Rusk assessment: the results are in

2017-04-24 06:00

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Whether you’re a fan of old-school, no-frills buttermilk, prefer a bit of bumf in your beskuit or need to go gluten-free, your perfect dipper is out there waiting for you.

And we’ve tried them all (to make choosing easier, of course)

Photographs: Jan Ras

Buttermilk honey-and-almond

Practically pudding, buttermilk honey-and-almond rusks taste all treacly and delicious thanks to a double shot of sweetness courtesy of dark brown sugar and badger-friendly honey. Pretty nutty, right?


The brown bread of the rusk world, semelbeskuit is the virtuous choice for daily dippers. The digestive wheat bran adds a satisfying nutty flavour and coarser texture, and makes it a pretty decent brekkie stand-in.

Low GR multiseed 

All of the seeds – think linseed, sunflower and pumpkin – star in Woolies’ hearty Low GR (glycaemic response) multiseed rusks, made with a mix of stoneground flour, oatmeal, oat bran, pecan nuts and  Thompson raisins.


Mosbolletjie-style rusks boast the same feathered texture and aniseed flavour of the original spongy bake. A quick dip in some honeyed, milky rooibos is the treatment this SA icon deserves.

Buttermilk muesli 

Buttermilk muesli rusks are crunchy-chewy thanks to a genius mix of oats, biscuit crumbs, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut and almonds that's sweetened with golden syrup, honey and molasses. Also available in a sugar-replacement variety.


Woolies’ buttermilk rusks will give your local tannie’s a run for their money. Nothing fancy: just creamy, tangy Ayrshire buttermilk, butter, free-range eggs, sugar and salt, mixed and twice-baked to golden, crumbly goodness.  They’re also available in a no-sugar variety.

Buttermilk bran

Buttermilk bran rusks dish out a double whammy of fibre, with bran flakes – like the kind you eat with milk – and wheat bran. A leisurely soak in some hot coffee and you have yourself a party. They’re also available in a no-sugar variety.

Free from gluten buttermilk seeded

If regular rusks go against your gut, you need free from gluten buttermilk seeded rusks, stat. They’re made with a mix of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch and xanthan gum, with some dried coconut, linseed, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds thrown in for free.

Carb-clever buttermilk

Carb-dodging doesn’t have to mean dissing your beloved dunkables. Just stock up on some carb-clever buttermilk rusks, which rely on almond flour, coconut, psyllium husks and seeds to give you a little something to hold onto.

And that’s what we like to call a slam dunk. All of these rusks plus delicious new waffle and cinnarusk varieties – are handmade (using free-range eggs) by a local community in Wellington in the Western Cape. 


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