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