A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread. It is sometimes used as a teether for babies. In some cultures, rusk is made of cake, rather than bread: this is sometimes referred to as cake rusk. In the UK, the name also refers to a wheat-based food additive.
Rusk is called sukhary (Azerbaijani: suxarı - a loanword from Russian via Persian) in Azerbaijani. It is usually (but not always) made from stale bread and buns. In Baku, some bakeries use their stale buns and bread for making rusks. The price of rusk in those bakeries is usually low, as the bakeries do this to avoid wasting the leftover bread and buns.
Sponge rusk is similar to biscotti but it is made out of twice-baked yellow cake batter. The yellow cake batter is baked into a flat, rectangular cake pan. After it is baked and cooled, it is sliced into strips and baked again or toasted to make cake toast. It is usually eaten with Cuban coffee (Cuban espresso) or as an accompaniment to ice cream, custard, or other dessert dishes.
Tvebak is derived from Dutch tweebak (literally "two bake"), an archaic synonym of beschuit.
A biscotte is a French type of rusk. They are sold packaged in supermarkets.
A Finnish type of rusk is called korppu, usually a dried piece of bun, flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Korppu is a common coffee bread, normally eaten after having been dipped in coffee. A sour version, called hapankorppu, is a flat rusk made from rye flour and salt, and can be eaten like crispbread.
Zwieback (literally "twice baked") is a form of rusk in Germany. Like the Danish and French words, the name refers to being baked or cooked twice.
The term paximadi (Greek: παξιμάδι) covers various forms of Greek rusk, commonly made from barley or chickpea flour, and softened with wine, water, or oil before eating. Paximadi form the basis of the Cretan snack dakos (Greek: ντάκος).
In India rusk (or toast biscuit) is a traditional dried bread or cake. It is also known as papay, rattan, khasta (Hindi: खस्ता), russ or "cake rusk" in Hindi, Punjabi or "porai" பொறை in Tamil and Urdu or kathi biskut in Bengali. It is usually eaten at tea time with milky tea which softens the rusk. The sweet "cake rusk" version is made of cake whose ingredients include wheat flour, sugar, fat, leavening agent, and, optionally, eggs.
Double baked bread in Indonesia is called "bagelen", believed to originate from Bagelen, a village in Central Java. Before the second bake, the bread is smeared with sugar and buttercream. It is usually eaten as a snack.
In Iran, rusk is called nān-e sokhāri (Persian: نان سوخاری). It is made from wheat flour, sugar, skimmed milk powder, vegetable oil, gluten, malt extract, soy flour, salt, yeast, and water. It is eaten as a dunking biscuit, particularly with Persian chai (tea). The most common brand of naan sukhaari is Vitana.
In Italy, this form is called fette biscottate. It should not be confused with biscotti (twice-baked cookies or biscuits).
In Japan, rusk is often a delicacy made from baguette, cake or croissant. It is often sweet.
In the Levant this form is called boksum (Arabic: بقصم) in Iraq and Syria or qurshalla (Arabic:قرشلة) in Jordan. It is made from flour, eggs, oil or butter, sugar, yeast or baking powder, and sometimes a small amount of cardamon. It is topped with roasted sesame seeds, black caraway seeds, or anise, and eaten as a dunking biscuit, especially with herbal tea.
Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)
Beschuit, also known as Dutch crispbakes, are light, round, rather crumbly, rusks as eaten in the Netherlands and Belgium. When a baby is born in The Netherlands, it is customary to serve beschuit met muisjes (with "little mice", which are aniseeds covered in a white and pink or blue sugar layer, depending on the newborn's gender). Beschuiten are also eaten as a breakfast food with a variety of toppings, most commonly butter and sprinkles in flavours such as chocolate (chocoladehagel or chocoladevlokken) or fruit (vruchtenhagel), jam or cheese. A longtime Dutch favourite is to serve strawberries on beschuit, which is usually topped with some sugar or whipped cream.
Beschuiten are made by first baking a flat round bread (beschuitbol), slicing it in half, and then baking each half again, usually at a lower heat. It is almost always sold in rolls; a roll typically has 13 rusks (a baker's dozen). Etymologically, biscotto (16th-century Italian), biscuit (19th century, from 16th-century bisket) and beschuit come from the Latin phrase (panis) bis-coctus, (bread, twice cooked).
In Norway, rusk is referred to as kavring, and is similar to the Swedish skorpor. Crushed kavring, called strøkavring, is used, amongst other things, for making kjøttkaker and in the traditional dessert tilslørte bondepiker. Kavring is also broken up and can be served with regular, soured or cultured milk.
