Mennonite Treasury of Recipes

First published in Steinbach, Manitoba in 1960

(that is 57  years ago)

mennonite treasury

Wherever the Mennonites settled, wheat was harvested, and zwieback was baked; they worked hard and ate…a LOT! The original formula for zwieback is…

1 yeast cake (1 ¼ tsp dry yeast), 1 Cup warm water, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 cups potato water, 2 cups scalded milk, 1 cup shortening (half lard), 3 tbsp salt

Potatato water!?…it’s no wonder the zwieback was so very good! Potato water, and/or potato flour makes bread wonderfully soft with added nutrition and FLAVOR (the thing we all LOVE)!

Then, when the family got bored with just plain ol’ zweiback…variations were added to that zwiebach bureau:

ZUKA TWEBACK (sugar buns): make smaller buns, dip in cream, then roll the tops thickly in sugar, let rise and bake a golden brown.

FRUIT FILLED BUNS: make buns; pull dough apart and insert a quarter peeled apple, or other fruit. Fold dough over fruit, dip in cream then roll in cinnamon and sugar. Let rise and bake.

RESCHKI (toasties): Left-over zweiback are broken apart, and toasted in a low oven. These are very good dunked in coffee!

RUEBEL PLATZ  (crumb place): roll out dough to fit a shallow pan, pushing up the sides. Sprinkle liberally with ruebel (crumbs), made of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and enough butter worked in with fingers to make coarse crumbs. Let rise and bake in moderate oven 25 minutes.

(taken from The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes)

You might want to buy this ancient treasury for your cookbook collection!

Sunday was always ‘thee time’ to go visiting because that is when everyone had freshly baked zwieback and other delicousness. Saturday was the day that all chores were done…cleaning the house <spotless>, washing clothes etc. …and baking! My favorite! This was the routine of the entire colony (community), then Sunday afternoon you would either go out for faspa or stay home and serve faspa. FASPA is served between lunch and supper, around 3:00 or 4:00. On week days it was like coffee break but on Sunday ‘faspa’ replaced supper.

So,  when Saturday rolled around out came the CHOCOLATE Angel Food Cake recipe:

Chocolate!!! Angel Food Cake

Sift together three times and set aside:

                Cake flour                                           99

                icing sugar                                           170

                Instant coffee                                   15

                Cocoa powder                                   21

Beat to frothy stage:

                Salt                                                        3

                Egg whites, room temp                 300

(about 10 fresh egg whites)

Add and beat until stiff:

                Cream of tartar                                 8

Gently beat in the sugar:

                Sugar, granulated                            199

  • When sugar is incorporated, gently fold in the sifted flour mixture using as few strokes as possible
  • Rinse a tube pan with cold water, deposit the sponge into the pan.
  • Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until cake springs back when gently pressed.

    (taken from The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes)

    This is cake is very delicious! I hope it works out for you!

    • PS I like serving it with chocolate chantily

Preserving Bananas in the Freezer: Which is the Best Way?

I’m a huge fan of banana bread. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, but I hated having to wait for bananas to get ripe. Recently, I learned that freezing bananas makes them ripen to the perfect level of mushiness for banana bread– after they’re thawed, of course.

However, that begs the question: what is the best way to freeze bananas? I did a little experiment to find out the perfect way to store whole, fresh bananas in the freezer. I took three bananas, and put one in a bag in the peel, one in the freezer in only its peel, and one out of its peel in a bag.

After leaving them in the freezer for a few weeks, I took them out and let them thaw. Due to not being in the peel, the flesh of the peeled banana was darker than the flesh of the bananas still in peel.

Once thawed, they all seemed to have the same give when touched. I began trying to peel the first one, out of bag and in peel. And, well…

It wasn’t easy. I had to resort to cutting it open, and the same thing happened with the one in peel in bag. The bag caused no difference in the two bananas.

The peeled banana was the easiest to deal with, simply sliding out of the baggie. All three bananas squished the same, and the only difference between them was the colour after they were all peeled and placed in the bowl.

The verdict? Peeling bananas before freezing them is beneficial, if only for the ease of use afterwards. The peel really makes no difference, other than level of difficulty getting it out. So if you’re going to freeze bananas, peel them beforehand. Then simply mash them up, and use!

Now go make something delicious!

Cheese Pizza

Made a Cheese pizza using a recipe/formula using the Nait (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) baking formula book. Super easy to make. amazing flavor and great texture.

