pizza recipe

March 15, 2016

Recipe for Pizza Dough


6 – 6 ½ cups high gluten flour

2 ¼ cups warm water

1 Tablespoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Sugar

¼ cup of Olive oil

2 packages of dry yeast or 1 cube of fresh yeast

2 ounces mozzarella cheese per crust

2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese per crust

enough garlic infused olive oil to cover a few crusts


Place water in mixing bowl and dissolve yeast and sugar.  Then add 6 ½ cups flour and pour the cup of oil over the flour.  Mix with dough hook on low. Let rest 20 minutes and then add the salt.. Mix well and allow to rise for an hour before refrigerating overnight..

Mix a dough the following day in the same manner as above but work in the refrigerated dough until well blended..

Mallow to rise one hour and divide into 12 ounce dough balls.. Allow the dough balls to rise at least one hour..before stretching..

Infuse olive oil with garlic.. Brush a stretched dough ball with the olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese.

It is best to use a pizza stone first in a cold oven then turn the oven on.

Preheat oven to 550 degrees F.  and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Cinnamon Buns

March 1, 2016

1 1/2 cups warm milk

4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

5 1/2 ounces sugar

4 1/2 ounces softened unsalted butter

3 eggs

Add a smal amount of sugar to the warm milk along with the dry yeast.. There are three teaspoons in a Tablespoon so the amount of dry yeast is 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons .. Let the dry yeast absorb liquid and become frothy and activated…

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer…


6 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

add the liquid ingredients, the softened butter and the three eggs and begin to mix on low using to dough hook.. Or stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.. If you work by hand you will have to add about 10 minutes bench time to really make a smooth dough..if you use the machine the dough will be smooth in a few minutes..

turn out the dough onto a clean smooth surface dusted with flour and knead into a smooth ball of dough.. Place in a bowl that has been wiped with oil.. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for about two hours in a warm spot or until the dough is well doubled in size..  Turn dough out o to the flour dusted surface again and roll into a rectangle that measures 18″ in length and as wide as it will be to have a thickness of approximately 1/2″.


1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Brush onto the surface of the dough:

4 or more ounces melted unsalted butter

sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the surface

of the dough and spread evenly.. Roll and slice … 2″ slices should work..You can put the sliced cinnamon buns into piled baking pans  .. 9 X 13 but the better strategy is to bake the cinnamon rolls in muffin pans.. Jumbo muffin pans work for the slices from the whole dough or you can make the slices smaller by cutting the dough down the center lengthwise before rolling.. Then place the smaller sliced buns in smaller muffin tins..

You will need 2 jumbo muffin pans for a total of 12 large cinnamon buns or two small muffin pans for a total of 24 cinnamon buns..

2 hour rise in pans:

let the cinnamon buns rise until double their size in the tins..  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.. They should be golden brown..

Cream Cheese Icing (optional)

2 ounces unsalted softened butter

1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend the icing ingredients together and ice the cinnamon buns if you wish..






May 5, 2013

Little Golden Angel with a Heart

When making a figurine out of sugar, it is best to use a combination of fondant and gumpaste to get a longer period of time to work the paste and position your figurine for drying.  It will take a bit longer to dry and you will have to factor that time into your piece.  For pieces that will take a bit of time, I use 50% gumpaste blended with 50% fondant.  The glue that I use is a glue made of gumpaste mixed with water.  Toothpicks serve as great tools to secure arms, legs and heads to the body.  The clothing and wings are made by cutting flower petals out of gumpaste..with the angel I used a tulip cutter.



This little mermaid was made to sit off the edge of the cake, I dried the mermaid sitting off the edge of a cake pan the size of the cake to get the fins to dry the way I wanted them to dry.  To obtain a great and grand tail for the mermaid, I rolled the body out of a piece of 50/50 and used scissors to cut the separation.  I tooled the tail with my ball tool and the Dresden side of my veining tool to get the fine detail.. the waves are made of buttercream and this is a buttercream iced cake.  It is ok to combine buttercream with sugarpaste..those old rules about not combining the two mediums are just that..old rules..they don’t apply anymore.

Baby Shoes


For this baby shower cake, I made the baby shoes from a template which allowed me to make them from pure gumpaste.  They were allowed to dry in a natural position making them more realistic looking.  I applied the shoes to a round plaque so that they could be saved by the expectant mom for as long as she wanted them.


