Zwieback substitute?

nancedarJune 9, 2010

Did you know that they no longer make Gerber's or Nabisco's Zwieback Toasts (toddler's teething biscuits)? The reason I want this product is because I make the most fab sour cream walnut cheesecake with a zwieback and walnut crust from a recipe my sister gave me in 1971 and made a zillion times, but obviously not in the last year or so. My son is coming to visit and begged me to make it for his lovely new wife. The distinctive taste must be recaptured, alas, by substituting ready-made or making my own biscuits, but from what?

What would you recommend? I'm not fond of graham crackers or 'Nilla wafers' crust, too sweet and artificial tasting, and the Mandelbrot I make (soft biscotti) has the right texture but has almonds, pistachio's, or filberts, so there's a nut flavor conflict and it is always heavy on the anise seed and anisette in them too. I've never tried it without nuts (or by subbing walnuts) or without the anise since there is a lot of both in my dough.

I'm not sure what made those twice baked rusk biscuits have that particularly unique flavor - wheat germ, brown butter, nutmeg, what? Definitely not cinnamon, and it is not just toasted whole wheat bread! If you have an old box in your pantry perhaps you could list the ingredients for me? Or, give me your suggestions for this crumbly cheesecake base. Please, and thank you.


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Well that's sad!! I don't use it often but when I do, that's what I want!
You could make your own....but I would guess any fine textured bread dried would be fine....with the addition of a little sugar and spice.
BUMMER! I also make a wonderful cheese cake with a zwieback crust...or at least I used to....

Here is a link that might be useful: zwieback

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:37PM
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The link Linda listed said the "Zwieback" means "twice baked", but the correct German spelling would be "Zweiback" and pronounced differently. This is essentially equivalent to "biscotti", which means "twice baked" in Italian. With that in mind, you might consider using biscotti as a substitute for Zwieback. I think the recipes for Zwieback and biscotti can be very similar, depending on the biscotti recipe you use. Of course you should also be able to buy biscotti, but you would have to find some without nuts, unless you want nuts in the crust.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Actually the correct spelling is Zwieback.:) You can order it from Not cheap, but if you are desperate.
Or ...
500 gram Flour
20 gram cake yeast
1/4 liter milk
1 pinch salt
30 gram sugar
50 gram butter

Prepare a stiff yeast dough and let rise. Form 2 long rolls and bake at medium heat until light brown.
Let sit for 1 to 2 days and slice in to 1 cm thick slices. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet on low heat until gold brown.
I have not made that recipe. Proceed at your own risk.
I googled ingredients for Brandt Zwieback and it came up with the following: Wheat flour, sugar, yeast, palm oil, glucose syrup, dextrose, invert sugar syrup ?, barley malt extract, iodised salt (1%), sweet whey power, emulsifier (soya lecithin), condensed skimmed milk, raising agents (sodium hydrogen carbonate, potassium carbonate).
May contain traces of egg and sulphites.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zwieback

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Nancy - You just tore a little hole in my heart. Some of my earliest memories are walking with mom to the German deli and buying, amongst other things, Zwieback. I was sentimental about that when buying it for my babies just a few years ago. Now more sentimental knowing that it's gone. :(

If you do a search, KA blogs has a recipe that doesn't claim to be a copycat, but a subsitute. Might have to try the recipe glaserberl posted.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:11PM
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I used it for the crust of my cheesecake too, as well as for teething cookies for the babies!
I think Lars had a great idea, biscotti...should work!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Have you tried a specialty store like Whole Foods? There are still a number of smaller makers, and imports, of zwieback if you don't want to make it just to crumble it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 12:58AM
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