These rolls, whose name means "twice baked" in German, start off as soft yeast rolls enriched with butter, sugar, and eggs. Though they're traditionally shaped like doughnuts with topknots, we decided to shape them into classic dinner rolls. Russian Mennonites enjoy fresh zwieback with coffee at celebrations and funerals. Sliced and baked a second time, the slightly sweet bread slices have a crisp, nutty flavor and keep for weeks.
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
How to Make It
Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Stir in oil, 5 teaspoons sugar, and salt; cool to room temperature.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add milk mixture to yeast mixture; stir to combine. Add egg; stir well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour to yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 minutes (dough will feel slightly tacky).
Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Divide dough in half; divide each half into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Working with 1 ball at a time (cover the remaining dough to prevent drying), gently press or roll each ball into a 2 1/2-inch-long oval on a floured surface. Roll up each oval tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place rolls, seam sides down, on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Uncover rolls. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until rolls are browned on bottom and lightly browned on top. Remove from pan, and cool on wire racks.
Note: To toast zwieback, preheat oven to 300°. Slice each roll lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned; turn slices over and bake an additional 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks.