Delicious Detroit-Style Pizza

There are so many styles of fantastic pizza. New York. Sicilian. Chicago. American. And then there’s Detroit.

According to michigan.org, in 1946, Gus Guerra owned what was then a neighborhood bar, Buddy’s Rendezvous, when he decided he needed something new for the menu. He enlisted the help of his wife, Anna, who borrowed a dough recipe from her Sicilian mother. The Sicilian dough, topped with cheese and tomato sauce, would become the model for pizza in Detroit.

For this pizza, it’s not only the shape (it’s square) and the way the pizza is made (the sauce is on top) that makes it different, it’s also the pan that it’s cooked in! You can’t have a Detroit-Style Pizza without the pan. I use this specific pan, which we bought off Amazon.

The pan creates a pizza that is soft and airy inside with a crisp exterior because of the caramelized cheese on the edges. I found that the warmed sauce is best put on after the pizza is baked! This way, it doesn’t weigh down any of the airy-ness that’s baking in the pan.

You can make Detroit-Style Pizza as easy or as homemade as you want. You can use store bought pizza crust and store bought sauce or you can make your own for both.

Here’s how ya do it.

Ingredients

  • Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
  • Pizza sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 block of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 block of cheddar cheese
  • Pizza toppings of your choice (pepperoni, veggies, etc.)
  • Softened butter
  • Detroit Style Pan (see link above to buy one)

Instructions:

If you choose to make your own pizza dough, that’s the first step. I’ve got a recipe for my favorite dough below.

Then, if you’re making your own pizza sauce, get that started. If you’re using store bought, don’t worry about it quite yet.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

Butter your Detroit-style pan on all interior sides and stretch your dough out to cover the bottom and go up the sides just about an inch or so. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Shred the cheeses and prepare your toppings. Place the cheese all the way to the edge of the pizza, so that it’s touching the sides of the pan. Put your toppings in the center and put more cheese on top.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

While the pizza is baking, warm up your pizza sauce so you can dollop it on top after the pizza is baked. Don’t put too much on top, if anything you can add more when you serve it.

Let the pizza cool about 5 minutes, slice and serve! Enjoy!

Detroit-Style Pizza

Pizza dough:

  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 cups bread flour

Combine the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to come alive (about 5 minutes). Add the oil and one cup of the flour, then the salt and the other 2 cups of flour.

Mix with dough hook for 8 minutes.

Let rise until double in size.

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Easy twice-baked croissant recipe

I love croissants. I’ve made them myself twice now and, if it weren’t for the time you have to dedicate to them, I’d make them more often.

But, whether you’re making your own croissants or buying them from a great bakery, twice-baked croissants are my absolute favorite. The slight almond flavor of the filling with the flaky, buttery pastry is absolutely amazing.

You may think twice-baked croissants require a lot of work, but you’d be wrong. They’re super easy and super delicious.

Here’s what you need.

Ingredients

  • 4 large croissants or 6 medium sized ones
  • 4 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • Sliced almonds (for topping)
  • Powdered sugar (for top)
  • Simple syrup (to brush on the croissants)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together the butter and sugar until they are not too clumpy. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix. Add in almond flour and mix until incorporated.

Cut the croissants in half lengthwise and brush on the simple syrup tOn the inside of the croissant. Then scoop the filling inside saving some for the top of the croissants. Spread remainder of filling on top (about a tablespoon each). Sprinkle tops with sliced almonds that will stick onto the filling.

Bake for 15 minutes uncovered on a lined baking sheet. Then, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 12 minutes.

Let them cool for 10 minutes and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Then, enjoy!!

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How to bake my version of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies in a whole new way

You might be surprised to know that my chocolate chip cookie recipe is based off the classic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. How could it not be?

The original version are so absolutely delicious and it is how I learned to make them and find my passion for baking.

Over the years, after making a recipe time and time again, you tweak things to make it your own.

Here’s my way to make these cookies – and my signature way to bake them: in a muffin tin!

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together butter and the two sugars until just combined, but not grainy or lumpy. Add in the 2 eggs and the vanilla. Mix together until eggs are incorporated. Add in all of the flour, baking soda and salt and mix carefully until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips with a hand mixer – and be a little rough so that some of the chocolate pieces may break, this adds more flavor and more pieces.

