Zwieback crackers recipe

I love crispbreads and tend to make a batch every few weeks. Usually, I bake savoury crispbreads, but I’ve been wanting to make an old childhood favourite of mine, Zwieback crackers, a lightly sweetened crispbread. My mum didn’t bake this herself, but bought an industrial version called Feldbacher Zwieback. It was generally on the menu when I wasn’t feeling well as it’s easy to digest, a kind of sick kids treat. Here is my recipe for baking Zwieback crackers at home.


What does Zwieback mean?

The name Zwieback translates as “twice-bake” and is a result of the baking process whereby the bread is baked twice. Once as a loaf, and the second time in slices.

Zwieback Crackers Recipe

Zwieback is easy to make at home. The ingredients include wheat or spelt flour, water, yeast, butter, salt, honey or cane sugar. After the first bake, the ‘Einback’ (“one-bake”), the bread is allowed to cool, then cut into slices. The second bake toasts the slices. This is were the flavour develops and the Zwieback cracker gets its typical aroma and brittle structure. While standard bread has a moisture content of about 45%, Zwieback will have 3 to 5%.

Zwieback Einback First Bake
Zwieback – First Stage: Einback (First Bake)

Zwieback ingredients

  • 500g flour
  • 265g milk
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 30g sugar
  • 5g vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt

How to make Zwieback

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and form a dough.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes on your work surface to produce a smooth and elastic dough.
  3. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rest at room temperature for about 60 minutes until significantly increased in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and knead for a few seconds.
  5. Shape into a tight log (this will ensure a fine crumb structure) and place in a baking tin (no need to oil or butter the form) – I used a large form at 12.2 x 8.6 x 31 cm.
  6. Cover the tin with a clean kitchen towel or wrap in a polythene bag and rest for another hour in the tin.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 60 minutes.
  8. Take the loaf out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Rest for 24 hours.
  10. Cut the loaf into 7mm slices.
  11. Lay them out on a baking tray and bake at 100°C for approximately one hour until golden brown.

Store in an airtight container to ensure the Zwieback remains dry and crisp. Keeps well for weeks!