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!