Spray a standard size, 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop, place cookies into the muffin cups. Flatten out to scoop just a bit so it reaches the edges of the cup.

Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is just set. Let the cookies cool in the muffin tin or else they’ll fall apart. You will need two 12-cup muffin tins to bake these in a timely manner or else you can wait until the first batch cools.

This method makes about 30 deliciously crisp on the outside and soft in the middle chocolate chip cookies.

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Vintage Recipes … but how exactly do I make it?

The Daily Independent Cook Book

Welcome back! It’s been a moment since I’ve had the time to work on my Vintage Recipes series, a whole year to be exact. 2022 was crazy, but it’s time to reset and get back to sharing recipes with you.

As I was researching what to bake next, I ran into a strange issue in one of my books titled, “The Daily Independent Cook Book” from 1948. It was published by Kannapolis Publishing Company. They called it “A collection of favorite recipes tested and proved in Kannapolis area kitchens by some of North Carolina’s best cooks.”

Well, bless their hearts. Some of those “best cooks” didn’t leave instructions!

In any vintage cookbook, I always look at the cookies, cakes and desserts first. But, it’s hard to bake a new recipe with no information.

When this book was published, there was no internet. I found similar recipes for two of the three below online, but, in 1948, unless you know the baker or had it before, sorry friend, you’re missing key information to make it on your own.

Here are just a few of the interesting ones in the book.

The Irish Potato Coffee Cake. The author thankfully gives all of the ingredients, but as for the filling and what exactly you’re boiling, or at what temperature and for how long you’re baking the cake … you’re out of luck.

I am interested in how this would taste with potatos, coffee, spices, raisins and that filling. Maybe I’ll just have to wing it. I’ll let ya know how that goes.

The Easter Bunny Cake … takes the cake, in my opinion.

Bake it however you want. Just figure it out. Hopefully you don’t curdle the milk with the lemon juice. Also, what makes it an Easter Bunny cake anyway?

You can try to google this one by the name, but you’ll only find cakes shaped like Easter Bunnies. Not exactly helpful.

And finally, the Jam Cake. Unless you’ve had this kind of cake before, I’m not sure you’d know how you’re supposed to bake this! Do you put the jam *in the cake batter?

I imagine the filling is for between the cakes, but that’s not clear either. I did some research on this one since it was the most vague and, turns out, there are a lot of other Jam Cake recipes. Southern Living and even Paula Dean had recipes for this cake. But again, no internet in 1948 to find out more.

The jam seems to be the star, so next time I make or buy some great strawberry jam, I may just give this a try!

If you’ve made any of these recipes or have had them before, let me know! I’d love to hear how they came out and how exactly you bake them. Comment below or email me at heather@pigdogfarms.com.

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Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Kuchen

Nearly every holiday season, I go back to my roots and make my great-grandma’s kuchen!

Kuchen (ko͞okən), as defined by dictionary.com, is a cake, especially one eaten with coffee.

Every family of German heritage has their own version of kuchen – including mine. It is a very popular holiday treat in North Dakota and South Dakota. It has gotten so popular, there are now a few companies that make it in large quantities and sell/ship them all over the country.

Kuchen – to my family – is like a pie and cake combined. It has a very tasty yeast dough that is baked in a pie pan with a cream and egg custard on top. The most common way to top the custard before baking it is with cinnamon and sugar, but you can add fruit like strawberries, blueberries, plums, peaches, figs, cherries, etc.

My family’s recipe has been passed down for generations. My great grandma, Laura Berreth, who lived to be 95 years old, used to make it every Christmas. Our large, extended family, who always gathered at her home in Herreid, S.D., ate every bite of her kuchen.

When I was around 7 or 8, my grandma, Carol, and my aunt, Laurie, started to teach me how to make this delicious dish – and I’ve made it almost every year since.

I’ve tweaked the recipe, modernized a few of her methods and added my own twists, but it is still the same family recipe that’s been used for decades. This dish takes about one day to make – and I haven’t yet figured out how to cut down on that time.

I enjoy giving them as Christmas gifts, so right now they’re not on my menu. Perhaps one day, they’ll be added – but for now, they transport me to Christmas Day at my great grandma’s house… Including to that one year when there was a blizzard, everyone had to sleep on the floor because there weren’t enough beds – and the next day we had a family snowball fight and my cousins made the largest snowman I’d ever seen.

Kuchen
By Laura Berreth

Makes 10-12 kuchen

Kuchen Filling: (can be made the night before baking)

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix all three ingredients into a sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring consistently, until thickened.
Let the filling cool on the stove top. If making the night before, put filling into container and refrigerate overnight.
*The filling can be doubled or tripled

Kuchen Dough:

  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, scalded and then cooled to 105 degrees
  • 2/3 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 7-8 cups of flour

Scald milk in sauce pan on stove top. Cool to 105 degrees so it doesn’t kill the yeast.
Dissolve yeast in warm water (110 degrees) until blooming (about 5 minutes).
Add milk, yeast water, oil, sugar, salt, eggs and nutmeg into a bowl or into a stand mixer with dough hook.
Slowly add in flour until the dough mixed and the dough is not sticky and feels elastic.
Place dough into lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise 60-90 minutes until double in size. Punch down and let rise again 60-90 minutes.
Slice off pieces of dough to fit the bottom of a pie plate, roll out and place in pie plate. (The dough does not go up the sides like a pie)
Top with filling to cover bottom of dough, sprinkle with topping (recipe below).
Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes until sides of dough are browned slightly.

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • Optional fruit like strawberries, apples, plums, peaches or blueberries can be added, if desired

Mix together non-fruit items together with fingers until crumbly. If adding fruit, spread fruit onto filling first and then add topping.

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Baking Through History: Casserole Cookies

Cookies…baked in a casserole dish. I have never heard of such a thing. And…I likely won’t try them again.

In the “Wyoming Centennial Cookbook (1890-1990)” published by the Johnson County Extension Homemakers Council, there is a recipe for Casserole Cookies. This book is also where I got the Fudge Nut Cookies recipe.

Johnson County, Wyoming has quite the history. According to its county website, it is a “place of sheep herders and cattle barons, renegades and rustlers. Where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid holed up after their outlaw exploits. Where miners consumed with gold rush fever passed through on the Bozeman Trail. Where some of the most famous Indian battles in American history occurred. And where the Johnson County Cattle War, a rangeland dispute which historians often deem one of the most notorious events in our history, left its mark here in the late 1880s … and that Owen Wister wrote about in his epic American novel, The Virginian. One of Johnson County’s biggest attractions is the magnificent Bighorn Mountains.”

This recipe was submitted by Mildred Ann (Weber) Anderson, I couldn’t find much on her life in Wyoming. She might still be living (which would be awesome) because there is no obituary for woman by that name that matches a time in Wyoming. I hope, somehow, this video and blog post finds her and I can ask her about this recipe.

In all my recipe reading, I’ve never seen casserole cookies. And, after baking it, I think I know why…

Casserole cookies
Recipe from Mildred Ann (Weber) Anderson 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract

Beat eggs in buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Add sugar, mix well. Add dates, coconut, nuts, vanilla, almond extract.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, stirring 4 or 5 times while baking. Cool and stir occasionally. When cold, form into balls, roll in powdered sugar and flatten with fork

This recipe is not my favorite. I did halve it, which I really should not have done. They did not have enough moisture to eventually make them into cookies. It made more of a crumbly granola (which my husband liked) rather than a cookie you could bring together and roll in powdered sugar.

If you happen to make these – and they turn out – please let me know! I want to see what they look like.

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Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you remember my second video about Ginger Cookies, you’ll remember how much my great grandma Laura loved to bake. Read more on those cookies – HERE.

Here again is another recipe from her given to me by her daughter, my great aunt, Betty.

Betty wrote about this recipe in the email to me and said, “I love the taste of this dough because of the nutmeg in it. I loved helping so I could eat the dough. I liked my mother-in-laws caramel syrup better than mom’s, so I don’t have mom’s recipe for the syrup. Mom also used this dough recipe to make her kuchen. Hope this helps. I haven’t made these in years!” – – Betty

I love these kinds of recipes – ones passed down from mother to daughter and down the line. 

