Traditionally, a rusk is a soft cookie or biscuit to be paired with coffee or tea. If you are British, rusk pertains to a food additive. For the Italians, rusks are “biscotti”. This is best for dunking into your beverage. It is also a transition food, given for teething babies. For babies, this is one whole lot of salivating.
No matter where you are from, there are different ways of preparing rusks and in varying degrees of softness. When to give this to your baby and how big is the portion? It can be given when your baby turns 8 months as they are already able to make their way eating smaller pieces the biscuit.
And ask for your pediatrician’s guidance in introducing new foods. And when you give the rusk, you have to watch over your baby as it can also cause choking.
When you decide to introduce it, do it in the morning when your baby’s appetite is high. Put your baby on the high chair and look closely at how he/she takes your homemade buttermilk rusk.
The buttermilk rusk is also known as a staple snack in South Africa and this recipe is from our grannies’ well-loved cookbooks.
Ingredient Selection Tips
For this one good serving (enough to last your baby’s week supply), you will need :
- 0.6 kg flour (can use white or wholemeal or mix it up)
- 125 g butter (cut into cubes)
- 1/2 cup sugar (brown sugar or we recommend leaving it out or adding some fruit puree for some sweetness)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 t each of baking powder, bi-carb soda and cream of tarter
- 1 eggs (see comments)
- 1 t salt (needed for baking)
- 1/2 cup oil (either canola or olive oil)
If you are concerned about the little ones glucose consumption, then you can substitute sugar with honey, maple syrup, agave or brown rice syrup. We do not recommend on our site the use of sugar in purees and even for rusks. It is based on your discretion if you would like the biscuit to have a sweeter taste.
Adding salt in baby’s food is also not recommended. But in baking, salt though is necessary for the baking process. A pinch of salt is enough for this. Same as sugar, we never suggest adding salt in any baby food preparation.
As for the eggs, there are baby food blogs saying pediatricians are prohibiting the use of whole eggs. But there are recent studies showing eggs to be not such a high risk for allergic reactions, after all. It can be given to 8-9 months baby and the egg white is the main cause culprit for the allergies, not the yolk. Eggs are needed as binders for the baked goodies. But if you are doubtful with your baby or with your own family history of allergic reactions to whole eggs, here are the possible substitutes as binders, instead of eggs:
- baking flour or baking powder mixed with water
- soy flour dissolved in water
- bean flour
- gluten-free starch
- mashed banana
- Baby Bullet prepared applesauce or guava puree
- unflavored gelatin mixed in boiling water (and cooled after)
- soft tofu or soy milk
In the case of flour, some mothers prefer the wheat-based ones such as cake, durum, plain, whole meal, graham or all-purpose flours. There are also other alternatives such as barley, buckwheat, oat, brown rice or soy flours.
For your oil, canola, corn or olive oil are best choices.
If you are not sure of its components and the possible allergens, then discuss with your family pediatrician.
|Preparation Time||30 minutes|
|Total Time||45- 60 minutes|
If you don’t want it rolled, you can cut it using the specialized rusk cutter. Or you can let it dry and cut it using the bread knife.
Bon appétit for your baby!