So I found this recipe in the notebook of recipes Oma had collected over the years. I don’t know if it’s the one she used but it sure tastes the same as what I remember eating at faspas at her house! Zwieback is one of those recipes that you learned baking alongside your mother and grandmother and was made so often that no real recipe is written down. Everything is done from memory, so likely her recipe passed with her. I just wish I had been able to learn how to make zwieback from her directly.
Faspa [Fah-spa] – a late afternoon meal usually consisting of buns, cheese, cold cuts, pickles and other non-cooked dishes.
These buns are more like a dinner roll than hamburger bun. Traditionally they are served at faspa, funerals, celebrations, family gatherings or special events where they are served alongside cubes of cheese, homemade jams and cold cut meats.
The term zwieback means double buns where one small bun is pressed on top of a slightly larger bun making them easy to pull apart. They’re fun to eat but beware… these delicious rolls are sure to add some inches to those menno hips if you eat too many!
Double Buns: Zwieback
- 3 tsp yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 cups warm milk
- 3/4 cups butter
- 3/4 cups shortening
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 9 cups white flour
Mix together yeast, water and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes or until foam rises above the water.
In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of warm milk, the yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour to form a spongy dough.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, aprproximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Add in the egg, the rest of the warm milk, salt, butter and shortening and stir well to combine.
Add in 6 cups of flour to the soft dough, one cup at a time, kneading well (approximately 10 minutes) to form a smooth elastic dough.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.
Punch the dough down and pinch off round pieces approximately the size of an egg.
Form the pieces into round balls and playbill on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
Pinch off smaller pieces of dough and form into small balls.
Place each smaller ball on top of the larger balls already on the pan.
Place your thumb on top of the buns and firmly push right down to hold the two balls together.
Let rise until light and bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve these buns at faspa with some tasty pickle poppers!