This cheese pizza is a bit different though on how its made. it has a overnight Biga preferment in it, to find out more on what a preferment is, go too

Here is the formula in weight

  • -All purpose flour 175g
  • -Water 122g  -salt 4g
  • -fresh yeast is 3g (if you do not have it. multiply 3x 0.4. that will give you fresh yeast too dry yeast sumstitute. so it will be 1.2g dry yeast
  • -Olive oil 11g
  • biga preferment 70g
  • Preferment
  • All purpose flour 44g
  • h20 26g
  • fresh yeast 1g

This gives you a total weight of 385g.

Steps on how to make this greatness

  1.  gather ingredients
  2. To make preferment mix ingrediants place into a container that is sealed tight in a room temperature area for minimum 12 hours. not over 16 hours.
  3. Next day ready to make pizza, get the h20 that is 122g, mix it with the preferment to release it from the container too the mixer
  4. after the Preferment biga is in the mixer. Dump all other ingredients in mixer
  5. Mix on first speed for 2-3 minutes. then 4 minutes on 2nd speed or till gluten window

  • After the dough is mixed, take out and round the dough too a ball.
  • Put in a container, covered in plastic wrap for 1 1/2 hours in room temperature to rest.
  • After done resting, take out container, lightly flatten the dough (degass) and then cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes to rest
  • after rest, roll to proper circle size, place any type of sauce you want with any topping. (I did tomato/suracha sauce with cheese)

Bake in oven on 150c or 300F for 20-30 minutes.




Japanese Cheese Cake

Hello there, Today I had made a Japanese cheese cake that with the recipe by  with the instructions step by step. you might also get detracted by the adorable dog as well.

Probably one of the best cakes I have ever tasted in my life. very light and fluffy, not such a sweet cake where it is overpowering yet still great to eat as any dessert. what I find pretty awesome about this cake is how you can actually eat it plain. like, out of the oven or cooled down plain. Even though in the recipe it says it goes best with apricot jam after it is not so hot, (not a fan) it still taste great in my opinion.

What made me really want to make this cake was because I have always liked food culture in Japan, and Tend to read about alot of little snacks and desserts that are popular there. Turns out that one the the most popular treats is this wonderful goodness, the cheese cake. I recommend this to everyone who loves desserts that are light and not too strong in sweetness.

Here is my Final baked cake and what it turned out to be


Definitely does not look like the one that is like the recipe looks like. how ever the taste is still there. still light and fluffy and not too sweet. Some mistakes happen. how ever I will most likely make this cake many more times this month in march because its just that good.

Social Media in the Pastry World

It is undeniable that social media has become our main source of communication nowadays. This is a fantastic opportunities for businesses or individuals to jump on the bandwagon and try going viral with their creations and attract new customers.

In the span of a few seconds we can see customer reviews for any place we are thinking of going; the first thing I do when trying a new place is google it and see what comes up. Between TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, and google reviews, I can get a snapshot first impression of a place before even clicking their website or Instagram page. This can be dangerous for some businesses, especially if one bad review taints their image. However I strongly believe having such harsh, revealing critics online at all times will put pressure on businesses to uphold a high standard of quality goods and services. We must respect the power of social media and use it to help us succeed.

Whenever I travel and we’re looking for somewhere to eat, I always google “best restaurant/cafe/bakery near me” and it’s amazing how fast you can get an idea of what’s popular. I like to use TripAdvisor while traveling because it seems to have the most honest reviews. As an example, when we search bakeries in Edmonton and sort by ranking, we get a list of great bakeries with honest reviews, Duchess being in the #1 slot.

Many people use social media as a way to discover new trends in the pastry world. For example, when mirror glaze cakes peaked in popularity, Instagram user Olganoskovaa gained a huge following for her gorgeous cakes.

Home bakers are constantly finding inspiration in gifs and videos all over Facebook, with the most popular being Tasty by BuzzFeed. These sped up, easily digestible videos are popular because of their visual representation of recipes in a short time frame.

My all time favourite social media platform in the pastry world is YouTube. I love watching how-to videos that are detailed and commentated with great visual aids. I watch them for learning and on my free time. YouTube is especially useful for cake decorating videos, a few of my favourite channels are Rosie’s Dessert SpotCupcake Jemma, and Greggy’s Digest. Having a YouTube channel as a part of your business is a brilliant marketing strategy; good quality videos with likeable personalities will spike curiosity about the business and gain a worldwide customer base. Cupcake Jemma has been so successful with her shop that they recently opened a new location, and I believe their YouTube channel success had a big role in growing their business.

Social media will undeniably be a huge part of our future, and as aspiring pastry chefs we can take advantage of it to help advance our careers.

Happy websurfing!

~ Tierany