Friday, January 2, 2015


It's Flashback Friday and I am re-posting my Zwieback recipe that was first published here in December of 2008.  If you are longing for the buns you once enjoyed at Grandma's table, why not try baking your own?

Zwieback (the Mennonite bun) are double-decker yeast rolls, that were traditionally served at every festive occasion, from Sunday afternoon Faspa to weddings and funerals. My mother-in-law made the best zwieback that were tiny, perfectly formed, melt-in-your-mouth morsels. According to her, the secret was using REAL butter.  In our home, these were known as 'Grandma buns'.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons traditional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups warm potato water*
  • 4 cups scalded milk
  • 14 cups flour (about)
 *I add 1/2 cup instant potato flakes to the water to make 'potato water'.
  1. Pour hot milk and potato water over butter, salt and sugar in large bowl. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
  2. Prepare yeast by dissolving 2 tsp. sugar in 1 cup water and adding yeast.
  3. Add 6 cups flour to the milk/butter mixture and beat well.
  4. Continue adding flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Dough will be very soft.
  5. Knead about five minutes more.
  6. Cover and let rise until double in bulk.
  7. Form the buns. Bottom bun is about the size of a large bun is smaller. Place smaller ball on top of larger one...and push down through centre of both balls with knuckle of index finger to prevent buns from falling over during baking.
  8. Let rise until light.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Note: Now that is the original recipe, but since I mix all my breads in the Bosch is much simpler for me than it was in ages past!

I let the machine do all the kneading...and add the instant yeast* directly to the mixer with the flour.  When the kneading is done...I just leave it right in the mixer bowl to rise. About 15 minutes later, the dough is ready to be formed into buns...lots of them!

*Instant yeast has fine granules that don't need dissolving and is sometimes called bread machine yeast.  It is made by Fermipan, Instaferm, Fleischmann's and others.  This yeast can be used interchangeably with active dry yeast. Measure out the same amount of yeast and skip the water-activation step.

Yield: About 8 dozen buns