Retro Recipe: Rusks

Here’s this month’s recipe, again courtesy of Mrs. Nellie Duling Gans, Principal of the Chicago Cooking College’s pamphlet “Good Bread: How to Make It“. This super flexible sweet roll has some heavy memories for me.


  • The Ingredients:
    • 2 cups warm milk
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 large eggs, beaten well
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cake yeast foam OR 1 packet of active dry yeast
    • 1 cup raisins (or dried fruit of your choice)
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 6 to 8 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • The Way of Preparing: 
    • Dissolve the yeast foam in the warm milk.
    • Add enough flour to make a loose batter. Let it rise, covered, until light.
    • Beat the sugar and butter to a cream; add in the eggs.
    • Add the sugar and egg mix to the batter with the salt and fruit.
    • Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
    • Mold the dough with your hands into balls about the size of a large egg. Set these close together in a buttered pan and let rise fully until doubled.
    • Brush with the beaten white of an egg.
    • Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 400°F/204C° oven.
  • Notes:
    • Add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for a little lift in flavor.
    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and substitute out the raisins for some chopped almonds or pecans for a lovely nutty note.
    • For fruity rusks, that I usually make around Yule, add the following:
      • 1/4 cup chopped candied pecans
      • 1/4 chopped dates
      • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
      • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
      • 1 tablespoon amaretto
    • There’s a good chocolate cherry variant as well:
      • Add 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder (NOT Dutch processed) to the initial flour mix
      • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
      • 1 cup Amarena cherries, chopped
      • 1 tablespoon vanilla
      • sprinkle vanilla sugar over the top of the unbaked rusks before baking
    • For lemon poppy rusks:
      • Add the zest of one whole lemon
      • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
      • 2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
      • Top with more poppy seeds and sanding sugar

This is a recipe I thought for the longest was just “sweet yeast rolls”. It wasn’t until I found this recipe in the Good Bread pamphlet that I recognized it.

I’m a fan of the traditional cinnamon sugar one, but I have been known to experiment. I’ve added just about everything under the sun to these little babies. I’ve even done a coconut one with shredded coconut and a hint of lime.

And now I’m hungry…

Let me know if you try this recipe! I would love to see what you make, hear how it went!

One thought on “Retro Recipe: Rusks

  1. Great Pesach recipe…lol

    On Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:17 AM Postmark Wonder-Land wrote:

    > Theodora Vanyar posted: ” Here’s this month’s recipe, again courtesy of > Mrs. Nellie Duling Gans, Principal of the Chicago Cooking College’s > pamphlet “Good Bread: How to Make It”. This super flexible sweet roll has > some heavy memories for me. The In” >

    Like

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