Everything you need to know to make an amazing Detroit-Style Pizza in your own oven! This delicious pan pizza is hugely popular for a reason, and this homemade version will have you feeling like a pro! It’s baked to perfection with a chewy, bubbly crust and crisp cheesy edges.
I fell in love with Detroit-style Pizza about 10-years ago when we lived in Saint Louis and got it often for take-out. Now I see it on fancy restaurant menus! I’m so excited to share this homemade version with you that I’ve tested so many times that my kids actually complained when I told them we were having pizza, again, for dinner!
Why I love this recipe:
- The Crust: Detroit pizzas have a deep crust and the cheese is spread to the very edges of the pan, so the crust gets crispy all around. The dough for Detroit pizza is much wetter than regular pizza dough (think focaccia), and when given appropriate time to rise, the result is a chewy, airy, bubbly crust.
- Toppings added in reverse: To allow the crust to bake properly, the toppings get added out of order from a traditional pepperoni pizza. We add the cheese first (we’re using regular mozzarella here–but Brick cheese is authentic, if you can find it), then just a few lines of pizza sauce. You’ll find a little sauce is all you need, and that way it doesn’t weigh down the dough. Pepperoni is added last!
- Pan Pizza: A true Detroit style pizza is baked in a seasoned steel pan. This is my kids absolute favorite pizza and it’s impossible to stop after just one slice.
What is Detroit-Style Pizza?
Detroit-Style Pizza is a deep-dish, square cut pizza that’s baked in a rectangle steel pan. The dough has a high hydration level, so it bakes bubbly and fluffy in the center, and crispy and golden on the edges where the cheese melts down. Authentic Detroit pizza is baked in a steel pan and topped with cubes of Wisconsin brick cheese, and a little bit of pizza sauce. I’ve also included instructions for baking Detroit-style pizza in a regular 9×13 metal baking pan, with freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, so that everyone can make it!.
- Bread Flour: I highly suggest using bread flour, and not substituting all-purpose. The dough layered with all of the toppings doesn’t hold up as well with all-purpose.
- Cheese: Authentic Detroit-style pizza uses diced pieces of Brick Cheese which is a Wisconsin style cheese. I can’t get it in my area, so I use Low moisture mozzarella. I recommend buying a block of cheese rather than pre-shredded from the store, and grate it on the large holes of your box grater.
- Pepperoni: Natural casing pepperoni will cup and char as it cooks, and is delicious! I use this Boars Head pepperoni found at my local grocery store. You can substitute regular thin pepperonis.
- Sauce: If you’re going through the work to make this homemade dough, you HAVE to make my EASY pizza sauce for this recipe—it will make the difference between good, and AMAZING Detroit pizza!
- Pizza Pan: You can find Authentic, pre-seasoned steel Detroit Style Pizza Pans here (highly recommend!). If you’re not ready to commit, you can use a metal 9×13 inch baking pan. I’ve tested both with success, but the crust does get crispier with the true steel pan. If using a regular metal baking pan, I suggest baking the pizza pan on a hot pizza stone.
How to make Detroit Style Pizza:
Make Dough and Rise: Stir all ingredients together in a bowl of stand mixer (or by hand). Knead for several minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning once in the bowl to coat in oil, then cover and allow to rise for 2 hours.
Press into pan and Rise Again: Lay the dough in well oiled pan pan and stretch it into a rectangle the best you can. Cover and rest for 15 minutes, to allow the gluten to relax. Gently spread the dough all the way to the edges of the pan, pressing it into the corners, in a flat even layer. Cover and rise again for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen about ⅓ way up the pan.
Preheat Oven: Preheat to 450 degrees F. I recommend baking the pizza on a pizza stone, or if you don’t have a pizza stone, use a baking sheet, and allow it to preheat in the oven.
Add Cheese: Sprinkle cheese all over the dough, making sure it goes all the way out to the edges of the pan.
Add Sauce: Use a small spoon to spread 2-3 lines of pizza sauce down the pan, over the cheese. Don’t cover all the cheese.
Add Pepperoni: Lay pepperonis in a single layer over the top. Lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Bake: Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before slicing into squares.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To Make Ahead: Make pizza dough and refrigerate overnight or for several hours, for the “first rise”. Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature before pressing into the pizza pan
To Freeze: Make pizza dough, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in a
freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator then allow
to come to room temperature and rise for about an hours before pressing into
the pizza pan
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Detroit Style Pizza
- Detroit Style Pizza Pan , optional
For the Dough:
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 ½ cups bread flour*
- 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
- Make dough: Stir all ingredients together in a bowl or stand mixer. Knead for several minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- First rise: Place in a well-greased bowl, turning once in the bowl to coat in oil, then cover and allow to rise for 2 hours. (Don't skimp on the rise times!)
- Press into pan: Oil the bottom and sides of a pizza pan*. Stretch dough into a rectangle and lay into pan(s). Cover and rest for 15 minutes, to allow the gluten to relax. Without handling the dough too much, gently spread the dough all the way to the edges of the pan, poking it into the corners, in a flat even layer (there’s no “crust” edge in Detroit pizza).
- Second rise: Rise again for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen about ⅓ way up the pan.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. I recommend baking the pizza on a pizza stone, or if you don't have a pizza stone, use a baking sheet, and allow it to preheat in the oven.
- Add cheese: sprinkle cheese all over the dough, making sure it covers all the way to the edges.
- Add sauce: spoon pizza sauce into 2-3 lines/stripes going down the pan, over cheese—you don’t want to cover all the cheese in sauce.
- Add pepperoni, laying it in a single layer over the top. Lightly sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before slicing into squares.
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