Detroit-Style Pizza is a thick rectangular pizza, baked in a blue steel pan. An airy dough is pressed into a blue steel baking pan and topped with mozzarella cheese all the way to the edges. The pepperoni slices and tomato sauce are baked on top of the cheese and the cheese becomes part of the crust. This is the best pizza – I promise you will love it!
When it comes to pizza, there is always a debate about which style is best. If you love a thick-crust pan pizza, it’s got to be authentic Detroit-style pizza! Similar to Sicilian pizza, however the motor city puts a twist on this pizza pie by baking it in a blue steel pan. If you are a fan of pepperoni pizza, you will want to try this today.
If you are like I was, you may not know exactly what the heck “Detroit-Style” pizza even is. Well, a friend told me about it, and after she described it to me, I knew I had to try it. Would you believe we had a pizza place right up the road that makes this great pizza? Yep – right under my nose for like 4 years and I never even knew.
I am more of a deep-dish pizza fan, while my husband prefers a thin crust. So I wasn’t sure what he would think about it – but one bite into that crunchy exterior and we were both hooked! I knew I needed to get a homemade pizza recipe just like it on my website, STAT.
LOVE PIZZA? TRY THIS DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA TODAY!
If you have not tried a Detroit-style pizza recipe, now is the time! It is oozing with cheesy, saucy, and pepperoni goodness. It is different from your typical pizza, as the sauce is layered on top of the cheese rather than vice versa. The sauce is not evenly spread over the pie, so you get a variety of saucy bites, cheesy bites, and everything in between. Another trademark of this style of the pizza pie is its thick, cheesy crust and crispy edges that are created by baking it in a rectangular shape blue steel pan.
Detroit Pizza History
The history of this original pizza recipe dates back to 1946 when the owner of Buddy’s Rendezvous Restaurant, Gus Guerra borrowed some blue steel pans from his friend who worked at a local automotive plant in Detroit. The pan proved to be excellent for creating a Sicilian-style crust which resulted in a crunchy outside and soft and chewy inside. Delizioso!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR AUTHENTIC DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE & PIZZA
Find measurements and complete instructions in the printable recipe card a the bottom of this post.
- Bread dough flour – Bread flour (also called gluten flour) is different from all-purpose flour in that it contains a higher amount of protein necessary to produce the glutens needed for the ultimate pizza dough.
- Instant yeast
- Lukewarm water
- Olive Oil – I always use Extra Virgin or better known as EVOO
- Pizza Sauce or Marinara Sauce – Choose your favorite brand or use homemade.
- Mozzarella cheese – I prefer freshly grated cheese over pre-shredded
- Pepperoni Slices – you can buy pre-sliced or slice your own
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA WITH HOMEMADE DOUGH
Begin by combining flour and salt in a bowl. Add yeast and mix it all together thoroughly.
After that Add in water a little bit at a time and mix until a somewhat shaggy dough forms. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 2 minutes and bump the speed up one notch and knead for 3 more minutes.
Next Grease a mixing bowl and add the kneaded dough. Cover lightly with a towel or cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size – about 1-2 hours.
Grease a Detroit-Style pizza pan with about 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil.
A true Detroit-Style pizza pan is a rectangular blue steel pan that imitates the automotive parts trays originally used in the “Motor City” factories. The pan is typically about 10×14 inches, but you could use a 9×13 metal baking pan also.
Now Add dough to the pan and use the dimpling method to stretch it into the pan. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes and stretch once again until the dough reaches the edges of the pan. Cover the pan and let it rest for an additional 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Add shredded cheese to the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.
Make sure the cheese touches the pan to allow for a crispy crust.
Lastly Add pizza sauce in strips over the cheese. Top with desired toppings, in this case, pepperoni.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, and watch it closely. Take out when the crust is bubbling around the edges and the edges are becoming very dark and the toppings are golden brown.
Finally, Run a knife around the edges to loosen the pizza crust. Transfer it to a cutting board to cut into squares and serve.
Love it? Pin it!
If you can’t wait to sink your teeth into this Homemade Detroit-Style Pizza Pie – make sure you can find the recipe. Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board before you go!
FAQs About DETROIT STYLE PIZZA
If you are like I was, then you have some questions about this unique pizza style. Read on to see if I have answered your question, or feel free to leave me a comment and I will always try to help!
What is the difference between Chicago-style pizza and Detroit-style pizza?
Both styles are deep dish pan pizzas, but they are subtly different in their ingredients. Both use heavy metal deep dish pans to bake their crust, but the Detroit style adds cheese to the edges to form its signature crispy crust. Chicago style utilizes mozzarella and Detroit uses Brick cheese or a combination of mozzarella, jack and muenster.
Both pies have sauce on top of the cheese, but the sauce on a Chicago pizza will be chunky with large tomatoes and Detroit sauce is smooth. Chicago pizza bakes slowly at a lower temperature and Detroit style bakes quickly at a high temperature.
