- 750 ml buttermilk (no buttermilk? See recipe substitutions)
- 215 g butter, melted
- 20 g dry yeast (2 sachets)
- 95 g sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 t salt
- 1 t bicarbonate of soda
- 1.4 kg organic stone ground cake flour (or a mix of 700 g cake flour and 700 g white bread flour)
- 2 x 250g bags Chuckles
1. 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.
2. Add the sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix well.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Fold 250g Chuckles into the dough. 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.
6. 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.
7. Stud the buns with the remaining Chuckles, pushing them in gently.
8. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size. This will take about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
9. 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. You can eat them at this point as fluffy buns, but if you want to turn them into 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.
Cook's note: This recipe was dreamt up by our food director’s son, Matthew Donnelly. It was adapted from Monche Muller’s classic buttermilk rusk recipe by Hannah Lewry. If you don't have buttermilk, you can use yoghurt, thinned down with a little milk to get to buttermilk consistency.