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.

Looking for more pizza recipes? Try my White Pizza, Calzones, or Thai Chicken Pizza!

Detroit-style pizza baked in a pan, topped with cheese, sauce and pepperoni.

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!.

Ingredient Notes:

  • 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.

Detroit Pizza dough rising in a rectangle 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.

Shredded cheese added on top of pizza dough in a pan, to make Detroit pizza.

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.

Lines of pizza sauce added on top of cheese and Detroit style pizza crust.

Add Pepperoni: Lay pepperonis in a single layer over the top. Lightly sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Pepperoni slices added on top of Detroit pizza, ready to bake.

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.

A slice of Detroit pizza being removed from the pan.

Serve with a green salad and some fresh lemonade!

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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Recipe

Detroit pizza baked in a steel pan, topped with cheese, sauce and pepperoni.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total Rising Time 4 hours
Total 4 hours 25 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 ½ cups bread flour*
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt

Toppings:

  • 3/4 cup Pizza Sauce*
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese , or 8oz Brick cheese/Wisconsin cheese, diced
  • 3 ounces natural casing Pepperoni , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: 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. 
Freezing Instructions: Make and knead 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. 
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 11gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 563mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 243IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 145mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Just made this today! Great crust recipe.
    I used a 13×9 pan and placed it on the hot pizza stone to bake. It turned out perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night and was happily surprised at how good it turned out. Along with being the easiest it was the best pizza I’ve made from scratch. It’s a keeper! Thanks!

  3. I just made it for the first time. In the perfect motor parts tray…. So good. I put my own toppings on it. Who cares, make it nice.
    Thanks for such a great recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this pizza tonight with Miyoko liquid cheese to make a dairy free version for me and my boyfriend. This recipe is delicious and I’m so happy that I found it! Best vegan pizza I’ve eaten…. And I bet it’s even more delicious with real cheese! Time consuming recipe but well worth it.

  5. Some ‘self-claimed’ “authentic Detroit style” pizza recipe’s call for first baking the pizza crust for 7-9 minutes at 450° with just a handful of grated cheese pressed into the dough around the perimeter of the pan in order to develop a crispy cheesy crust interface. Then removing the baked pizza crust, allowing it to cool, then adding the cheese and sauce (racing stripes…) and toppings before placing the pan back into the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes. Curious if you’ve tried both methods as your recipe look like it produces the desired finished product with less steps.
    Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a few different crust recipes and this has been the best one I’ve made to date. I’m from the Chicago suburbs so I made the toppings more Chicago-style with more sauce and Italian sausage and then broiled it at the end to really get a good char on the cheese (I also used whole milk brick mozzarella which I diced instead of grating). The result was kind of like if Pequod’s and a Detroit pizza had a love child.

    1. That’s debatable! Every pizza shop in Detroit probably has their own version, but the pizza my family loves (in metro Detroit) most definitely has pepperoni on the top! And the sauce is under the cheese too! 😉 ROFL

      1. Tip from a Jet’s Pizza veteran. Use a long metal spatula to help release the crust from the pan and then lift it out. Place on a cutting board to slice it.

        And yes Detroit pizza varies from chain to chain, store to store. Jet’s pizza is famous for Detroit Deep Dish and has sauce under the cheese.

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