Let's first take a look at the ingredients and then I'll walk you through the steps of baking it:
The first thing to do is to melt the 1,5 kg margarine. I simply pop it in the microwave to speed things along.
- 5 kg Wheat Flour
- 175 ml Baking Powder
- 20 ml Salt
- 30 g Aniseed (optional)
- 1,5 kg margarine
- 3,5 l Amasi
- 6 Eggs
- 1 kg sugar (5 cups)
I then neat the 6 eggs in a bowl before adding the 3,5 litres Amasi to the eggs. I mix this well. I will add the melted margarine to this once it has cooled down, but in the meantime I will mix the dry ingredients.
I empty 5 kg wheat flour in a large bowl. I add 175 ml B=baking powder and 20 ml salt. If I make the aniseed version, I add it to the dry ingredients. I also add 5 cups of sugar.
Mix the dry ingredients well.
With the margarine cooled down, I add it to the egg/amasi mixture. I do not add it unless it has cooled down, since the hot margarine can cook the eggs. Mix thoroughly.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. This will be gooey and stick to your hands, but keep at it.
You know that the dough is ready when your hands come out clean and the dough forms a neat ball that releases from the bottom and sides of the bowl.
It is time to set the oven to 180°C.
Spray your rusk pans with non-stick coating or use the empty paper from the margarine wrapping to coat the pans.
Fill the pans about 2/3 to the top. This is how many pans I fill with the dough.
Put the pans in the oven, but do not crowd them. You can rather bake a second batch than to put too many pans in the oven at once. Simply cover the ones waiting to go into the oven with plastic to prevent them drying out and pop them in once the first batch comes out. They will bake for about an hour and a half. Once they turn golden brown on top and start to loosen from the sides of the pan you can test with a skewer to see if they are done. If the skewer comes out clean, they are done. If dough sticks to the skewer, they need to bake some more.
Once they are done you can remove the pans from the oven and place them somewhere to cool down. When the pans are cool enough to touch with your bare hands you can slide the rusks out and let them cool down further on a wire rack.
When all the rusks are baked, bring the temperature on the oven down to about 100°C. Cut the rusks into thick slices with a bread knife and cut then cut the slices into thick fingers.
Put the oven racks back in the oven and wedge the door open slightly. The rusks will take approximately 8 hours to dry this way. Before taking them out, break one of the rusks in two and check that it is bone dry in the middle. They may appear dry on the outside without being dry on the inside.
Dried rusks will keep well for months in a cake tin at room temperature. Dip the rusks in coffee and enjoy as a breakfast snack or at tea time.
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