For other uses, see Rusk (disambiguation).

Rusk squares made of rye sourdough bread
Type Biscuit
Cookbook: Rusk  Media: Rusk

A rusk is a hard, dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread. It is sometimes used as a baby teething food. In the United Kingdom, the name also refers to a wheat-based food additive.

International variations


Sponge rusk is similar to biscotti but it is made out of twice-baked yellow cake batter. The yellow cake batter is baked into a flat, rectangular cake pan; once it is baked and cooled off, it is sliced into strips and baked again or toasted to make a cake toast. It is usually eaten with Cuban coffee (Cuban espresso) or as an accompaniment to ice cream, custard, or other dessert dishes.


Tvebak is a Danish type of rusk.


A biscotte is a French type of rusk. They are sold packaged in supermarkets.


Dipping a Finnish cinnamon and sugar flavored korppu in coffee

Finnish type of rusk is called korppu , usually a dried piece of bun, flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Korppu is a common coffee bread, normally eaten after having been dipped in coffee. A sour version, called hapankorppu, is a flat rusk is made from rye flour and salt, and can be eaten like bread.


German Zwieback

Zwieback (literally "twice baked") is a form of rusk eaten in Germany. Like the Danish and French words, the name refers to being baked or cooked twice.


Main article: Paximathia

The term paximadi (Greek: παξιμάδι) covers various forms of Greek rusk, made commonly from barley or chickpea flour, and softened with wine, water or oil before eating. Paximadi form the basis of the Cretan snack dakos (Greek: ντάκος).

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

In India and Pakistan, rusk (or toast biscuit) is a traditional dried bread (also khasta in Hindi,rusk or cake rusk in Urdu, katti toos in Bengali) that is eaten after having been dipped in coffee or tea.


In Italy, this form is called fette biscottate (twice-baked sliced bread); it should not be confused with biscotti.

Croissant rusk covered with chocolate and nuts, Japan


In Japan, rusk is often a delicacy made from baguette, cake or even croissant. It is often sweet.

The Levant

In the Levant this form is called boksum (Arabic: بقصم). It is made from flour, eggs, oil or butter, sugar, yeast or baking powder, and sometimes a small amount of cardamon. It is topped with roasted sesame seeds, black caraway seeds, or anise, and eaten as a dunking biscuit, especially with herbal tea.

Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders)

Dutch-style beschuit

Beschuit, also known as Dutch crispbakes, are light, round, rather crumbly, rusks as eaten in the Netherlands and Belgium. Particularly in the Netherlands it is customary to serve beschuit met muisjes (sprinkled with "little mice" which are anise seeds covered in white, pink or blue sugar; note that muisjes can be thought of as miniature "sugar plums") at the birth of a baby. Beschuiten are also eaten as a breakfast food with a variety of toppings, most commonly butter and sprinkles in flavours such as chocolate (chocoladehagel or chocolademuisjes) or fruit (vruchtenhagel), or cheese. A longtime Dutch tradition is to serve strawberries on beschuit usually topped with some sugar or whipped cream.

Beschuit is almost always sold in rolls; a roll typically has 13 rusks (a baker's dozen). They are made by first baking a flat round bread (beschuitbol), slicing it, and then baking each half again, possibly at a lower heat, in the oven after the main baking is over. Etymologically, biscotto (16th-century Italian), biscuit (19th century, from 16th-century bisket) and beschuit come from Latin (panis) bis+coctus, (bread, twice cooked).


In Norway, rusk is referred to as kavring, and is similar to the Swedish skorpor. Crushed kavring, called strøkavring, is used, amongst other things, for making kjøttkaker and in the traditional dessert tilslørte bondepiker.


The Philippine version of rusk is called biskotso. Cake rusks are called mamon tostado.


The Russian version is called sookhar' (Cyrillic: сухарь). They are either baked a second time from sweet Challah-like bread, sliced in biscotti fashion or just made of leftover stale bread, cut into small cubes and air-dried or baked at a very low temperature. The first one is like a cookie, good with milk, kefir, tea, coffee or cacao drinking. The second one is usually added to soup, clear or otherwise, softening up from absorbed liquids and accompanying it instead of bread. It became a tradition in order not to waste any leftover bread, that always was a staple in Russian cuisine, was hard labored for and respected for thousands of years. There is a lot of folklore and sayings about bread in Russian language, paying due respect to this grain food that is one of the corner stones of Slavic nations life and history.

South Africa

South African beskuit

Rusks is the anglicized term for (Afrikaans: beskuit) and is a traditional Afrikaner breakfast meal or snack. They have been dried in South Africa since the late 1690s as a way of preserving bread, especially when travelling long distances without refrigeration. Their use continued through the Great Trek and the Boer Wars[1] through to the modern day. Rusks are typically dunked in coffee or tea before being eaten.[2]

Rusks are essentially double-baked bread dough. Round balls of dough are closely packed in pans and baked like bread, after which long chunks are cut or broken off and slowly rebaked to a dry consistency. Several modern-day mass-produced versions are available, the most famous brand being Ouma Rusks. Many bakeries, delis and home industries also sell commercial rusks, sometimes made from non-traditional ingredients, such as baking powder rather than sourdough. In addition to plain and buttermilk flavours, aniseed, wholewheat, condensed milk, muesli, and lemon poppyseed variations are also available.


Skorpor are a Swedish form of rusk. They can be flavoured with herbs, dried fruit, nuts, or spices such as anise or cardamom. Swedish bakery company Pågen makes the world's most-sold rusk brand, Krisprolls.[3]


In Turkish, rusk is called peksimet. "Pek" word means solid, tight, durable in Turkish and "simet/simit" is Arabic word [سميد] means bread/flour. Another name is galeta, a loanword from Catalan.

United Kingdom

To the British, butcher rusk is a dry biscuit broken into particles, sorted by particle size and sold to butchers and others for use as a food additive in sausage manufacture.[4][5] Though originally made from stale bread, now called "bread-rusk", a yeast-free variety called simply "rusk" is now more commonly used.

Various rusk particle sizes are used in the food industry, where uses include:[6][7]

Farley's Rusks

In the United Kingdom, Farley's Rusks are a dry biscuit dating from the 1880s, but manufactured by Heinz since 1994. They are usually given to infants, either soaked in milk and mashed up, or in their original hard form as a teething aid.

In 2006, a short-lived scare was caused when some Farley's Rusks were found to contain traces of the weedkiller chlorpropham. The affected products were recalled and the contamination was traced to a batch of flour used during the manufacturing process. The level of contamination was not high enough to be considered a health risk.[8]

United States

In the US, commonly-available types of rusk include melba toast, which is sold packaged in grocery stores; biscotti, which are found both at grocery stores and at coffee shops or cafes; and Trenary toast, which is sold packaged in grocery stores.

See also


  1. Hales, A. G. "Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899–1900)". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  2. "What is Beskuit (Rusks)?". Rainbow Cooking. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  3. Krisprolls
  4. "What's in the great British banger?". BBC News. 27 September 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  5. "Labelling and Composition of Meat Products" (PDF). Food Standards Agency. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  6. "Rusk". Ripon Select Foods Limited. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  7. "Cereal Binders and Stuffings". Lucas Products. 4 February 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  8. "Farley's rusks withdrawn". Food Standards Agency. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
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