Caramel Rolls

It is interesting to me that there is shortening in the dough. I did quite a bit of research on this because I expected butter.

Shortening, according to King Arthur Flour, adds a tenderness to dough and cakes. It can also help if your all-butter cookies are spreading too much in the oven. Shortening can be substituted in any recipe 1-to-1 for butter. The reason so many recipes call for butter over shortening…flavor. Butter has more flavor than shortening. In this recipe, however, there is butter in the filling, which I am sure will make these delicious.

You can make them as regular cinnamon rolls and add your own favorite frosting recipe or you can make caramel rolls as listed below.
I tried both – baking half and half in different pans.
This can make 15 large rolls or 24 medium size rolls.
You’ll need multiple pans and an instant read thermometer.

Here is the recipe as sent to me by Betty:
Cinnamon Rolls
Betty Goetz from her mom, Laura Berreth

Step One:

  • 1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Step Two:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk, scalded

Heat milk to 180 degrees. Mix shortening into the milk to melt. Milk will need to cool to below 110 degrees before adding to mixing bowl for dough, so it doesn’t kill the yeast.

Step Three:

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs (beat them first before adding)
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 T. lemon juice (if desired)
  • 7- 8 cups bread flour
  • Mix all ingredients (including yeast mixture and milk mixture) into stand mixer or bowl. Slowly add in flour and knead dough until it can be handled without sticking to your hands.

Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 60-90 minutes, punch down, and then rise again for 60 minutes.

Step Four:

  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup brown sugar (depending on size of rectangle)
  • 2 T. Cinnamon

Roll dough into large rectangle; spread with soft butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll up, beginning at wide side.
Cut into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces.
Place in pan or pans and let rise until puffy.
Add optional caramel syrup (recipe below) after they have risen but before baking.
Bake 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Step Five (if making rolls with frosting):

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tblspn milk

Mix together to create cream cheese frosting.
Spread over cooled buns.

Caramel Syrup for Cinnamon Rolls
Betty Goetz from Stella Goetz (Dwight’s mom):

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 4 T. water
  • 4 T. white corn syrup
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Mix together first 6 ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring constantly.
Bring to a boil.
Boil 1 minute and then, off the heat, add 1 cup cream.
Cool before pouring over unbaked, risen rolls.
Bake rolls as noted above.
**Caramel rolls might take a few minutes longer.

My great grandma’s recipe is absolutely delicious. The rolls come out tender and soft. I used bread flour in it, though the original recipe didn’t note which kind to use. I also added the measurements for the filling since those were not listed in the original.
I will definitely bake these on a cookie sheet with them separated rather than smooshed into a square pan. I think the air circulation will be better and they will brown more.

If you bake this recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear from you on how it went.

I have two more recipes from my great grandma that I’m going to bake up for you. One is called Peppernut Cookies and the other is a Christmas favorite in my family. Kuchen. I’ll be baking up the kuchen on Dec. 14, so stay tuned for that episode!

I have also come across a recipe for potato chip cookies and one for cookies baked in a casserole dish… I am too intrigued to not make those for you. Thanks for watching!

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Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Ginger Cookies

I think I get my love of baking (and gardening) from my great grandma. She was a great baker and always had something sweet to eat when I visited her home in Herried, South Dakota.

Ginger Cookies from Laura Berreth

My great grandma, Laura Vossler Berreth, lived to be 95 years old. Her family was part of a group called “Germans from Russia” who started arriving in the U.S. in the 1870s.

I remember my great grandma fondly, and I love the recipes she passed down to my grandma and my aunt, who then passed them to me.

According to her obituary, she was born in 1915 on the family homestead near Terry, Montana. When she was quite young her parents moved back to the Vossler homestead, located northeast of Zeeland, North Dakota. They lived in a sod house, which her grandparents built when they homesteaded the land.

She led quite the interesting life painting, working, crafting, growing roses and irises and even moving to Lodi, California for a time before coming back to the North Dakota/South Dakota area.

One note in her obituary that made me smile was this: “She will always be remembered for her kuchen and gingersnap cookies.”

I’ll be making her kuchen (German for cake) in an upcoming video. 