Is Detroit pizza the same as Sicilian pizza?
Detroit-style pizza is very similar to Sicilian pizza, but traditional Detroit pizza uses Brick cheese which is made in America. Detroit will also yield a crispier crust due to that fatty cheese that spreads to the edges of the blue steel pan.
What are Detroit-style pizza toppings?
The original recipe of Detroit Style Pizza is 3 simple ingredients of cheese, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. Pickled peppers are also commonly found on the Detroit pizza pie.
What is the dimpling method?
Dimpling is the method used to spread the dough to the edges of the pan using your fingers to stretch the dough. Lightly pressing on the dough as you move your fingertips along it will create a “dimpled” effect as well as gently eliminate air bubbles from the dough.
Can you make Detroit pizza in a glass pan?
I do not recommend using a glass pan as the steel pan is what makes Detroit-style pizza live up to its name. A glass pan will not yield the same desired results for the crispy crust.
DETROIT PIZZA SUBSTITUTIONS:
- I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the pan for Detroit-style pizza! The classic Detroit pizza pan is a deep, rectangular pan made of blue steel and typically measures 10 X 14 inches. This black metal pan conducts heat better than the modern aluminum or nonstick pans and results in that magical crispy crust. However, I’m not suggesting that you need to purchase a new pan to make this recipe. You can use a deep 9X13 metal pan or try 2 deep 8X8 cake pans – but if you find yourself enjoying this style of pizza, and new pan would be a great investment!
- Bread dough flour – This is the best choice for thick crust pan pizza. All-purpose flour will work but is better suited for thin crust pizza such as New York style, and won’t give you that airy dough.
- Olive Oil – You can substitute any neutral flavored oil – canola oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil would be your best bet.
- Pizza Sauce or Marinara Sauce – Choose your favorite brand or make your own. Here’s my recipe for homemade sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – Try cubing your cheese instead of grating. You could substitute sliced burrata cheese or another mellow cheese such as monterey jack or white muenster. Brick cheese is also a traditional cheese used and crisps up beautifully to form that amazing crust. This buttery, salty cheese is typically made in Wisconsin but can be challenging to find in all stores.
- Sliced pepperoni – Pepperoni is the meat ingredient in the original recipe, but why not try sausage or salami? Pickled peppers like banana peppers are also a traditional addition to Detroit-style pizza.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Make sure to spread the cheese all the way to the edges of the pan to create that crispy crust that Detroit-style pizza is famous for.
- Lukewarm water is key for best results with your dough – keep the water about 105 degrees F. no hotter than 115 degrees F. use a meat thermometer to help gauge it.
- Cut your pizza into squares to serve up a classic Detroit Style Pizza slice!
- If you happen to have leftovers you can store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend that you separate slices between paper towels or wax paper and store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag. You can also freeze leftovers by individually wrapping slices and store in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 months.
- You can reheat leftover pizza in the microwave, but it is really best to do it in the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and place slices on a baking tray. Mist lightly with water and cover loosely with foil. Heat for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!
MORE PIZZA RECIPES
What’s not to love about all things pizza? Here are more pizza and pizza-inspired recipes to love:
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza (pictured above)
- Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese
- Pizza Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pizza
- Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Reuben Pizza
- Taco Bell Mexican Pizza
- Blueberry Dessert Pizza
Need a little pizza love? Make this Detroit Style Pizza today. It’s always a good day for good pizza.
- FOR THE DOUGH:
- 315 grams bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water, divided *see notes
- FOR THE PIZZA:
- 2 1/2 cups Pizza Sauce or Marinara Sauce, your favorite kind
- 3 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
- 1 cup sliced pepperoni
- Add flour and salt into a bowl, mix.
- Add yeast, mix thoroughly.
- Add in water a bit at a time and mix until a somewhat shaggy dough forms. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 2 minutes and bump the speed up one notch and knead for 3 minutes more.
- Grease the bowl and add the kneaded dough. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
- Grease a Detroit-Style pizza pan with about 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil.
- Add dough and dimpling stretch into the pan. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes and stretch once again until the dough reaches the edges of the pan.
- Let stretched dough rest for an additional 30 minutes covered.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
- Add shredded cheese to the dough all the way to the edges of the pan. Make sure the cheese touches the pan to allow for a crispy crust.
- Add pizza sauce in strips over the cheese. Top with desired toppings, in this case, pepperoni.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, watch it closely. Take out when the crust is bubbling around the edges and the edges are becoming very dark and the toppings are golden brown.
- Run a knife around the edges to loosen the pizza crust. Transfer it to a cutting board to cut and serve.
* Lukewarm water: keep water about 105 degrees F. no hotter than 115 degrees F. use a meat
thermometer to help gauge it.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 795mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.