Friday, June 24, 2011

Homemade Teething Rusks

As promised, here is the recipe for my homemade teething rusks.  It's loosely based on the Muesli Teething Biscuits recipe from Alison & Simon Holst's baby food & beyond book (and might I add, when two of the little models in the book were 5 years old, I was their teacher, gush gush!!) but I have adapted it for my kidlets. 

Step aside Martha Stewart, it's my kitchen now!

To make the rusks you will need:
1 cup plain or high grade flour
1 cup Farex or Watties ground baby rice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter (softened)
about 1/2 cup milk - I used expressed breastmilk, but cow's milk or formula could also be used

Also a food processor, measuring cups & spoons (I have my matryoshka doll ones from Fred... looooove them!!!), chopping board, baking tray and sharp serrated knife.  I also use Weleda Teething Powder (aka "baby crack" in our house) - more on that later.

Before you start, preheat the oven to 150deg Celsius.

1. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor, and add the butter.
Pulse or mix until all is combined and the butter is thoroughly mixed in, looking like breadcrumbs.  (If you don't have a food processor or can't be arsed getting it out, mix the butter through with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs - just like when you make scones.)
 3. While mixing, add the milk in a thin stream until it starts to form a ball in the processor.
 (Here's the ball spinning around... and around...)
 4. Roll the ball of dough on the chopping board into a long sausage shape.
 5. Slice the dough into 12-20 slices depending on how big you want them.  Using a serrated knife is best, and dip it into cold water between each slice if you want a cleaner cut.
 6. Roll each slice into a sausage shape and place on a baking tray.
 At this point I also sprinkle on some Weleda teething powder and gently press it into the dough.  I have no idea if baking kills all the good stuff in it, but in my head it's an added bonus (so don't go telling me it won't work, I'll stick my fingers in my ears and sing LA LA LA LA!!! so loud I won't hear).
7. Bake at 150C for around 30 minutes.  When they are golden brown, switch off the oven, let some hot air out, and leave them to cool in the oven to get them really firm.

There you go!  Any questions?

Notes From My Kitchen:
- the original recipe uses Farex Ground Muesli instead of baby rice.  I've never bought that muesli so never tried it!
- the original recipe also uses white sugar.  I prefer brown as it tastes and looks less processed-y.
- my oven seems to be a real 'individual'.  Cooking times in recipes never seem to match my oven's efforts.  I usually leave them in the oven for 10 minutes longer and switch to fan bake, to get a nice crispy outside.  I take them out when they reach 'golden brown' or before they became the colour of Griffin's Gingernuts before they closed the NZ factory and started making (and burning) them in Australia.
- if you are using cow's milk or formula instead of EBM the cooking time will be a few minutes less.

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