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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How to make classic, creamy German Knoephla Soup

Knoepha Soup

Is there anything more cozy to have on a cold day than soup? What about a soup from your childhood that brings back great memories?

Even though I only ever had this soup at school or a restaurant in North Dakota, Knoephla (or Knepfla) soup is one of my favorites from the German culture.

Knoephla is roughly translated into “little buttons” and are, in fact, little dumplings. The knoephla can be used in a number of ways, like a casserole, but the most popular way is in soup.

The soup is a chicken stock based, creamy soup with the dumplings, carrots, onions and potatoes. It is warming and comforting. It also is great to have when you’re sick. If you’re lactose intolerant like me, you can add coconut milk or just take about multple lactaid pills.

Knoephla Soup

Ingredients for soup:

  • Water
  • 3 tblspn. butter
  • 1 4-cup container of chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4-5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups Milk, half & half, cream or 1 can of coconut milk (your choice)
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for Knoephla dumplings:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • Between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup Milk

Instructions:

Knoephla – In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a separate dish, combine the egg with about 1/4 cup milk. Slowly add in the milk and egg mixture to the flour and mix with your hands. Continue to add more milk until it becomes a shaggy dough. Place dough onto a clean working surface sprinkled with flour until the dough comes together. Roll into long, 1-inch thin logs and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Soup – In a large soup pot, melt butter and sauté onion, celery, carrots and potatoes until softened, about 8 minutes. Add in diced garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add in stock and water to just cover the vegetables and add two bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add in the pieces of knoephla and simmer about 10 minutes.

Then, add in the milk/cream/half & half or coconut milk and stir well. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed. Heat thoroughly, but don’t bring to a boil.

Serve with a side of bread, if you like.

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How to make a delicious, hearty winter dinner of Pastie (meat pie)

Pastie with gravy

Everyone has the dishes they love from their childhood. The one or two meals that just bring back great memories and makes you feel good when you eat it. For me, one dish is called “Pastie,” pronounced [pass-tee].

The dish, which originated in England, can be made two ways: a smaller, filled hand pie or a standard pie, like the one my mom made. It’s filled with any spiced meat, onion and potatoes. It can be fried or baked. The hand pie version is apparently very popular in Michigan and Cornwall, England.

I’ve made some changes to my mom’s recipe by adding in some extra spices and pouring over gravy when it is served, but the essence of the original dish I grew up with is there.

Here’s what you need.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 3-4 larger red potatoes, diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce – add to taste (optional)
  • Soy sauce – add to taste (optional)
  • 1 packet of brown gravy, prepared separately

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a sauté pan, pour in olive oil and add onion. Cook onion until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove onion and garlic from the pan into a separate bowl. Add in ground beef and cook until browned. Drain excess fat from ground beef and add back in the onions and garlic. Add in the potatoes, salt, pepper and spices. Cook until the potatoes start to become translucent.

While the mixture is cooking in the sauté pan, prepare the pie pan by placing one of the unbaked pie crusts in the bottom of the pie dish.

Once the potatoes are just starting to cook, place all the filling into the crust and top with second pie crust. Crimp edges, slice a vent into top of pie to allow steam to escape and place in oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.

If the pie crust starts to brown too quickly, you can place aluminum foil over the top to stop the browning.

Once baked, let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the brown gravy. Slice into pie pieces and serve with gravy on top.

Enjoy!

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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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Baking Through History: Fry Bread Tacos

Hard shell tacos, soft shell tacos, walking tacos, puffy tacos, birria tacos – there are a multitude of styles of tacos out there.

But, have you heard of fry bread tacos??

I grew up eating these in North Dakota and they’re still a favorite today.

Instead of a standard shell, the meat, cheese and other delicious toppings are piled on a crispy, fried bowl of dough with a soft and fluffy inside. Fry bread is so popular in North Dakota and South Dakota that in 2005 South Dakota lawmakers even declared it to be the state’s official bread, according to travelsouthdakota.com.

The standard is to use regular frozen bread dough, thawed and cut into one inch pieces, but if you’re ambitious, you could make your own dough or even use sourdough starter in your dough. That could be quite tasty.

