Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Baking - Round One

Friday kicked of the beginning of the Christmas Baking at the Dohrman's.  It will continue until Christmas Eve. 

The first project was for Bob's basketball team.  He coaches a sixth grade boys team, not that we have a sixth grade child, he just loves to coach.

There are nine kids on the team and each one received a plate of goodies. 

I started by making chocolate baskets.  I have a mold so these are pretty easy to do.  I filled each one with chocolate covered pretzels.

Next I made salted caramels.  Which are really good by the way. New this year to the list, but definitely a keeper.

Cookies were next, chocolate chunk and sugar cookies. 

Finally, I made my Danish Puff recipe. 

I finished up about 2:30 Saturday morning.  Crazy I know, but I just had to give the guys something for Christmas.  Here's the finished product.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Baking Ideas

I've come up with quite a list for my Christmas baking.  Since it's so ambitious I'm not sure I will be able to make everything.  Some of the items are too labor intensive so that should help.  Plus there is always time to work on other items while things are baking. 

Here's the list. 

1. Marbled Caramel Slice - shortbread with caramel and chocolate
2. Danish Puff - an almond flavored puff pastry
3. Salted Caramels
4. Cream Cheese Pound Cake
5. Sugar Cookies
6. Truffles
7. Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
8. Fudge - Traditional and Peanut Butter
9. Chocolate Covered Pretzels
10. Banana Bread

Did I miss anything? 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Unknown Struggles

"The dream you have inside is not there by accident. There's a reason it's calling to you."  ~Kim Luret

I'm not sure why but this quote hit me hard this morning when I read it.  I guess maybe it's because I've been struggling the last few weeks with my dream.  

I haven't been told that I'm crazy for wanting to start a bakery in a town of 3,000 people, but comments have been made that it would be very hard to make it work.  "There's not a big market"  "Would people really support a bakery in Goldendale?"  Things like that.
I thought I had blown the comments off but I guess they've still been in the back of my mind all this time. 

My goal isn't to be a millionaire.  My goal really isn't about the money.  Of course we have to have money otherwise we'd live naked on the street, and no one wants to see that.

"Each of us has what I call a 'Unique Package'; that singular combination of our unique inner and outer selves. And through that package comes our gifts. Discovering what our gifts are and then expressing and sharing them is what we're all here for. There are no 'better' sets of gifts and talents. They are all needed. We are all needed." ~Kim Luret

I've learned that we need to share the gifts and talents that we have been given.  Whatever they may be.  I often wonder about this desire I have to bake.  I don't know if it's a talent.  I do know that I'll never learn the lessons I need to learn if I don't keep moving forward. 

"It is no accident that you are YOU and that you're alive at this time.  There is a divine purpose and calling for your life."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where did November go?

Wow, it's December first.  Where did the time go?  I've been making donuts and baking, but just didn't get around to posting.  I know, lame excuse. 

We've been getting up on Saturday and making donuts since it's easier than trying to get up early enough to make the donuts and be to work on time.  Some day when the shop is open, that won't be an issue. I hope anyway.

I made pies and cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  My cheesecake cracked.  I guess I need a food processor so it doesn't get as much air in the filling.  I also had the bright idea to make a big batch of crust for my pies.  That didn't work so well.  I made it work, but I fought with it the whole time.  Next time it's back to one pie at a time.  I know it takes longer, but I can control the consistency better.  At least I'm not starting out mass producing pies.  I'll perfect the large batches of crust before that happens.

Here are a few pictures of the donuts we've been making.  I will be doing a lot of baking in December.  Christmas is the best time to bake.  I've got some new recipes to try plus some old faithfuls.  I'll do better this month on keeping you posted.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cake Donuts

I made cake donuts this weekend. 

First time with my new recipe. 

I'm not really a fan of cake donuts, I'm not really sure why.  Maybe because cake donuts are heavier.  Bob keeps reminding me that it's not about what I like.

Cake donuts were described to me as "donuts you can break a piece off of, you have to take bites out of raised donuts".  Interesting comparison.  I know that a lot of people like to dunk cake donuts in coffee.

But they are much easier to make.  No proofing time.  I think from start to finish we were done in about an hour.

We shared with others and they were very well received.  The vote was "superior" by the judges. 

I have some varieties of this recipe to try, but all in all it's a keeper. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Does that sound good to you? 
It did to me. 

