This Detroit-style pizza recipe has a soft and airy crust, a crunchy exterior, a sweet and savory sauce with cheesy, crusty edges. If you haven’t yet experienced the Detroit-style deep dish, you’re in for a treat!
When it comes to American pizza, we most often hear about New York and Chicago, but not Detroit-style pizza. Such a shame, because it is arguably the best kind among the three. In fact, many people would argue that Detroit-style pizza is the best of ANY kind.
It’s somewhat like a deep-dish pizza, but with a charred thin rectangular crust. If you haven’t heard of Detroit pizza before, you’ve come to the right place. Not only will I tell you all about this unique dish, but I’ll also give you the best tips and tricks when making it yourself!Pin This Recipe
But First, What Is Detroit-Style Pizza?
Detroit pizza is a thick and rectangular-shaped pizza that uniquely has the sauce layered on top of the cheese. The cheesy, crusty edges and square slices set it apart from the crowd. While the savory sauce and ooey gooey cheese create a literal explosion in your mouth.
Detroit pizza was invented post-war (1946) by Gus Guerra and his wife Anna. Gus was the owner of a neighborhood bar called Buddy’s Rendezvous. One day he decided he needed to add something new
and enticing to the menu.
With the help of his wife Anna, they came up with a new and innovative pizza. Anna borrowed the dough recipe from her Sicilian mother. The Sicilian dough, topped with cheese and tomato sauce, became the de facto standard for pizza in Detroit.
But the real secret here was the deep dish pan, which created the soft and airy crust, a crunchy exterior, and cheesy, crusty edges. A true Detroit-style pizza pan is more like a cast iron skillet than a cake pan.
The restaurant later changed its name to Buddy’s Pizza. And after 70 long years, the business still exists today.
Apart from the interesting shape, Detroit-style pizza is also famous for its cheesy corner slices. It has a double proofed dough (dough that’s stretched twice) and layered with toppings in reverse, such that the pepperoni comes first, cheese next, and the sauce last.
Tips & Tricks
- The recipe only calls for cheese and pepperoni as the toppings, but you can add whatever ingredients you want – sausage, ham, mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, and dare I say it: pineapple. You can also add Mozzarella cheese for more gooey-goodness.
- Feel free to customize your pizza any way you like! You can even use different toppings on one-half of the pizza to cater to the different preferences in your house. That’s what I love about making pizza at home. The possibilities are endless.
- The key to the crispy on the edges, chewy at the center crust is the flour. It is crucial to use bread flour for this recipe. Sure, you can use all-purpose flour to make pizza dough, but it will not be as good! Bread flour is high in gluten, which is responsible for that perfectly textured crust a Detroit-style pizza has.
- To achieve that focaccia-Esque crust, here is a simple trick: garnish it with dried oregano before you layer the toppings.
- Detroit-style pizza uses a specific pan for baking, but any 9×13 baking pan will do. But keep in mind that darker pans will cook your pizza faster than lighter pans, so you must adjust the baking time accordingly.
- If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can cut down on the pepper flakes in the sauce.
- If you want to create a truly Detroit-style pizza, you’ll need to use brick cheese. Which is a high-fat aged cheese from Wisconsin. It has a buttery flavor and browns incredibly well. It’s one of the ingredients that gives Detroit pizza its distinct flavor.
- But it’s hard to find in stores. Which is why I usually just replace it with a combination of Monterey Jack and mild cheddar cheese. But if you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, you can buy brick cheese on Amazon.
- Fun Fact: The cheese used in Detroit-style pizza is called brick cheese. They call it such because people use actual bricks to weigh it down as it forms into actual cheese.
- You can store leftover pizza in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warm throughout, 10 to 15 minutes. Or if your impatient like me I just nuke it in the microwave.
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