The recipe is super easy.

Here’s all you need:

  • Cooked ground beef prepared with taco seasoning
  • 1 or 2 loaves of frozen bread dough (each loaf makes about 8 smaller fry breads or 4-6 larger ones)
  • Cooking oil
  • A high sided frying pan
  • Taco toppings (lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese, pickled jalapenos, etc.)
  • Refried beans (optional)

Thaw the bread dough. Cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Stretch out the dough to make a flatter round disc. Set aside.

In your high sided frying pan, heat about 1 to 2 inches of oil until ready to fry. Fry each piece of the dough until golden brown. The center will still look doughy, but that’s ok as long as it isn’t raw.

Cook up the ground beef as noted on your taco seasoning package.

Scoop ground beef onto fry bread and place your favorite toppings on the beef.

Enjoy!

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Baking Through History: Chocolate Potato Candy (ew.)

Chocolate Potato Candy

Potato. Candy. With chocolate. How do these ideas make it onto a page? I have no idea, but really, this one shouldn’t have.

In the “Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook,” is all about chocolate. Chocolate bread, chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate, and potato chocolate. There’s not just one recipe that uses potato, there are two!

The second is a Cocoa Potato Cake. But let’s start with Chocolate Potato Candy.

The recipe sounds like one you could use to make potato gnocchi, but instead of flour to bind the potato together, it uses powdered sugar.

I expected these to be quite delicious – but boy, was I wrong. What was the point of the potato? You couldn’t even taste it. They were way too sweet and used way too much powdered sugar to make them worth it.

If you want to try and make these, good luck. Let me know how it goes.

Chocolate Potato Candy
By Hershey’s

  • 1 medium baked potato, mashed (¾ cup)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 4.5 cups powdered sugar
  • Chocolate glaze 

Combine the mashed potatoes, salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in the cocoa and sugar until mixture is stiff enough to be rolled into balls.

Chill the balls. The recipe called for a Chocolate glaze, but they were so bad, I didn’t want to waste the ingredients.

Baking Through History: Chocolate Potato Candy

Makes 4 dozen candies

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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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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.


Testing recipes to make the perfect bread or cookie

New peanut butter cookie recipe testing

Before I even think about offering a loaf of bread or a cookie, I want to make sure it is the best.

When I first started thinking about selling homemade sourdough bread, I was making a full rye loaf that was inconsistent and didn’t stay fresh. Not good.

So, I found a new recipe. I made it dozens of times – tweaking as I made it each time to make it my own – before I was comfortable with the finished product.

Then, I gave some away. I had people try it and give feedback. Only after that long process did I put it out in the universe that I could sell it. And even since then, I’ve worked on my recipe.

There’s nothing worse than looking forward to something only to find it wasn’t what you thought you were getting.

I also like to try new recipes – and tweak them to make them my own. I do a lot of research before I bake anything new – including recipe reviews, ingredients the recipe uses and what’s the baking process. If you read enough recipes, you can tell right away if something seems off or if it just won’t taste good. You also have to tweak a recipe based on how you mix ingredients and how your oven bakes.

Snickerdoodle cookies

Because of this, there is an abundance of baked goods at my house that aren’t for sale yet. I like to give a sample to someone with an order that day – and ask for feedback. I’ve approved some experiments – and paused others until I can do more research.

That’s how I decided to sell the snickerdoodle cookies. I made up a batch and people loved them. I first used a King Arthur recipe and have since tweaked it to suit my tastes and how I like to do my cookies. I’ve even taken requests from people and now do a full whole-wheat loaf and a sandwich loaf.

Today, I tested out a new peanut butter cookie. The ones I make are good – and I’ve sold some already, but I want a more peanut buttery cookie that comes together easy and stays soft. You’d be surprised how hard it is to pack strong peanut flavor into a cookie.

As Pig Dog Farms & Bakery grows, I want to hear from you! What cookie or loaf of bread would you like to see? If you’re willing to go along with an experiment and give feedback, I’d be happy to try anything new. Let me know!

To get any of my current offerings – CLICK HERE.