October 25, 2012

Spray of Cherry Blossoms

This is by far, my favorite formula for making gumpaste.  The petals of flowers like the Rose can be tooled thinly but because of the egg white in this formula and the gelatin, the petals seem to be stronger than with other formulas.

Remember that you do not want to overheat your gelatin.  14 seconds in the microwave should give you a temperature of about 112 degrees F .  I use an infrared digital thermometer which works quickly and accurately.


2 pounds confectioners’ sugar

2 Tablespoons CMC powder

4 teaspoons white shortening

4 teaspoons corn syrup, glucose or Trimoline

1 full Tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin

¼ cup cold water

Two egg whites from large eggs

Dissolve the gelatin in the ¼ cup cold water.

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine the CMC powder with the confectioners’ sugar until well blended.

Melt the white shortening in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add the corn syrup, glucose or Trimoline.

Microwave the unflavored gelatin for about 14 seconds.  The melted shortening blended with the corn syrup should be a temperature of about 104 degrees F before adding the microwaved and melted gelatin.  Whisk this mixture well and pour into the mixer over the confectioners’ sugar.  Blend with the paddle for about 20 seconds and then add the egg whites.  Allow the mixer to run and incorporate the liquids into the confectioners’ sugar.  The mass will come together and look like a creamy thick royal icing.  Allow the machine to run for a full minute so that the confectioners’ sugar absorbs all the liquid.

Turn out onto a clean board that is dusted liberally with confectioners’ sugar so that you can knead the gumpaste for a few minutes.  Double wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours before conditioning with white shortening.

Condition the gumpaste the next day with small amounts of white shortening, warming the gumpaste in your hands and softening it into a workable paste.  Double bag in ziplock storage bags and keep refrigerated.

This is a 10 year old learning to pipe buttercream roses with Italian meringue buttercream

Italian meringue buttercream is my preferred buttercream for icing cake with.  To color it, I add a small amount of Confectioner’s Sugar to it which allows the buttercream to accept food color gels.

Italian Meringue Buttercream

½ cup pasteurized egg whites

1 ¼ cups sugar divided ½ cup for the meringue and ¾ cups sugar for the hot syrup

¼ cups cold water

1 pound unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Italian meringue buttercream is made by whipping egg whites to a soft peak and then stabilizing them with granulated sugar.  Pouring a hot syrup into the stabilized egg whites and whipping the whole mass to cool before adding the softened unsalted butter.


Put the egg whites into the bowl of a heavy duty mixer with a whip and whip to the soft peak stage.   The mechanics of whipping egg whites is the development of air bubbles that are sitting one on top of the other.  As the whites whip the bubbles of air become tinier.  Soft peaks will show you small bubbles of air and when you pick up the whip, the peak will fall to one side.  Stiff peaks are when the whites raised on the whip will not fall at all.

When your egg whites are at the soft peak stage, gradually pour in ½ of a cup of granulated sugar reserving the remaining ¾ cups of granulated sugar for the hot syrup.

In a saucepan, bring the remaining ¾ cups sugar to a boil and allow it to reach a temperature of 240 degrees F.  Carefully pour the hot sugar into the whipped egg whites which will have tripled in volume. The whites will be very hot and must be allowed to continue to whip which will cool them and turn this mixture into a meringue.

When the whites are cooled, add the pound of unsalted butter and finally the teaspoon of vanilla.

To color the buttercream, you must add confectioners’ sugar which will allow gel colors to become vivid.  Never use liquid bottled color.  Always use gel colors with Italian meringue buttercream.

An 8 year old piping flowers with Italian meringue buttercream.

Mastering the techniques does not take long. It can be accomplished rather quickly.

When you first start to pipe buttercream flowers, it will feel awkward because you are using muscles in your hands and arms that you do not ordinarily use.  Part of the process in learning to pipe buttercream flowers is to build those muscles with repeated use and to create muscle memory.  Eye hand coordination is also developed in this process.  Remember to do a bit of piping over  a period of days for the quickest results.  You will actually be processing the piping techniques in your sleep and over time, your piping will improve.

It is always best to crumb coat the outside of the cake that is to be decorated.

Smooth layers of buttercream are best added a layer at a time. The first application of buttercream on a raw cake is called the crumb coat. Masking the cakes requires a couple of smooth coats of buttercream.