The recipe reminded me of pumpkin pie and it had great reviews so I was really excited to try it.

It didn't turn out the way I had hoped.  I blame it on my cinnamon roll recipe.  Since I've been making dough with that recipe, it has raised my expectations.  The Pumpkin rolls were dry and heavy.  Not light like my cinnamon rolls.  The spices were a little strong as well. 

Oh well I guess you live and learn.  I am going to try to adapt my cinnamon roll recipe to become a pumpkin roll recipe.  I think if I modify it in the right way, I won't lose the lightness of the dough but will get the pumpkin pie flavor I was hoping for.

I'll fill you in on how they turn out when I get around to making them.  Wish me luck :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Donut Flavors

Once again I need some help.  Most of the donuts we make are donuts I like, but it's really not about what I like it's about what others like and will buy at the shop.  So this is where I need your help.

What kind of donuts do you buy?

Rings: Chocolate? glazed? nuts? coconut? sprinkles?

Bars: Maple? Chocolate?

Bear Claws: Cherry? Strawberry? with cream cheese? without?

Bismarks: Chocolate? with nuts?  custard filling?

Jelly Filled: Just the center or filled inside like a Bismark? 

Twists:  Glazed? Sugar coated?

Fritters: Apple? Cherry? Lemon?

What else?  I'm sure I've missed so many.  Please share your favorites.  I need variety.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Equipment Part II

I know that I posted before about equipment but as we were making donuts the other morning I thought I'd share what we are working towards and why.

Mixers:  This is a 20 quart mixer.  I think I'd like a 30 quart but I haven't made a final decision.

My mixer is 5 quarts.  I can make 2 1/2 pounds of dough with it.  I have to make my dough in two batches to get enough to make 4 dozen donuts.  If I do the math, with a 20 quart mixer I could make 10 pounds of dough or enough to make 8 dozen donuts.  The 30 quart would get me 15 pounds of dough or 10 dozen donuts.  Now I know I need the 30 quart for sure.

Proofers: This proofer would hold between 10-12 trays of donuts.  My rubbermade tub holds one.  If each tray holds a dozen donuts I could proof my 10 dozen donuts all at one time.  Of course it does take some time to roll them out, but it would be much faster than the way I do it now.  It takes between an hour and an hour and a half to proof my 4 dozen donuts depending on how long they need to rise.

Fryer:  This fryer can fry 2 dozen donuts at a time.  My fryers, plural because I now have two to help with my frying time, can fry 6 donuts at a time.

The last time Bob and I made donuts it took us 3 hours.  Start to finish.  4 dozen donuts.  Obviously with the right equipment we could make many more donuts in 3 hours, but right now I don't know what I would do with them.   Here are some pictures.

We made twists, rings, bear claws, bismarcks, and bars.  I thought they turned out pretty well considering we have scaled down equipment.

There's another auction in Portland in a couple of weeks.  I'm excited to go and see if they have the equipment we need.

Friday, September 10, 2010


We have been practicing donuts.  I think we have found the recipe to use.  It's light and cooks well.  I've had a few problems though. 

My proofer right now is a Rubbermaid tub with water in the bottom and a fish tank heater to warm it up and make condensation.  I know that's kind of hard to follow but the idea of a proofer is a warm, moist place for your donuts to rise.  The tub does the same thing, just not as well and it's not a controlled environment.  But it does help speed the process some.  

My fryer is a fryer you would find in any home.  Not one you would find in a bakery.  Right now we can fry two donuts at a time.  I made 4 dozen this morning.  It takes a while. 

There are other glitches we are working through but the proofer and fryer issue are a real challenge.  But, the donuts tasted good, really good.  So even with the challenges, we made good tasting donuts.  We will get there and some day look back and laugh at the Rubbermaid tub proofer and the 2 donut capacity fryer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Saturday we went to a restaurant equipment auction.  The idea was we would go and watch and see how it works so when we are ready to buy equipment, we'll know what to expect. 

They had a donut fryer, a proofer and several mixers along with lots and lots of other equipment, dishes, tables and so on.  It was pretty exciting to see the equipment I will be using up close.  The prices listed on the items was scary. 

Then the auction started.  I didn't realize how much below the listed price the auctioneer started the bidding.  When it came to the fryer, I bid.  If I had been really ready to buy I probably would have won.  But I wasn't so it went to someone else.

