Zwieback – Holland Rusk

Ava with teething biscuit_0Also known as Holland Rusks, this starts off as yeast bread, gets cut up and put back in the oven to dry out completely. Zwie is “two” and “back” is “baked” – more or less. Zwieback is Dutch for twice baked, biscuits, or biscotti. When my children were teething I bought pack after pack of zwieback for them. Then I baked them for my grandchildren! Recipe is from


  1. ½ teaspoon. sugar
  2. 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  3. 1-cup milk plus 2 Tbs.
  4. ¼ cup sugar
  5. ¼ cup unsalted butter
  6. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  7. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  10. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Put the sugar and dry yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Put the 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. of milk in a saucepan over medium heat and when the milk is lukewarm, take out 2 tablespoons and add to the yeast.
  3. Add the sugar and the butter to the saucepan and heat just until the butter and sugar are melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. When the milk mixture is barely warm, add to the yeast mixture which should be bubbling.
  5. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and slightly beaten egg.
  6. Add the flour, one cup at a time and mix well after each addition.
  7. Turn onto a well floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough smooth and elastic.
  8. Lightly grease a bowl, place the dough inside, cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place until double in bulk – about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  9. Punch dough down, and cut in two. Form 2 ropes at least 12” long and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least 3 inches apart.
  10. Cover loaves, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to almost double in bulk, about 45 min.
  11. Bake in preheated oven 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool on rack overnight.
  12. The next day, preheat oven to 200 degrees, slice loaves into slices ½” thick, place slices on baking sheets close together and bake them until they’re completely dry, about 1 hr.
  13. Increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake slices until they are lightly brown, 15-20 minutes, turning them halfway through baking.       Cool on racks.

For sweeter zwieback, melt 4 Tbs. butter with ¼ cup sugar and ¼ tsp. cinnamon and brush mixture onto one side of the cut slices before baking them increasing baking time to 20-25 minutes each side

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