In Pakistan it is known as russ (Urdu: رس) or cake rusk. It is mostly found in large round biscuit shapes (russ), but also comes in long rectangular shapes (cake rusk). It is usually eaten at breakfast with milk tea. Sometimes it is also called Papay (Urdu: پاپے), specially in big cities like Karachi and Lahore.
The Portuguese version of rusk is called tosta. "Tosta" are a hard coarse-textured slice of bread - it can be sweet, but most often it is savory - and it can be of various shapes and thicknesses. It is often ground up and used as bread crumbs.
The Russian version is called sukhar' (Cyrillic: сухарь) from "сухой" - "dry". They are either baked a second time from sweet challah-like bread, sliced in biscotti fashion or made of leftover stale bread, cut into small cubes and air-dried or baked at a very low temperature. The first one is like a cookie, which can be served with milk, kefir, tea, coffee or cacao. The second one is usually added to soup, clear or otherwise, softening up from absorbed liquids and accompanying it instead of bread. It became a tradition to avoid wasting leftover bread that always was a staple in Russian cuisine. There is much folklore about bread in the Russian language, paying respect to this grain food that is one of the cornerstones of Slavic nations' life and history. Rye bread rusks are the major ingredient in making of the Russian Kvass, a traditional fermented beverage.
Rusks is the anglicized term for beskuit and is a traditional Afrikaner breakfast meal or snack. They have been dried in South Africa since the late 1690s as a way of preserving bread, especially when traveling long distances without refrigeration. Their use continued through the Great Trek and the Boer Wars through to the modern day. Rusks are typically dunked in coffee or tea before being eaten.
Rusks are essentially double-baked bread dough. Round balls of dough are closely packed in pans and baked like bread, after which long chunks are cut or broken off and slowly re-baked to a dry consistency. Several modern-day, mass-produced versions are available, the most famous brand being Ouma Rusks. Many bakeries, delis, and home industries sell commercial rusks, sometimes made from non-traditional ingredients, such as baking powder rather than sourdough. In addition to plain and buttermilk flavours, aniseed, wholewheat, condensed milk, muesli, and lemon poppyseed variations are also available.
In other South African homes, rusks are a guest's treat. When there are guests over, they are offered a plate of Rusks, though in some homes particularly Ndebele, they don't believe in offering their visitors food, they just give them a plate, if there aren't any scones around. This is a tradition in many homes. The rusks are normally often accompanied by a cup of tea, unlike Afrikaners where rusks are enjoyed for breakfast, other South Africans have them at just about any time in the day as a snack.
Rusks are also enjoyed in different ways. For example, because they are a hard dry biscuit many, mostly among kids, prefer to dunk their rusks in their tea before taking a bite, though that has certain consequences. Rusks are a very dear tradition to many South Africans.
Skorpor (plural; singular skorpa) are a Swedish form of rusk. They are usually unflavoured or flavoured with cardamom, but can also be flavoured with herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or spices such as anise. Swedish bakery company Pågen makes the world's most-sold rusk brand, Krisprolls. The traditional Swedish way to eat them is dipping them into a beverage such as coffee, milk or juice. You can also put butter and possibly cheese, marmalade or jam on top and eat them on the side of a beverage or a fruit soup.
Rusks are known in Sweden at least since the 16th century. Rusks were provisions in the military units and on ships. Back then they could also be crushed with a hammer and the crumbs ended up in svagdricka, beer and soup.
In Turkish, rusk is called peksimet. "Pek" stands for solid, tight, or durable in Turkish and "simet/simit" is an Arabic word [سميد] meaning bread, or flour. Another name is galeta, a loanword from Catalan.
To the British, butcher rusk is a dry biscuit broken into particles, sorted by particle size and sold to butchers and others for use as a food additive in sausage manufacture. Though originally made from stale bread, now called "bread-rusk", a yeast-free variety called simply "rusk" is now more commonly used.
- A carrier for flavours, colours and seasonings
- A binding agent in hamburgers, sausages, stuffings, pies, and other compound meat products
- As an ingredient for dried stuffing mixes
In the UK, Farley's Rusks are a dry biscuit dating from the 1880s, but manufactured by Heinz since 1994. They are usually given to infants, either soaked in milk and mashed up or in their original hard form as a teething aid.
In 2006, a short-lived scare was caused when some Farley's Rusks were found to contain traces of the weedkiller chlorpropham. The affected products were recalled and the contamination was traced to a batch of flour used during the manufacturing process. The level of contamination was not high enough to be considered a health risk.
- Milk toast, some modern store-bought forms of which strongly resemble rusks with slight flavouring and sweeteners.
- List of bread dishes
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