Hunters' Traditional Crusty Coffee Companion

Updated: May 6

In virtually every post in the fore-going series I mention early morning wake-ups for hunting and refer to "coffee and rusks". In South Africa they are inseparable twins - not only for hunters, but every day in every household. It gradually corrects the morning's low blood sugar condition after the long night without sustenance and carries the hunter through to even a late breakfast.


It of course can never replace a red meat protein breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but it assists that clear mind, controlled breathing and steady hold and smooth trigger pressure required when the hunter takes a possible 9 a.m. shot after having been on an animal's tracks since 7 a.m.


Here is an easy recipe for buttermilk rusks (just 18 "biscuits" for a start).


This is what the crusty, tasty bicuits look look like after drying overnight in a low heat oven. They are specifically designed to be dunked into your coffee:





Buttermilk rusks cut to size.










Buttermilk rusks broken to size.









This is the What and the How:


WHAT

1 lb of self raising flour (previous error of 2 lbs corrected)

½ teaspoon salt

½ lb butter

7 oz sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg.


HOW:

1. Put the flour in a large enough mixing bowl.

2. Cut the butter into little blocks and rub it by hand into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

3. Thoroughly mix the sugar into the mixture.

4. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together and mix it well into the flour mixture.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 360 degrees F.

6. Lightly coat the inside of a 4" x 9" (or there-abouts) bread pan with butter.

7. Bake for 1 hour - test by inserting a narrow knife into the dough. It must retract perfectly cleanly.

8. Dump the “bread” on a grid and let it cool completely, then cut in 1” x 1" rusks.

9. Dry the rusks on a grid overnight in the oven at 200 degrees F with the oven door slightly ajar.


Interesting variations can me made: Add two cups of muesli, or two cups of bran (or 1 cup of coconut, or 1 cup raisins, or whatever you like) with the sugar and mix well. Compare the relative wetness with the plain rusks and add a little buttermilk if necessary - but not too much. Also you can adjust the amount of sugar to your preference after the basic recipe has been tried.


No matter which type you bake, 18 rusks will not last you and the family for long - so just double the ingedients the second time around. Once baked it lasts forever without spoiling.

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