I am an early bird. Don’t call me crazy, but I do, get up at around four in the morning. I sit for my work for an hour and a half and around six, I move to the kitchen for school lunch boxes and the routine starts. When working in the morning, the first tea is Pranav’s special tea, which he prepares for us both.
We also prefer to take something light along tea in the morning. Due to the constant trials of various recipes for the blog, at home, there are always jars of homemade munching ready. Today we had Milk Rusk with our morning special tea.
This homemade rusk took me to my childhood. Simple and slightly sweet milky flavour, the crunchy texture was totally what we as kids use to have with evening milk. I remember that big house and a very big family of mine, where all cousins together would finish a big jar of Rusk with evening milk. I use to look for the rusk with a raisin in it. Mom never made these at home. It was a kind of daily purchase from the bakery opposite my home. The flavour and the texture of these milk rusk I baked is so much similar to the ones I have had almost all my childhood.
Once again Ossoro helped me to get that milky, subtle flavours without much effort. This little bottle of Milk Rusk is packed with those childhood aromas. Just a few drops in the dough elevated the flavours. It is a strong concentrated oil based essence, which is easy to use. I simply love the fact that, with Ossoro it gets so easy to accomplish any flavour without much effort. If you try it, you will know what a magic it can create in any confectionary bake. Ossoro Milk Rusk, 30 ml
Before we go ahead, I would like to mention few things about Rusk.
1. Rusk is very similar to Italian Biscotti. Here in India, it is known as Rusk. We have mainly two types of Rusk, Milk Rusk and Cake Rusk. Milk Rusk is twice baked enriched bread and Cake Rusk is twice baked cake. There is a savoury version also, known as Masala Rusk.
2. Rusk is also used as a teething food for kids.
3. When made at home, we can replace maida (all purpose flour) with whole wheat flour and can control the sugar too.
4. Rusk is a common coffee/tea companion almost everywhere in the world. Of course, known with different names.
In Norway, rusk is referred to as kavring, and in Swedish they call it skorpor.
Philippine version of rusk is called Biscocho. In portuguese, rusk is called tosta.
The Russian version is called sookhar and Tvebak is a Danish type of rusk.
A Finnish type of rusk is called korppu, usually, a dried piece of bun, flavoured with cinnamon and sugar
Zwieback in Germany and in Greece Paximadi, made using barley or chickpea flour
In Japan, rusk is often a delicacy made from a baguette, cake or even croissant. And the list is long.
Though we don’t have to do anything with what name they call it, we definitely can learn different flavour and techniques used in making rusk all around the world.
A quick glimpse of the recipe – 1. Knead a yeasted dough and add few drops of Ossoro Milk Rusk flavour to it. 2. Let it rest in a warm place where its gets double in the size. 3. Punch the dough and knock off all air. 3. Shape the dough again and place it in a baking pan for second rise 4. Once again the dough will get double in size when kept in a warm place. 5. Bake it in a preheated oven. 6. Let it cool on a wire rack 7. Once cool to touch use a serrated knife to cut it into slices and bake it again till crisp/ golden on both sides.
You can refer to these links here for the better understanding of the bread baking, yeast and gluten formation.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4th cup of milk powder
1 tablespoon dry yeast
4 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of soft butter
Lukewarm water – to knead the dough
Few drops of Ossoro Milk Rusk essence
Ossoro Milk Rusk, 30 ml
Milk to brush on the top before baking
Dissolve a pinch of sugar in a 1/4th cup of lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast over it. Leave it for 5 minutes to froth.
In a bowl mix together flour, milk powder, salt, sugar and yeasted water. Add more water (little at a time) and start to mix with your fingers till all the flour comes together. Scrape the dough onto a clean work surface and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Then slowly add in butter little by little. And keep kneading till a smooth elastic dough is formed.
By kneading I mean-pushing the dough away from you and folding it back on itself towards you. Repeat this process for at least 10 minutes, you’ll feel the dough getting progressively more elastic and soft. Add in few drops of Ossoro essence and knead again. Once this is done, shape into a ball.
Grease a big bowl with some butter, place the ball in this – cover with a fitting lid or a damp tea towel and keep in the warmest area of your kitchen. You need to give the dough 1-2 hours rest for it to double in size and this totally depends on the weather conditions, which is why I cannot give you an exact time.
Tip: 1. Never add too much water in the flour at one go. Because every flour has different absorbency level. Go by your judgement and see if you require more or less liquid.
When to stop kneading – If you stretch a small piece of dough between your fingers the dough will stretch into a paper thin film, if the dough quickly breaks you will need to knead more.
Once the dough is double in size, tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and punch the dough to knock off all the air. Knead and stretch the dough into a flattened shape, the same size of a rectangular baking tin. Transfer your dough to the parchment-lined baking tin. Cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size.
Use a pastry brush Tanyash Hua You Silicon Oil Brush (Color varies based on availability) to brush the top of risen dough with some milk and bake in the preheated oven at 200* C for 20-25 minutes. If you see that the top of the bread is getting darker place a loose foil paper on the top.
To check if it’s ready, tap the bread with a knuckle – it should sound hollow. When done remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack out of the tin. Remove the loaf of bread after about 10 minutes and let it cool further till it gets to room temperature.
Use a sharp serrated knife ACE Stainless Steel Bread Knife, Red to cut the baked bread into 14th-inch pieces. Arrange all the pieces on another baking tray.
Place them in a cold oven. Set your oven temperature after putting the cake pieces in the oven at 100*C for 15-20 minutes.
Flip the sides of the rusk, one by one after every 5- 7 minutes of baking for even colour. Once done let the rusk cool in the oven with a slight door open.
Take it out from oven and after 5 to 10 minutes serve with tea, coffee or cold milk. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!