Detroit Style Pizza
Detroit Style Pizza
Yield 28 8×13-inch Pizzas
This pan-baked regional style of pizza is characterized by a crispy fried crust and a border of brick-cheese baked against the steel pan. The ingredients vary wildly, and often feature the sauce on top. You can get really creative with Detroit pizza. This style is usually baked in a deck oven at 500 degrees. If baking these from raw (without a par-bake of the crust), you will need to balance the oven heat profile for minimal top heat with a good strong floor temp of up to 550 degrees.
Originally baked using industrial parts trays from local factories, now most pan manufacturers have pans specific to Detroit Style Pizza.
- 25 LB Wood Stone West Coast Dough (ironically, this versatile dough works really well for Detroit Style Pizza, too).
- 10 LB Brick Cheese
- 10 LB Other Cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, feta, cheddar, pepper-jack, gouda, Provel, you name it)
- Pepperoni, lots of pepperoni – the kind that cups and chars.
- Mushrooms (roast them with some nice flavors like thyme or oregano first)
- Peppers (green, red, hot, yellow, pickled)
- Sausage – however you like it
- Bacon – thick and hickory smoked
- Olives (black, green, Greek, and others)
- Onions? OK
- Other vegetable toppings – yes
Sauce (on top?) – It can be striped across the tops of the pies – or some down below, some up top – it’s your call, and not even required by law in the state of Michigan.
- 2 ea #10 Cans of high-quality tomatoes (drain about 2 C liquid from each can)
- Season generously with (and/or) garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and sugar – make it taste great!
- You can cook it if you want, but it’s really not necessary. Simply blend it to the desired consistency (a little chunky).
- Make the dough, Bench Ferment for some amount of time, portion into 14 oz pieces and allow to relax under refrigeration overnight (covered). Don’t bother working the dough much, you want it bubbly and tender. If you have enough pans, this overnight storage can be in the actual baking pan. If so, make sure it is generously oiled (we use Crisco).
- Stretch or roll the dough into a rectangular shape roughly the size of the bottom of the pan and press it evenly into the generously oiled pan – maybe a bit thicker along the edges.
- The dough can wait like this for quite some time, especially if kept covered and refrigerated. It can even wait around at room temp, as long as it gets pressed down a bit before it gets topped and baked.
- Another option at this point is to par-bake the Crust for use as needed later. Make sure some brick cheese is baked along the edge of the crust. Without all the toppings and cheese to weigh it down, the crust might want to “lift” off the bottom of the pan; don’t let it! The fried nature of a Detroit Pizza crust is distinguishing characteristic.
- Building the pie – press down and make some dimples in the dough with your fingertips. Detroit Pizza is not a sheet cake of bread with some pizza toppings on it. Layer with cheese, pepperoni and more cheese and pepperoni. Dab in some sauce along the way, or wait and drag a stripe or two across the top of the pie. Make sure that there is plenty of cheese around the edge for that characteristic cruncheesy bite.
- Baking the Pie – No matter if you par-bake or bake from raw dough, these pies need some time to fully meld in the oven. Don’t rush the process by browning the tops too soon.
- From raw, bake for 10-12 minutes with a 500 degree floor and a low amount of top heat.OR
- Par bake dough with a bit of edge cheese for 6-8 minutes. Baking them lidded keeps the top from browning and may preserve a bit of a “gum line” which actually works in this style of pie. The par baked crusts can be stored at room temperature until needed. Don’t rush the baking of the final pie, but you can use a bit more top heat to get a 6-8 minute bake.
- Once baked, remove the pizza from the pan with a sturdy spatula, and allow to cool on a rack for a couple minutes.