Zwieback Toast


Recently my youngest nephew (almost 7 months) has turned into a biter/sucker/gum rubber.  He puts anything and everything into his mouth trying to either soothe his gum or soothe his need to suck.  He also recently started on solid (sort of) foods and is eager to try just about anything.  My mom always suggests Zwieback Toast, but it is nowhere to be found.  Zwieback comes from the German word for “twice baked” and is basically a crunchy piece of toast which is baked twice.  Once as a normal loaf of bread, then again sliced and toasted to complete crispness.  Sadly you cannot find Zwieback Toast anymore. I’ve scoured the internet for a reason there is none to be found.  All Nabisco tells us is that it has been discontinued.

This left me (and my sister-in-law) in a predicament.  What were we going to give the little sucker fish to satisfy his needs?  Aunt Karen to the rescue, I found and adapted this recipe to contain no eggs or milk.  Babies (and moms) rejoice, you can have Zwieback Toast!  (Tips and tricks are at the bottom of the recipe)

Zwieback Toast

1 package active dried yeast
2 pinches of sugar
1/2 cup warm water (as hot as your tap will get)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
pinch salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
3-4 cups all-purpose flour

Pour the warm water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 15-30 seconds.  Add two pinches of sugar and the package of yeast.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes until yeast is activated and bubbling.  While the yeast is activating melt the butter mix with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, applesauce, and mashed banana in a mixing bowl.  Once yeast is activated stir in with sugar butter mixture until mixed.  Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time and whisk until it starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides.  Transfer dough to a floured surface and continue adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.  Roll dough into a ball and put into a greased mixing bowl with room to rise.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel.

Once the dough has doubled in size (about an hour), divide it into 3 equal pieces and form rolls.  Place rolls on ungreased baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Allow rolls to rise for an additional 30 minutes and then place them into the oven for 2o minutes.  Rolls will turn golden brown on top.  Remove from oven and allow to coll completely.

Once rolls are completely cooled slice into 1/2″ toasts and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Place in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes turning them once in the middle.  If more crisp is desired toast the pieces again before serving.  Toast needs to be COMPLETELY cool before serving to your baby.  Store leftover toast in an airtight container and freeze extra loaves for later use. Enjoy!

I debated telling you all about my yeast “issues” but I think it may help you with this recipe.   Make sure you buy multiple packets of yeast just in case.  When first testing this recipe it called for milk so I tried four different packets of yeast in milk (1 and 2%), half and half, and then finally after some research tried sugar water.  Success.  My reason for stressing that the yeast must activate is because my attempt yesterday left me with non-rising dough and door-stops for bread loaves.  Not edible for anyone.  Also in hindsight I would have made skinnier loaves (think baguette) so that the toasts would be crisp little disks (think Melba toasts).  Better for baby handling and easier to crisp.  All in all the toasts turned out tasting great, I hope my nephew likes them as much as I do.  His review to follow shortly.

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