☆ (theidolhands) wrote in 1word1day,


Sunday Word: Rusk

rusk [rəsk]:
origin: [1595] Portuguese; rosca = coil (or twisted roll).

Piggy-backing on yesterday's entry (get it?), let's cover another lesser-known world outside of the British empire: rusk.

Even famed British chef Heston Blumenthal agrees that a banger without filler may be tasty, but it just doesn't taste right, to get the traditional banger...you need filler: PORK + Some starch, like the soldiers of two world wars enjoyed. Typically bread crumbs might be used, but this being old England, it stands to reason that leftover biscuit crumbs were more likely to appear in many a traditional recipe books.

And that is exactly what "rusk" is: a twice-baked plain biscuit (or very lightly seasoned with an herb like sage or nutmeg); an egg-less bread that is dense and flat. Rusk is modernly used as a form of baby food, cullinary as filler, and once used in ancient times for long sea voyages (theoretically, it could still make a useful travel or camping food). You'll also see this term used on East Indian goods and other parts of Europe, yet it's likely unknown to most Americans.

1 pound all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons Double Acting Baking Powder
7 ounces water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, sieve all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the water and use your hands to form it into a dough. Smear some butter over a baking sheet. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2" thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the sheet, cut the dough into 1/2" inch strips. Set each strip on its side. Lower the heat to 375 degrees and then return the pan to the oven. Cook for 10 minutes. If the bread is nice and firm, then remove and set aside. If it is still soft, then flip all the strips and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.

Full recipe for use in bangers, found here.
Tags: british, noun, portuguese, r, wordsmith: theidolhands

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