aren't exactly high in fiber or low in fat. However, every now and then I bake them for my beloved who adores them nearly as much as he does me.
This recipe was his grandma's. She, of course, baked a larger batch and then served them for Faspa on Sunday afternoons with fresh butter, cheese, and preserves. He claimed her buns were the best. They were and now the task is mine since she has long since passed away.
Read through the recipe at the bottom of the page to understand the steps.
You will use a slightly different method for Zwieback. You will cut the softened butter into part of the flour rather than melting it in the milk. If you have a bench scraper, it is great for scraping off the bits of dough while kneading.
If you have a kitchen machine with a dough hook it will make the job quite quick but with patience, you can easily make beautifully soft buns by hand.
Total kneading time by hand will be about 10 minutes.
This small recipe should be easier to handle than a large one.
If you want lots of buns, just double it.
Put parchment paper on 3 cookie sheets. Have a little soft butter handy to keep your hands from becoming sticky. Take a handful of dough and pinch off small buns, about the size of a walnut.
This takes practice and if they don't look great, it won't affect the taste.
Now, pinch off a slighter smaller bun and put it on top of the first bun.
Let them rise until doubled.
If you have convection preheat to 375.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups warm milk
- 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup soft butter (no substitutes)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 cups flour plus a little more for dusting your counter
- Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your dough mixer. Allow to rest for ten minutes.
- Heat the milk until it is also just warm, room temperature is perfect.
- Add the instant potato flakes and stir.
- Add the milk mixture, the oil, and the salt to the yeast in the large bowl.
- Cut the butter into 3 cups of the flour with a pastry blender.
- Add the butter and flour mixture to the yeast and milk mixture.
- Add the remainder of the flour and allow the machine to knead until smooth.
- If you are mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a floured counter once stirring becomes too difficult.
- Knead to a smooth dough.
- Put the dough into a large mixing bowl and cover.
- Let the dough double in bulk, about an hour.
- You will need 3 large cookie sheets. Line them with parchment paper or grease.
- Take a piece of dough the size of a orange, hold it in your left hand. With your right hand, squeeze a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger about the size of a walnut, pinch your thumb and forefinger together to squeeze it off. With your right hand take the dough and place it on the pan. Again, squeeze the dough between your thumb and forefinger, this time a smaller piece to make the top bun. Squeeze it off and place it on top of your first bun. With both your index fingers, press down through the top and bottom buns to seal them together. Repeat with all the dough.
- Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise about an hour or until they have doubled.
- Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for about 20 minutes. If you have a convection oven, bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.