much for any machine kneading!

2,5kg flour

250ml sugar

4eggs, lightly beaten

30g instant yeast

30ml salt

250g butter

1 can condensed milk

750ml water

15ml aniseed seeds

Cut the butter into cubes.

Pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat.

Add the cubed butter and stir the mixture so that the butter may melt.

Add the condensed milk, sugar, salt and eggs and give the mixture a good stir with wooden spoon.

Pour about 100ml lukewarm water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir so that the yeast dissolves.

Pour onto the rest of the mixture, mix through and cover. Allow to stand for one hour.

Add the flour and aniseed to the yeast mixture and knead the dough until it is smooth and springy to the touch. It should take about ten minutes, which will give you an excellent workout!

Cover the dough with damp tea towel and allow to proof for one hour or until doubled in size.

Knock the dough down.

Prepare two large bread tins by greasing it with soft butter.

Now, pinch off a piece of dough that is about the size of a golf ball. Pack the “balls” tightly together and keep going until all of the dough has been utilised.

Cover the bread tins one more time, with a damp tea towel.

Preheat your oven to 170℃.

Bake the rusks for one hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Once the rusks are cooled you may break them up and place them lying down, on a baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 50℃ and dry the rusks for about three hours.

Allow to cool before packing into a glass jar.

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