Detroit Style Pizza
Detroit style pizza is known for its distinctive rectangular shape, thick and chewy crust, crispy exterior and generous toppings. The style originated in the American city of Detroit, Michigan back in the 1940s.
The pizza is made using a high hydration dough that is proofed in a deep, rectangular metal pan. The dough is then topped with cheese, sauce and other toppings, such as pepperoni, sausage, or vegetables. A unique feature of Detroit style pizza is that the cheese is spread right to the edges of the dough, so it melts down the sides to create an incredible crispy, caramelised cheese crust around the edges.
Detroit style pizzas are baked in the metal pan, in a hot oven until the crust is golden brown and crispy. The high sides of the pan allow the pizza dough to rise and create a pillowy, airy texture in the crust with a well-defined edge, and that signature cheese crust.
700g of dough will fill one 9x9” detroit pan or two 6x6" pans.
- 700g 00 flour
- 3g active dry yeast or 5g fresh yeast
- 20g salt
- 500g lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (we love mutti polpa)
- 70g tomato puree
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
an authentic detroit pan pizza uses wisconsin brick cheese, which isn't widely available in the uk so we often substitute. go ahead and experiment though. you’ll need a lot of cheese so don’t be shy!
- mountains of grated mozzarella and red cheddar or red leicester cheese
- 250g grated parmesan cheese
- loads of pepperoni!
- Red chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat
- olive oil to grease the pan
Making Detroit Style Pizza
The whole process takes 8 hours from start to finish, or you could double the amount of yeast and half your prep time.
Make the dough
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and yeast. mix well.
- Add the water and olive oil to the dry ingredients and stir well.
- Add the salt and continue to mix until a sticky dough forms.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, use your hands to stretch and fold the dough several times to develop gluten.
- Cover the bowl and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
- Repeat this step twice more, then leave to prove for 2 hours.
- The dough should have doubled in size.
- Grease a Detroit style pizza pan*.
- Place the dough into the greased pan and gently stretch the dough out to fit the shape of the pan. If it won't stretch into the corners at first, cover the pan with a damp cloth and let it rest for another 15 mins or so, then try again. It can take time, but its time well spent, don’t rush.
- Cover the pan with a damp towel and let the dough rest for another 4 hours.
Make the sauce
- Mix the crushed tomatoes, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
When the dough is ready
- Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. Most domestic ovens have a maximum of 250°C (490°F). Ideally use a pizza stone which will help transfer heat to your base.
- Spread the cheese across the entire dough base, ensuring you pile high at the edges and in the corners. Everyone will want the chewy, sticky baked cheese from the edges.
- The authentic Detroit style calls for the sauce on top of the cheese in 2 'racing stripes'. When you cut the pizza into 4 squares, you want tomato sauce on all pieces.
- Finally top the pizza with as much pepperoni as you can handle.
- Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly and the pepperoni looks cooked. Leave it for longer if needed.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before carefully lifting the pizza out of the pan and serving up.
Enjoy your delicious Detroit style pizza!
*This is a square or rectangular baking pan, specifically designed for making Detroit style pizza. These pans are typically made of steel or aluminium and have tall, straight sides that create the deep, crispy crust. Most pans are also coated with a non-stick material to make it easy to remove the pizza from the pan. you can buy these from Lloyds Pans.