Category Archives: Doughs and Batters

Pizza Dough

This recipe, taken from the Oprah website, produces the best pizza dough I’ve come across without a starter. It takes about three hours to make, but it freezes well. Developed by my friend Nancy Silverton to approximate the recipe she uses at Mozza in Los Angeles.


15 oz. warm water
1 t. dry yeast
13 oz. bread flour
1/2 oz. rye flour
1 1/2 t. wheat germ

13 oz. bread flour
7 oz. water
1 1/2 t. honey

1/2 oz. salt

Dissolve the yeast in the first water, then measure the flour, rye flour, and wheat germ into the work bowl of a mixer. Add the water and yeast, and stir to combine.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and ferment for 90 minutes. Then Add second water and flour and honey and mix for two minutes on speed one. The dough will come together, but it will not pull away from the sides of the bowl. It is a very wet dough. Increase to medium speed, add the salt, and mix for eight minutes. Turn out onto a floured work surface and gather into a ball, then transfer to an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Allow to ferment for 45 minutes, then turn out onto a floured surface, and fold the dough four times. Return to the bowl and cover tightly. Ferment another 45 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and divide it into 7 portions of 7 oz. each. Round the dough tightly, then cover with a cloth and ferment at least another hour. Shape and top as desired


Profiteroles are great for making passed hors d’oeuvres or for filling with pastry cream for a holiday Croquembouche.

1 batch pate a choux
1 egg, beaten

Place a medium round tip into your pastry bag, then turn the top edges of the bag down to cover your hand.

Transfer the warm pate a choux from the pot to the pastry bag, taking care not to get it on the folded ends of the bag.

Pipe the dough onto a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking pan about the size of a quarter and about 1″ tall.

Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the dough with the beaten egg, and push the little tips of dough down so they won’t burn.

Bake at 450 F. in a static oven, or 400 F. in convection until the puffs are a uniform golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a rack.

Pate a Choux

This is a recipe for the dough used to make profiteroles, cream puffs, and eclairs. We are going to make profiteroles for our mushroom puffs. It is simple and quick to make.

6 oz. water or milk
2 oz. butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. black pepper (omit if you are making cream puffs or eclairs)
100 g. AP flour
4 eggs

Carefully measure all ingredients.

Combine the water or milk with the butter, salt, sugar, and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Dump the flour into the pot all at once, then immediately stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

The dough will very quickly thicken into a firm mass that pulls away from the sides of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring, for about one minute. Remove from the heat, and stir to cool slightly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring to incorporate completely before adding the next.

The dough will break into clumps when the eggs are stirred in, then come back together.

When all four eggs are incorporated, the dough will develop a smooth, shiny surface. Next is time to pipe the dough onto a cooking sheet and bake.

Nicole’s Chive Biscuits

One of my favorite recipes from Hawthorne Lane is Nicole Plue’s recipe for Chive Biscuits. The dough is easy to make at home, and you can freeze it for a long time. It makes for a quick and very special addition to a soup and salad lunch and dinner. Or my favorite, bake them on top of chicken pot pie in place of pie dough. The bottoms become silky dumplings flavored with the chicken gravy!


Chive Biscuits
1 lb. AP flour
1 oz. sugar
1 oz. baking powder
¼ oz. salt
4 oz. butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Chives, cut 1/8″
12 oz. cream

Measure and prepare all ingredients. Refrigerate the butter until it is very hard. chixbiskt1

Combine all dry ingredients in the bowls of a mixer, then add the butter and chives. chixbiskt4

Mix using the paddle just until the butter is reduced to small chips the size of a fingernail. Then add the cream in a steady stream with the mixer running on low. Mix just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and press into a flat disc. chixbiskt6

Fold the sides to the center, then fold lengthwise. Press into a cube shape, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for one hour to allow the dough to relax, or freeze until needed. To shape into biscuits, place the rested dough onto a floured work surface and flatten slightly with a rolling pin.

Roll to a uniform 3/4″ thickness,


Cut into 1 1/4″ squares.

Brush the top surface with cream, and bake at 350 F. until golden brown, or bake on top of chicken pie.

Happy warm dinner for a rainy night!


Citrus Pate Brisee

I’m not usually big on desserts. Mostly ice cream or fruit baked with something crispy with ice cream. Here’s a simple recipe for dough that you can make and freeze until you need it.

1 – 1/2 lbs. all purpose flour
4 oz. sugar, plain old granulated
1/8 oz. salt
1/2 oz. orange zest, one large orange, use a microplane
1/4 oz. lemon zest, about two lemons
1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes, freeze
4 oz. ice water

Carefully measure and prepare all ingredients.


Transfer the butter to the freezer after cubing it.Allow it to become very hard.


After the butter is frozen, combine with all other ingredients EXCEPT the water in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle.



Wrap the bowl and mixer with plastic wrap to contain the mess. Fill a measuring cup with water and ice to the 8 ounce mark, and allow to stand until you are ready to add.


Then mix on lowest speed until the butter had been reduced to pea-sized pieces. Then remove the plastic, and pour the water into the bowl, leaving four ounces of ice and water in the measuring cup.


The dough will very quickly come together, and the mixer will begin to struggle.


Turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and press together into a cylinder with your hands.


Divide into three, one-pound portions.


I use a vacuum sealer to package the dough for the freezer.


If you want to use the dough right away, refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow it to rest. Otherwise, date and freeze until you need it. It takes about 24 hours to defrost in the refrigerator.