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Apple Pie

Whats better than a homemade slice of Apple Pie. In Michigan apples are found at just about every roadside stand during the fall season and you don’t have to drive very far to experience the opportunity to pick your own. The best apples for pies are the ones that hold their shape when cooked and maintain a good texture such as; Granny Smith, Cortland, Braeburn and Pink Lady.
The other important element is to make a great flaky crust.
Here is the recipe I use and a few tips on making a great apple pie.

Double Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Approximately 1/2 to 2/3 cup Cold water a tablespoon at a time

Pie Filling;
3 1/4 pound of apples I used Granny Smith, Peeled, cored and sliced (approximately 9 apples)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

When making the dough it is important to achieve a nice flaky crust. You should never over mix the dough because it could cause the dough to develop gluten which makes the crust tough. Heres how to do it.
1. Using a dough cutter, Cut the shortening and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles peas shapes.
2. Add a tablespoon a water at a time and with a fork by moving the mixture from one side to the other to gather the moisture.
3. Once the mixture is moisten and can be formed into a ball with a nice smooth texture remove it from the bowl.
4. Place the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half, then roll out each half to form two 13″ round circles.
5. Roll your 1st dough up onto your rolling pin to easly transport it, then place it in center of a 9″ pie pan. Set the second dough disk off to the side for the moment.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl, stir together the apples, cider, lemon juice, and vanilla. Then in a separate bowl whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and pie spice. Now add the dry ingredients into the apple mixture coating well.

Spoon the mixture into the dough lined pie pan. Lay the second dough over the filled pie pan and crimp the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with course sugar. Make several cuts into the top layer to allow for venting while the pie cooks. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce to 375 degrees and allow to cook an additional 45 to 55 minutes. The top should be nice and brown.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Paczki’s are deep fried dough filled with a variety of fillings from Plum Jam and fruit filling to custards and bavarian cream. Paczki day is usually the last Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The reason for this tradition was to use up lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in your house because the consumption was forbidden by Christian fasting practices during the season of lent. This year Fat Tuesday will be celebrated on Tuesday February 25, 2020. In Michigan just about every store carries them and when I operated Flamingo Label I always made it a point to have plenty available in our lunch room on this day. Because Bake Krazy Bakery is seasonal we will not be open at that time but it didn’t stop me from making some at home. If you decide to make your own here is a recipe for you. If not stop by Bake My Day Bakery in Shelby, Michigan at 46715 Van Dyke Ave. or call in your order at 586-842-5457 and Tony would be glad to help you out

1 1/2 cups warm milk (100 -110 degrees)
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 large egg (room temperature)
3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
1 teaspoon brandy
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all purpose flour
Large container of Crisco Shortening
Large can of chopped apple pie filling or fruit of your choosing
1/4 cup sugar for coating

In a small bowl add the warm milk and yeast and whisk well, set aside. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment add the sugar and butter, then mix until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, egg yolks, salt and brandy, mix well. Slowly add in about 4 1/2 cups of the flour then milk mixture alternating. If the dough is still to sticky add in the additional 1/2 cup flour little at a time until you obtain a nice smooth dough which has pulled away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. Pull the dough and spray the inside of the mixing bowl with vegetable spray, then flip to coat both sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise (proof) in a warm area (until double in size)
Punch down the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2″ thickness. Using a 3″ round cutter cut approximately 18 circles and place onto a lightly floured 1/2 sheet tray. Allow the dough to proof again to about double in size in a warm area. In a large dutch oven or tabletop fryer bring the oil to 350 degrees. Fry them for 2 – 3 minutes on one side then flip and fry for about 1 – 2 minutes on the other side. (make one and test before moving forward to ensure fully cooked). Drain onto paper towel and sugar coat while still warm. When totally cooled use a pastry bag with a filling tip to fill each one with your favorite filling. You can then roll them in sugar

Chef Brian Klauss

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Sourdough Baguette

We try to make baguettes everyday at the bakery and normally it’s made right from our white bread dough recipe. However, in this recipe Ive developed a sourdough starter using whole rye flour, water, molasses and after about 7 days my starter was ready. The remaining starter I have decided to store in my refrigerator and feed once a week with the hopes of keeping for a long time. There are a number of ways you can make your starter, I recommend checking out King Arthur Flour’s recipe which begins with water, whole rye flour and a small amount of molasses. In any event what you will be doing is to collecting wild yeast and friendly bacteria in the air which creates a flavorful leavening agent for your sourdough.

DOUGH (makes two small baguettes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup sour dough starter
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry active yeast

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flours, water, starter, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix at a medium speed to incorporate. If the dough appears to dry add additional warm water to achieve a smooth elastic dough. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough, flip so both sides are coated. Allow the bowl to sit covered with a towel in a warm area for approximately 1 – 1 1/2 hours to double in size. Refrigerate your dough covered overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and divide in half, roll into two 5″ logs and allow to relax for 30 minutes. Press down on the dough to ensure to release any gas. Fold the dough then roll out to the desire length (I made mind approximately 14″ long) Place the dough onto a 1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with a damp towel and allow to proof a second time in a warm area. ( 1 – 2 hours) Pre heat your oven to 475 degrees. After almost double in size, egg wash and score the tops of the dough. Place the sheet pan with the dough in the center rack of the oven, also place an oven safe pan containing approximately 2 cups of ice water in the bottom. (the ice water will allow the dough to stay moist during the beginning rise and help form a nice crusty exterior) Bake for 15 minutes then reduce to 425 degrees for another 10 minutes. The baguettes should be a golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Bacon Chedder Muffins

One thing I enjoy is BBQ Baby Back Ribs. I owned and operated a pizza carry-out business several years ago (The Perfect Pizza) in Washington Michigan. My daughter, my brother and even my nephew worked there. It was early in my Culinary years and I still had a lot to learn and plenty of mistakes were made, but you can never put a price on experience, good or bad. Anyway we sold “great fall off the bone ribs” and we always sold out of them everyday. The way I made them was to simmer the ribs for about 45 minutes on the stove top, then bake them off in the oven at a low heat for three hours in a small amount of the liquid left over from the pot. We would bast them in Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water!. When I made these Bacon Cheddar Muffins and took a bite of them it made me think of BBQ. These have cheese, bacon and pecan nuts in them and I could see myself wiping up the left over BBQ sauce on my plate with them………

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 cooked slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees and spray a cupcake pan with vegetable spray. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate small bowl whisk together the milk, egg and sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then pour the milk mixture in. Stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated, then fold in the cheese, nuts and bacon. Spoon the batter to the top of each cupcake insert. (should make 8) Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes in the center rack of your oven. Allow to cool slightly then remove and place on a cooling rack. These are great served warm with a a nice pat of butter.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Chocolate Eclairs

Making the Pate a Choux which is the shell for the eclairs is very easy and can be made ahead of time and frozen until you decide to fill them. You could even add cheese to the hot dough and make a savory shell, great for dipping into melted cheese or your favorite vegetable dip. I make Eclairs at the bakery all the time and usually fill them with a bavarian cream and top them with chocolate ganache. Today I’ve decided to make a chocolate filling that you can make right at home and a chocolate ganache to top them with. The finished product should be a nice crunchy shell with a smooth filling topped with that great chocolate ganache.

Pate a Choux (dough)
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper

In a medium sauce pan add the butter, water, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Quickly add in the flour and whisk, mix well until incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and place the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a whip and begin to mix at a low to medium speed. Allow the dough to cool and mix for approximately 5 minutes (you don’t want to cook the eggs) When cooled add the eggs one at a time until a sticky dough like batter forms. In a pastry bag fitted with a star tip Wilton 1M begin to pipe out 3 1/2″ dough strips rocking slightly to form your eclairs onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes (should have almost doubled and turned slightly brown on the edges) Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes (the second heat is to allow the dough to dry out and form that crunchy exterior). Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium sauce pan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, egg yolks and milk. Heat over a medium to high heat whisking until you form a smooth thick consistency. (8 – 10 minutes) Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla, salt and butter, stirring until the butter is melted and incorporated. Remove from the pan and place into a small bowel and cover with plastic wrap pushing down slightly to make contact with the mixture. (this will help avoid a skin layer from forming) Refrigerate and allow to cool completely.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with filling tip Wilton 230 with the chocolate pastry cream and fill each shell from both ends.

1/2 Cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi – sweet chocolate chips

In a small heat proof bowel add the chocolate chips. In a small sauce pan heat the cream until its begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate and allow to stand until you see the chocolate melting. Whisk to form a nice smooth mixture.

Dip the tops of your filled eclairs and allow to cool. Keep refrigerated until serving

Chef Brian Klauss

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These are biscuits/cookies which are originally from Italy and the names comes from the latin word for “twice baked”. Because the cookies must be twice baked to make them dry and crunchy. They are great as is, but you can also dip them in melted chocolate. They have a sweet/salt nutty flavor and great for dipping into your favorite coffee.

1 cup of slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 1/2 baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in the microwave oven and then allow to cool to room temperature. set aside. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes until slightly golden brown. When cooled place them on a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder, add the sugar and nut, then mix to incorporate. In a separate small bowl whisk the eggs, butter and vanilla then gradually pour into the flour mixture, stirring with a fork. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll out two dough logs approximately 8″ long. Place them on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. With a serrated knife make 1 1/2″ slices and then place back onto the sheet pan on their side and allow to bake another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip them over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack allowing them to dry and harden.

Chef Brian Klauss

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Well, the holidays are over and I’m back in Florida until the spring. I walked through the bakery just to make sure things were buttoned up before I left, I sure miss being at the bakery. I’ll admit waking up at 1am and starting the donuts is a little hard for someone over 60, but I still miss it. Anyways today I decided to make some pull apart bread. This recipe is very simple and it can be made either a sweet or savory. Chopping, slicing, or rolling small balls of dough allows for the finished bread to be pulled apart. Great for parties.

3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 ounce of instant yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 eggs

2/3 cup grated parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Spray a 1/2 sheet pan with vegetable spray or line with parchment paper

In a bowl of a stand mixer add the milk, sugar and yeast. Mix to dissolve and allow to stand for 10 minutes (It should foam up) With the mixer at a low speed add in 1 cup flour and butter. Slowly add in an additional 1/2 cup flour and the eggs. Add in the salt and remaining flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes. Spray the mixing bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough. Flip the dough to ensure both sides are coated with the oil. Lightly cover the bowl and allow the dough to proof, approximately 1 1/2 hours (should almost double in size)
Pull the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 18″ x 16″ rectangle. (Filling) Spread the butter on the square dough then evenly spread the filling ingredients. Roll the dough from the long side and run a knife through the center to form two separate pieces. Rotate the dough with the split side up and begin to braid the dough and form a ring. Place the dough into a prepared 1/2 sheet tray and lightly cover with a damp towel. Allow to proof a second time approximately 1 1/2 hours. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the sheet tray into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool 20 minutes

Chef Brian Klauss

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