One of my favorite recipes handed down to me from my grandmother is Zweibacks, a delicious sweet bread which can be eaten alone or as a sandwich with cold cuts. She would use the leftover dough for the most mouth-watering cinnamon rolls I’ve ever tasted. My mom used this dough to make Bierocks, another Mennonite German dish. (Those recipes come later. Today we’ll focus on Zweibacks.)
When I was a newlywed, she flew all the way out to my home in Dallas and spent several days with me. She took the time to teach me some of her favorite recipes. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen and she taught me how to make Zweibacks. Looking back, that was one of my favorite weeks ever.
Now it’s my turn to pass on some of these recipes from my Mennonite German heritage. My Grandmother Ruby knew that the heart of the family is in the kitchen. I finally get it and feel blessed to understand that this value brings family and friends together in a special way and It brings God into your home.
I’ve had to adapt the recipe a bit as my Grandmother was sketchy with some of the details. In my research, I found a wonderful blog through Pinterest called “Mennonite Girls Can Cook”. They are from the same region my grandmother was from, Hillsboro, Kansas. Here’s a link to their website www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca. They have many other wonderful recipes that I plan to try. I love this because it connects me to my Grandmother Ruby in a special way. Not a day goes by that I don’t still think of her fondly and feel that she still watches over me. Enjoy the Zweibacks!
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups scalded milk, cooked
Making the Dough:
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, salt, shortening, milk and yeast mixture. Beat well.
- Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. Dough should be soft.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Forming Dough and Baking:
- Punch dough down and divide into four pieces.
- Divide three of the pieces into eight pieces each; shape into smooth balls and place on greased baking sheets.
- Divide remaining dough into 24 balls.
- Press 1 small ball atop each larger ball.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden.