One of the beautiful things about living in a country so large is that we have so many different regions, each with their own unique takes on dishes — only in this particular place can you get this particular style of X.
That’s true for many dishes, and perhaps never more true than for pizza. Everyone loves pizza, and there are endless varieties and styles. Now one style of pizza I’ve been meaning to make for a long time is Detroit-style pizza.
What is Detroit-style pizza?
Detroit-style pizza is a pan pizza with a very thick, crispy crust topped with layers of cheese, red sauce, and sometimes pepperoni. Most people say that it originated in 1946 at a place called Buddy’s Rendezvous.
The pizza is cooked in a very specific pan which came from the automotive industry. Originally drip pans, or pans that held automotive parts, the steel has been anodized or blued, a process by which the pans become corrosion-resistant and nearly indestructible. These pans also tend to give your pizza a very crispy crust.
Now you can still make Detroit-style pizza without the pan, but if you’re looking to be as authentic as possible, you can find them online here: Lloyd’s Detroit pizza pan. (Amazon affiliate link.)
So now that you’ve got your pan, let’s get in the kitchen and make some Detroit-style pizza!
(My recipe, with slight adaptations, comes from the Serious Eats website by Kenji Lopez-Alt: Detroit-Style Pizza.)
- large saucepan
- 9"x12" heavy-duty steel pan
- 300 g. bread flour
- 5 g. instant yeast
- 9 g. Kosher salt
- 200 g. water
- 1 can crushed tomatoes 28 oz.
- 3 medium cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. unrefined sugar You can substitute granulated sugar.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz. brick cheese cut into ½” cubes
- 28 slices of stick pepperoni sliced ⅛” thick
To Make the Dough
- Take 300 grams of bread flour and combine it with 5 grams of instant yeast and 9 grams of kosher salt. Mix until combined.
- Add 220 grams of water and mix until you have a rough and shaggy dough.
- Form dough into a ball; place back into the mixing bowl and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Once the dough has rested, knead for 10 minutes. (It is a wet dough, so don’t be tempted to add flour. It should become progressively less sticky as you knead.)
- Place the dough ball into an oiled bowl, putting a little bit of oil on the top of it before covering.
- Leave covered for two hours, or until the dough has doubled.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, add two tablespoons of olive oil to your baking pan.
- Place the dough into the pan, turning it to cover completely in oil, pressing it into the corners.
- Let rest again in the pan for 30 minutes before stretching it. Let the dough rest one more time while you make your sauce.
To Make the Sauce
- In a large saucepan add two tablespoons of olive oil; three medium cloves of garlic, minced; two teaspoons of dried oregano; one teaspoon of garlic powder; one teaspoon of onion powder; a little pinch of red pepper flakes; one tablespoon of sugar; and one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
- Stir ingredients together, then bring to a boil on the stovetop.
- Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce reduces down to 3 cups.
To Finish the Pizza with Toppings
- Stretch the dough out one more time into the corners.
- To the top of the dough, add your pepperoni.
- Next add the brick cheese (12 ounces cut into half-inch cubes) making sure that it gets to the edges.
- Using half of the sauce, make three rows lengthwise down the pan.
- Place your pizza into a scorching hot oven (550℉ or as close to that as possible) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until everything is bubbling and melted.
Looks gorgeous — how does it taste?
Traditionally served in squares, this is a thick pizza. If you turn over a slice, you’ll notice that it has a beautiful golden crust, crispy on the edges but but fluffy and chewy in the center.
The sauce is delightfully tangy, contrasting nicely with the creamy texture of the cheese, more similar to Monterey Jack than mozzarella.
And to round out the taste you have the spiciness of the pepperoni cups. Yum!!
You can watch me making my Detroit-style pizza here:
Happy pizza making!
19 thoughts on “Homemade Detroit-style Pizza”
No rating as I haven’t made it yet! Looking forward very much though! Recipe question. What do you do with the other half of the sauce? Wouldn’t it be more economic to make only half as much? Web question. When I select “US Customary”, how come the dough instructions are still metric?
I froze the other half for another pizza. I think the reasoning for the double batch of sauce is that canned tomatoes typically come in larger cans rather than smaller ones. I’ll look into the recipe converter – thanks for letting me know.
I just clicked on ‘US customary’ and the units converted fine. Here are the converted dough amounts if you’re still having trouble:
2.4 cups bread flour
0.5 tsp instant yeast
1.5 tsp Kosher salt
7 oz water
Detroiter here. You skipped a crucial part of serving the pizza: fighting your family members for one of the coveted corner pieces.
Make it an 8-corner pizza by cutting the dough in half and baking it in two 8-inch square pans, making two 4-square pizzas (Buddy’s pizza size terminology).
Okay. Recipe finally made! Best parts were the sauce and of course, who doesn’t love pepperoni and faux brick cheese? (aka mozzarella because out here in California, the only way to get the real thing is to put money into Jeff Bezos’ pockets). The sugar was an interesting addition to the sauce. I’ve heard of adding sugar to pasta sauce from my Filipina friends, but I’d never tasted it before. The sweetness adds an additional layer of flavor to the herbal tomato base. Very cool.
But then… there was the dough. Now first of all, I’ve been the Chef de Maison for all the 39 years my partner and I have been together, so I know my way around a kitchen. Unfortunately though, Yeast and I have never been friends. Oh yes, I’ve tried. But it wasn’t until I flunked Poppin’ Fresh three times in a row that I knew this was a hostile relationship. And yet… After years of separation, maybe Yeast’s defiance had softened. And so, reconciliation was attempted. I carefully measured, mixed, rested, kneaded, oiled, rested, stretched, rested, and stretched again. I knew Yeast was laughing when after the first 60 minutes of lovingly, swaddled rest, my dough refused to rise. It never rose.
The result was a well flavored, dense, chewy crust. Much more than a cracker, much less than what I imagine it should have been. It would never have qualified as “deep dish”. The surprise was that my partner, who is a total bread aficionado, pronounced the crust wonderful! “I love this crust. I know I’m eating something substantial from the firm texture.”
If my partner is happy, I’m happy. The recipe has great flavor and only using half the sauce is okay. Save the rest for spreading on half a ciabatta roll along with your favorite toppings for a single serve microwave/toaster oven snack.
BTW, thanks for the reply to my measurement comment. I don’t think I was clear though. The ingredient list toggles perfectly metric/imperial. It’s the instructions that is always in grams. I guessed the amounts would be the same as the ingredient list, but since the struggle is real with Yeast, the more clarity, the better. Thank you!
Oh, dear. I’m glad you braved the recipe and that your partner enjoyed the crust nonetheless. 🙂 Happy Cooking!
Love you so much!!!
Question on the pizza pan… Your recipe calls for a 9 x 12 but the only pan size I can find is a 10 x 14.
I don’t have enough food science under my belt to convert the dough to a greater quantity to match the bigger pan. Can you confirm this is the correct pan size, and if so tell me where you bought it?
Thank you so much! Huge fan!
(Apology if this request is a duplicate)
Hey, NORM! Try letting your pizza rise in the oven, with the light turned on, and a small pan of hot water beneath it.
Also, use purified water; apparently, many of the chemicals in normal tap water actually prevent yeast from functioning properly. Depending on the quality of your tap water, the yeast might be being killed en masse before they’ve had a chance to do their ‘thang’.
Hey, EMMY!! LOVE this recipe. Every time I’ve made it, I’ve screwed up the dough in some capacity, and it still came out ok. Today, I am determined to get every step right! Tonight, I’m splitting the recipe, and using some of it to make garlic bread sticks. I’ll let you know how they turn out.
What temperature should the water be when adding to the dry ingredients?
Emmy, love watching your videos. You have the best expressions, especially when you throw the bite that is in your mouth out. This is my 4th pizza. Thank you for the list of conversions. Helped a lot. Hubby loves it! I put pineapple on my half. Sorry to those people who are rolling their eyes.
Awesome! I’m glad your husband approves and do as you please with your pizza 🙂
Can I half this recipe? If I can, what temperature setting should I cook the half version of the recipe?
Sure, just bake it in a 9″x9″ pan at the same temperature and for around the same time, maybe a few minutes less.
I’m so glad I found your video! This pizza has become quite the event in our house and my husband brags to everyone that I make the best pizza he’s ever had! And we live in Detroit so that’s saying something LOL He requested it for Halloween so I’ll be making two of them while we watch horror movies! Thanks Emmy!
This is an amazing recipe. I, too, live far away from my home turf of Michigan, hence the necessity to make the pizza myself. I ordered my brick cheese directly from the online Wisconsin Cheese Mart, skipping Amazon. The sauce was delicious, the crust was so crunchy.
4th attempt was perfection! The crunch of the crust when the pizza cutter goes in-very satisfying!!
This was amazing! I couldn’t get brick cheese so I substituted with mozzarella and Colby Jack and it was fantastic! I love watching your videos!
This was excellent!!! We made it last night. I live in Metro Detroit and am very familiar with Buddy’s pizza. The recipe is spot on with regard to taste, appearance and consistency. The brick cheese is available at a local fruit market. I just need the metal pan to ensure the right crust consistency (I used glass), but it was still really close. With the high price of their pizza, and even their frozen half-baked versions now in store, you can make this for a fraction of the cost, it’s fresher, and tastes MUCH better!
Hi, I don’t see the link to where you got the real Wisconsin brick cheese. Thanks.