When we got to the proofer, Bob and I had more of a plan.  He did the bidding and once again we were so close, but we had a limit and once the price went over the limit, we quit bidding.

It was fun even if we didn't end up buying anything.  But next time we go, we will have a plan and money (a really key part).  I think that we might be able to get a proofer, mixer and fryer for between $2,000 and $2,500.  It's a lot of money for sure, but much less than what I thought it would cost.  I figured if we could find everything for $7,000 I'd be lucky.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Year Ago Last Week

It was one year ago last week that Bob and I made our first cake.  Well our first cake that we made for someone else.  As I look at the pictures I'm surprised how well some of the items turned out.  We didn't have any equipment to work with really.  There are lots of things I don't really like, but it was our first cake.

Here we were on Friday, delivering a cake to the same birthday boy one year later.  Oh how much we have learned.  I've learned that the type of cake you bake makes a huge difference.  I've learned that Corkey dogs and people are still hard to make. I've learned that the right tools help out a lot, but they don't solve every issue.  And most important I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

(I'm also including some pictures of a cake and cupcakes we made for a going away party.  I hadn't had time to post them before). 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Last weekend I made cinnamon rolls for a friend at work.  They were the best I had made.  I'm not talking about taste but the way the dough turned out and the size and shape.  She did say they tasted good though which is important.

This weekend we went to the Oregon Coast where my Sister and Brother in-law were staying.  I decided to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  I didn't take my Kitchen aid but I was able to still make a pretty good dough the old fashioned way.  They turned out the way I wanted again and where a big hit.  So much so, I was asked to make them again this morning before we left. 

The pictures aren't the best but you can see the size.  These have been eaten on a bit but you get the idea.

So I need your help.  How much do you pay for Cinnamon Rolls when you buy them?  I have a hard time with pricing.  I want it to be priced fair, but I still have to be profitable.  Any input would be great.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Favorite

I made some cupcakes this weekend. 

(I know it's been a while.  This new healthy eating plan does not include sweets so it's hard to bake when you know you can't eat any of it.)

Anyway, I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Oh they were so good.  I only ate one so I did OK, but I wanted more.  Bob found these cupcake papers that are my new favorites.  They are really tall so not only is the cupcake covered by the paper, but the frosting as well.  It allows you to put so much more frosting on your cupcakes.  Which I did. 

I think they were a big hit since there are none left out of the 36 I made.

PS:  I found a picture of my cupcakes - here it is...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Shower Cupcakes

The latest project was cupcakes for a baby shower.  Not too bad really except that I was out of town for three days last week so I had no time to work on the fondant decorations I planned to put on top.  Made for a very late night when I got home.

I decided on brown sugar pound cake for the cupcakes and the frosting is brown sugar cream cheese.  I've decided any cream cheese frosting is my favorite.  They tasted great together.

I made two dozen cupcakes.  Twelve had the cute little foot prints on them.  Thanks to Bob these got done and looked great.

These were the last twelve.  I really enjoyed making them.  I had hoped to make a patchwork blanket but there just wasn't enough time so they got solid blankets. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Birthday Cake

I have a good friend who is a huge Yankees fan. Her birthday is today so I decided to make her a cake. It was a lot of fun and I was able to get it completed in one day. It was a last minute decision to make the cake so I am pleased I got it done in time.

This is a picture of the cake after I covered it. The cake is vanilla sponge with chocolate cream cheese frosting. I ended up with one additional layer so I frosted it for my family to taste. It was a big hit.

This is the finished product. I need to find a better way to paint on the fondant. Right now I'm using watered down coloring paste. It works OK, but it's not as clean as I would like it. I also need to invest in some X-Acto knives so my cuts are neater.

I'm learning more and more with each project I do. Having the right tools is really important. I got a fondant rolling pin and that helps a bunch.

I have a few more cakes in mind for over the summer. I am also going to work on making some pastries as well. I just have to figure out how to fit it all in.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I was asked by a coworker to make a cake for her daughter's graduation party. I had a few books I gave her to look through to come up with some ideas for what she wanted on the cake. She decided on a couple different cakes combined into one. I've posted some pictures below.
The writing was done by Bob, I just can't seem to figure that out yet. The fondant came out the best ever and my new cake recipe worked out awesome. I was finally able to move the cake without fear it would break apart in my hands. So much less stress this time, even though I had to be out of town one night during the week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I haven't been baking much lately. Mostly I've been putting in tons of hours at work. "This too shall pass." I hope to be back to the fun stuff soon. I can't believe how relaxing baking is for me. I do get stressed but it's not the same. Crazy I know, but I think I've established the fact that I'm crazy long ago.
Here's some pictures of a couple of projects I did lately. Sorry the pictures aren't better. I will admit that they were taken last minute cause I forgot to do it earlier and we were heading out to deliver them.

