The Rusk Story

I was raised by Norwegians and Swedes.  When babies were teething they would get a thick piece of sweet toasted bread, a rusk, to teeth on.  Those rusks were so delicious that I would try and sneak one before my baby sisters would get hold of them.  Rusks must of been hard to get or too expensive or made by my grandmother who lived far away or adults like them as much as I did, because after we were done teething we didn't get those special rusks any more. 

My mom would make something she would call a rusk, but I knew that they were only stale hot dog or hamburger buns buttered and a bit of sugar sprinkled on the top and toasted in the oven. No comparison to the real rusks.

The memory of those rusks haunted me.  No, I don't think haunted is too strong of a word.  Some of you may understand what it is to have a taste memory that can't be satisfied.  I looked thru family cookbooks, Scandinavian cookbooks, asked family (they only remembered the stale buns). Nothing.

When my grandmother, Grandma Jackie, passed away I inherited some of her cookbooks.  When I was paging thru the Swedish Institute of America Cookbook there was a recipe for rusks.  I thought it was too good to be true, until I made them.  The same wonderful rusks that I remembered!

We now make our cinnamon rolls and breakfast buns out of that same rusk dough.  We also halve and toast some of the buns keeping the rusk memory alive.  Turns out it wasn't just me that remembered these treats.