Carob Rusks (+ some unconventional arrangements)
Makes 12 – 14 rusks
2 c (400 g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 c (400 g) whole wheat bread flour or any hard wheat flour
2/3 c (140 g) carob flour
2 tbsp (30 g) dry active yeast
2 tsp (10 g) baking soda
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
Water, as needed
Note: Rusks are made with various flours including, most commonly, barley flour, as well as sometimes oat flour, carob flour, and other wheat flours. Here you could substitute half the all purpose flour with barley flour. Most combinations of oat, barley, and all purpose flour would probably turn out ok. All of these flours have various amounts of gluten, which is the important part.
As to the ‘hard wheat’ flour, this simply refers to a high protein/high gluten whole wheat flour, which includes most whole wheat flours and durum.
- In a small bowl, activate the yeast with 1/4 c (60 ml) luke warm water and a dash of all purpose flour. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until foaming.
- In a large bowl combine the all purpose flour, wheat flour, carob flour, and baking soda. Once combined, add the olive oil, activated yeast, and 1/2 c (100 ml) room temperature water. Start combining with a spoon and then switch to using your hands to combine and knead. Add water a little bit at a time until the ingredients are combined and the dough comes together. Knead until smooth.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Let rise for 1 hour at room temperative.
- After 1 hour, punch down the dough, turn and let rise for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, turn out the dough and knead a few times. Cut the dough into two parts and shape into two loaves, 1 – 2 inches thick. Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 275F/140C.
- Take a large pan and cover with parchment paper. Lightly brush the top of the parchment paper with olive oil. Once rested, place the loaves on the pan and use a knife to gently cut into the dough to score where the rusk pieces will be. Do not cut all the way, just about a half way into the dough. This will make the rusks easy to pull apart for the second baking. Bake at 275F/140C for 25 minutes.
- Remove the loaves and separate into rusk pieces. Lower the oven temperature to 225F/100C and bake for 1 hour.
- Once baked, let the rusks cool and dry for at least 1 – 1.5 hours.
Possibly Sacrilege but Worthwhile Suggestions
Rusks with Almond Milk and Cinnamon