60th Birthday cake for a coworker's sister:

Cupcakes for a church activity:

Not much activity on the shop. Still pricing equipment. You don't realize how much equipment you need until you start doing research. I have lots of work to do.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I couldn't think of a better title. I'd like to thank everyone for all their support. It really means a lot and helps me to keep moving forward.

I've been thinking about what to sell when we first start out. I'm going to have to start on a smaller scale and work my way up to bigger things. First of all the space isn't really big (if we chose it) and the bigger the equipment the bigger the price tag.

I'm thinking of donuts, kolaches, cinnamon rolls and muffins first thing in the morning. Then as the day moves along fresh bread, cupcakes and cookies. I figured I could do cakes and pies as special order items to begin with. Do you think I've got enough variety?

We're going to take a look at the space today. I'm nervous. I don't really know why, I'm not committing to anything. Oh well, we'll see how this goes and we'll move forward from there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I made a big step yesterday. After lots of talk I called about leasing a place for my bakery. Very, very scary to say the least. They want $700 a month and a five, yes five, year lease. But, I was told that both the price and lease term could be negotiated.

The place is empty, completely empty. That means I will need a lot of stuff before we can open. Oh and this morning I woke with the bright idea that we should open on Community Days weekend. For those of you who don't live in Goldendale, that's in July.

Not sure if that's going to happen but I've always heard you need a goal so big that it scares you and this one really does. We're getting closer to opening the bakery, I can't believe it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I found some pictures of earlier projects we've done. I was so excited!! They were on Bob's phone and I had forgotten all about them. So, here are some of our work.

This was the first cake we ever did with fondant. I say we cause Bob helped so much with this. He helped me get the right proportions for the guy and his dog.

This is a football player we made for a friend to put on her son's birthday cake. Again, Bob did a lot of the work to get him to look right.

Here's a couple of pictures of one of the cakes I made for our church's nativity activity at Christmas time.

Please feel free to let me know what you think. Still working on perfecting technique but it's so much fun.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blue and Gold Banquet

I'm back. It's been a while and I've missed baking. Odd I know, but even under a deadline, baking is relaxing for me.

I was asked to bake a cake for our Cub Scout Pack's blue and gold banquet. It's a celebration of scouting held once a year. I had no idea what design I should make so I did what I also do, I used google. Once I found an idea, I started working on how I would make it.

The design had some pieces that I was worried would be difficult to make. I've had issues with my fondant not holding it's shape. But I was able to find a great product that helped a lot. It's Gum Tex. It makes fondant stiff so it holds it shape while you work with it. What a life saver.

I think it turned out pretty good. Attached are some pictures. Tell me what you think, I'd love the feedback.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I received a suggestion that I should have Kolaches in my bakery. (Thank You Chuck) I had never heard of them, to be honest, I had to google them just so I knew what they were. They sounded quite good and a nice alternative to a fried donut. I searched for a recipe I thought I could use and Monday I found one.

Yesterday I got up and made a batch. I filled them with bacon, egg and cheese. They were very well received. In fact I was asked not to bring them back because people felt they had eaten too many.

Bob loved them. He asked me to make them again but this time with sausage (he's not really a bacon fan). So this morning I doubled the recipe and made them with sausage, egg and cheese and a cream cheese filling. I drizzled a powdered sugar glaze over the cream cheese ones.

I loved the Kolaches with cream cheese. Very, very good. All were again well received. I think this is definitely something I will put on the bakery menu.

Again, thanks for the suggestion Chuck. I appreciate it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu - Part Two

I first want to say thank you to everyone who shared their opinions regarding the "necessary" items in a bakery.

The feedback I got made me start to ask a few more questions, so once again I am asking for help.

First question: What about cinnamon rolls, scones, biscuits or brownies? Should those be available too?

Second question: Items like cookies and cupcakes, should they be pre-packaged or sold individually? Or maybe a combination? Do you have a preference?