My grandma, Carol, shared this ginger cookie recipe with me recently. She said it was one of her favorites that her mother made – along with Peppernut cookies (a post on that also coming soon.)

The recipe is below – and in the video, I scaled down the recipe by half so I wouldn’t have quite as many cookies to eat.

Ginger Cookies or Ginger Snaps
By Laura Berreth

  • 1 cup (201g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (143g) shortening
  • 1 egg (50g)
  • 1 cup (280) molasses, I use light
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g) flour

Mix everything but the flour with a mixer, then add the flour and mix by hand, as it gets too thick for the mixer to handle.  Lightly form balls the size of a walnut, dip in sugar and put on a cookie sheet. 
Bake at 325 degrees about 13 minutes for a soft cookie like Mom used to make, also how I make them. If you bake them longer they will get hard, more like Ginger Snaps.

After baking these cookies, I’d have to say, they’re quite tasty. They are an acquired taste, however. You either love them or you don’t.
The cookies were soft in the middle and crunch on the sides right after baking. After sitting out, covered, for a few hours, they got more chewy.
If you’re not expecting that, it can be different. However, it is how I remember them when I had them at my grandma’s.

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Baking Through History: A Series of Stories From Vintage Recipes

Vintage is all the rage right now. Whether vintage to you means the 90s or the 60s, bringing back what was once old is in.

First Baptist Church in Glenburn, N.D. Cookbook

From butterfly clips and bell bottom pants to your grandma’s Pyrex and bake ware, vintage is here to stay.

But what about vintage recipes? You know, the ones found in the church cookbooks that someone’s great aunt or grandma made.

What about those cookies, cakes and pies that bring a sense of nostalgia?

The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden

I’m bringing those back. And, I’m going to document it all with video and blog posts.

I love to read old recipes. Cookies, cakes, pies … you name it. I read them not only to see if I’m interested in baking it – or tweaking it to sell in my home-based bakery, but also for fun.

I have quite a few old cookbooks already – ones from church groups, ones found at antique shops and old recipes passed down from my great-grandma and grandma. I’ll be pulling from those and from the books my mother-in-law, who also likes to bake and cook, has in her library and from friends who have volunteered their old books.

Favorite Recipes from Lutheran Brotherhood

Those old family recipes shared in simple books are stories. Stories that tell not only of the time in which they were created, but of the place they were created and of the people enjoying them.

So, in addition to baking and blogging, I’ll be researching to find the origin of those recipes to honor them and tell the story. Of course, you’ll get to see the book where I found the recipes – and get the recipe itself as well.

I hope to post one video/blog post per week as I make my way through vintage recipes. And I’d love to hear from you and share some of your old family recipes and the stories behind them. You can share them with me via email at pigdogfarms@gmail.com. You can send pictures of the recipe and then tell me of the memories you have with that recipe.

My first video and blog post is here! READ HERE

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Sugar overload – oops!

Strawberry cookies

Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar.

That is running through my head right now at full speed. Know why? …… I just ate six cookies.

One thing I knew when I started Pig Dog Farm & Bakery was that I’d have to try any new recipe – and old ones just to make sure the quality is still there. What I don’t think I fully realized is that because there are a variety of ways to make a cookie – that I’d have to eat each variation to find the perfect one.

Today, I wanted to try out a strawberry cookie idea and also a St. Patrick’s Day idea. I started with my base sugar cookie recipe and divided it. The first 12 were for a snickerdoodle order for today – but I had the other 12 to play with.

So, I took half (six cookies) and added strawberry puree. The other half (another six cookies) I added green food coloring.

St. Patrick’s Day cookies

I am very happy with the strawberry cookie – though I think it could have a stronger strawberry flavor. The green cookies – were great because they were the normal recipe, just green.

Then, came the frosting dilemma. Do I use buttercream? Nah, too sweet… Cream cheese? Maybe… Plain? People don’t want a plain cookie… Lemon glaze? Ohhh… are we on to something?

Either way though…in order to know which is best…you have to taste them. Hence me eating six cookies already today.

I still have not decided which cookie combination is the best – so I’m going to make my husband be the guinea pig when he gets home.

Have an idea for the frosting? Let me know! Comment below.