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.

Other posts from Baking Through History:


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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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.

Other posts from Baking Through History:


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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