When I teach buttercream piping, I always start with the rose as that is a challenging flower for people to learn and master.  After accomplishing the rose, the remaining flowers are rather easy to learn to pipe.

It is helpful to know what kind of tips to use to pipe the various flowers.  It is always nice to have your tools and equipment perform a couple of functions.

Ateco has so kindly placed this beautiful photo of tips on the web and if you don’t know which tips to purchase, go to the Ateco website and study the kinds of tips you can use.

The flowers above are made with a curved tip #61 which will also make a beautiful cupped blossom.  Dots are made with round tips of various sizes from #1, #2, #3 on up to #12 which will make a beautiful pearl dot border.  Become familiar with the tips, their shapes and what they can do for you.  Experiment and practice each day until you feel comfortable holding a piping bag and applying the amount of pressure on the bag necessary to pipe beautiful flowers and leaves.

Vanilla Butter Cake

July 22, 2012

This is a larger amount of batter for those of you who have the good fortune to be able to work with a 20 quart mixer.

1 lb unsalted butter at room temperature

8 ounces vegetable oil

12 whole eggs

6 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 lbs plus 6 2/3 ounces cake flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

2 1/4 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 cups milk

You will need a 20 quart mixer for this recipe.  If you have smaller mixers, reduce the batch by a half and bake a few cake pans at a time.  You can also bake the cake on sheet pans and cut the rounds with cake rings that look something like this:

Stainless Steel Rings Round 18 ga 12in dia x 3i

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 3 – 12″ cake pans, 3 – 9″ cake pans and 3 – 6″ cake pans with plenty of pan release and rounds of parchment paper.

Cream the butter, vegetable oil and sugar together until light and fluffy and I should tell you that this butter/oil/sugar mixture will be

very light and fluffy.  The oil will create a very nice soft crumb.

Add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and the salt.

Alternate the dry ingredients with the whole milk in three rounds, scraping the bowl well and blending until just smooth.  Do not over mix this batter or you will create tunnels.  Divide the batter between the cake pans so that there is about an inch of batter in each cake pan.  Try to find the perfect amount of batter for each cake pan that you like for the height of your cakes.  If you like tall cakes, you will need more batter in each cake pan if you like shorter cake tiers, use less batter per cake pan.  Jot down the weights of batter that you prefer for the kinds of cakes that you like to make.

Bake at 350 degrees f for approximately 25 minutes.  If the center springs back when touched then the cakes are well baked.  You can also test with a toothpick if you wish.  Whenever your fingers leave marks in the top of a baked cake, leave that cake in the oven for about 5 more minutes to finish baking.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for at least 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans.  Invert the cake pans and place the cakes on their parchment rounds on the inverted pans to finish cooling before chilling thoroughly.  Cakes must be well chilled before filling.

Spice Cake

July 20, 2012

Before we know it, Autumn will be here and Autumn in the Pacific Northwest means Spice Cake.  If you have the opportunity to use Vietnamese cinnamon, do so.  You will be delighted with the flavor.

Prepare 3 – 8″ cake pans with plenty of pan release and rounds of parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.

Cream together:

8 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups sugar

Make sure you cream the butter and the sugar very well.  People have a tendency not to cream the butter and sugar enough.  When butter and sugar are well creamed together, they will lighten in color and be very fluffy.  This is because you are “dissolving” the sugar into the fat and the action of mixing these ingredients means the sugar will be acting as an abrasive.


4 whole eggs one at a time

Beat well after each addition of an egg.  Scrape down the bowl.

Sift 3 cups of cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground  cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Alternate the dry ingredients with:

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Start with a third of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl followed by 3/4 cups of the buttermilk and alternate until all the buttermilk and dry ingredients are used.  Scrape down the bowl and the paddle well and blend until just incorporate.  Do not overmix.

Divide evenly between the three 8″ cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees f.  When the cakes are just becoming light brown and the center springs back when touched, remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the cake pans and invert them on top of the bottom of the cake pans to cool completely.   Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator before filling.

Filling suggestions:

Blackberry Mousse is a hands down winner of a filling for this spice cake and is just so Pacific Northwest.  A good cream cheese filling would be nice or a mascarpone cream filling with fresh blackberries even nicer…!!