Serves: makes 24 rusks or mosbolletjies
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
700 g cake flour, sifted
a pinch salt
2 tablespoon white sugar
20 g (2 sachets) dry yeast
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
750 ml buttermilk, for drizzling

Combine the buttermilk, melted butter and yeast in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a mixer) and stir until the yeast starts to dissolve and bubble slightly.
Add the sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix well.
Add two thirds of the flour to the liquid mixture and stir until combined. If you’re using an electric mixer, use the dough hook.
Add more flour while mixing and kneading until the mixture comes together to form a workable dough. If the dough feels right, don’t add more flour.
If adding extra ingredients (see cook’s note below), do so at this stage.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, loosely place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough and cover it with a damp cloth. Leave, in a warm area, to rise to double the original volume. It will take about 1 hour.
When it’s done rising, shape the dough into even golfball-sized portions. Roll them neatly and pack them tightly together in a single layer in a greased baking tray or bread loaf tin. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size. This will take about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
When the final proofing is done, bake the dough for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Leave to cool down just enough to work with.
Note: If you want to have mosbolletjies with tea or breakfast, you can serve the steaming loaf with butter and jam now.
If you want to go all the way to create dry rusks, break the cooked dough into pieces along the lines of the original balls, lay out flat on baking sheets and leave in an oven heated to 100ºC overnight or until completely dry, at least 8 hours.

RECIPE BY Chef Monche Muller