Supreme Detroit-Style Pizza
Learn how to make a supreme Detroit-style pizza with simple ingredients! The key to making Detroit-style pizza is all in the crust. Using bread flour yields a crust that’s crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. Top it with pepperoni, black olives, bell peppers and tons of mozzarella cheese!
Alright, you guys. It’s another addition of homemade pizza(!!)
And this time, the recipe is so ridiculously easy. And I know, I’ve said making homemade pizza dough is easy before and it is, but it doesn’t get easier than this. And that’s because the stand mixer is going to do all the work for you – all of it. That means, there’s no kneading, or shaping when it comes to Detroit-style pizza. Make the dough, let it rest, dump it in a baking pan, spread, top, and bake.
This is a new favorite in our house.
Favorite of mine because there’s less work involved; favorite of hubbies, well, because he loves pizza in every form. So much so, that I was explicitly told that I couldn’t make this pizza when he was away. He wanted it hot and fresh the day it was made.
When it comes to pizza, I don’t discriminate.
However, I do tend to lean more towards Chicago-style pizza. A deep dish pie loaded with so much cheese you practically can’t breathe through all the crazy cheese pulls. And don’t even try eating it without a fork and a knife. If it’s good Chicago-style pizza, that should be impossible. Topped with a thick and hearty tomato sauce that’s bright and flavorful to boot. Lawd, I am just counting the days to my next slice.
But when I realized that Detroit-style pizza shares some of those same qualities, as in a thick and crispy, buttery crust topped with all the toppings and the cheese then a hearty ladleful of sauce ON TOP, I knew it wouldn’t take more than a bite to convince me. And you might even get me to admit that Detroit-style pizza has the best crust I’ve EVER had. And that’s a big step. I take my pizza crusts very seriously.
Here’s the thing. I’m usually not a big meat topping eater. As in my topping choices for pizza usually are the same as they are for my omelettes. A handful of onions and peppers. Sometimes it’s mushrooms and spinach. If I’m feeling extra crazy, I’ll get it with white sauce. But never more than two toppings. It’s too much. It takes away the taste of all that rich tomatoey sauce and cheese. Who doesn’t want to taste the CHEESE or their pizza?
Not anyone I know.
What you need to know about Detroit-Style Pizza:
All of the magic of a Detroit-style pizza is in the crust. All of it. The crust of a Dtown pizza is thick, and super crispy on the bottom and the pizza itself is usually in a square or rectangular shape because it’s baked in a special pan (more on that in a second.)
Let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need. For the crust, you’ll need bread flour, water, yeast, and salt. That’s it! 4 ingredients and it may not seem like a lot but what you get is a crust that takes me back to the throwback 90’s Pizza Hut pizza that my childhood was made of.
I know someone is going to ask, well can I just use regular all-purpose flour? The answer is yes, you technically could. It would work. But it won’t yield the results bread flour will. For my food science lovers, the high gluten content in bread flour delivers that supreme, crispy-crunchy outer crust while still keeping that soft and chewy center we all love. Not that you’re asking my advice, but I say it’s worth it to splurge on a sack of bread flour. You’re most definitely going to make this pizza more than once.
Also, Detroit-style, the toppings go on the bottom. That’s what I’ve been able to gather. There’s a whole lot of back and forth on where the sauce needs to go but for the most part, I hear it goes on the top. When in doubt I default to my Chicago-style ways.
I feel like I need to say this in bold – If you feel otherwise, please place the sauce where you see fit. I’m not telling you how to have your pizza, just giving you a few guidelines here! 🙂
But for my first timers, sauce on top is GOOD.
Now that crust. See all that golden crispness? We’ll achieve that by brushing our pan with a little olive oil before we spread out the pizza dough. Speaking of the pan, as mentioned, Detroit-style pizza is usually made in a specific pan (affiliate link.) This kind of pizza dough really reminds me of homemade focaccia. My secret to making the crust even more delicious? Sprinkling some dried oregano on the crust before we top it with the toppings Trust me, it gives the dough that perfect pizza parlor flavor!
For us home cooks, you don’t have to run out and get a special pan (unless you want too!) I used my everyday 9×13 baking pan (affiliate link) that I usually bake these bars in and it worked fine. If you’ve got a pan that’s darker (say dark grey or black) your pizza will crisp and cook slightly faster than lighter pans, so keep a close eye on it!
The first time I made Detroit-style pizza I did it in a dark pan that I bought from $1 at the thrift store (strictly for food photography) and with its super thin sides, the pizza was ready to eat in 10 minutes. So the pan thickness really MATTERS.
Crust close up in …3..2..1
In terms of toppings, you can use just about anything you like! So today’s recipe is more about the crust. I went with pepperoni for my meat loving husband, along with a chopped bell pepper, and some black olives. And this is such a classic combination you just can’t go wrong!
Going light on the sauce here because I didn’t want it dripping off the sides. You’ll need about 1 1/4 cups altogether. You can use my homemade sauce (which I’ll link to in the recipe) or a good quality store-bought sauce. But whatever you do, use good quality mozz here. That’s what makes this so irresistible. I usually just buy a hunk from my cheese department and cube it myself because I almost always have an accident when I’ve tried to shred large quantities. You can also swap some of the mozz for cheddar. My last batch was a 50/50 split and here’s a shocker, it was SOOO GOOD.
Burnt cheesy, crispy bubbly golden brown crust and all the melty, gooey cheese pulls that make our heart sing.
Here’s to a cheesy MONDAY!
- 2 ½ cups bread flour (see notes)
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water (105º-110ºF)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ¼ cups pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 2½ cups shredded or diced mozzarella cheese
- black olives, bell peppers, pepperoni slices (or any toppings you like)
- Detroit-Style Dough: Add the flour, yeast, and salt to a stand mixer and combine on the stir setting. With the stand mixer on medium-low (speed 4) add the warm water and let mix for 7 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 10 minutes (exactly) before proceeding. Turn the mixer back on to medium-low (speed 4) and continue to mix the dough for an additional 10 minutes. While the dough mixes, grab a large bowl, spray with cooking spray and set aside. When the dough is mixed, use a dough scraper to aid in dumping the dough into the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (spray with cooking spray so it doesn't stick) and set aside in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
- Shape the dough: When the dough has doubled in size, drizzle the olive oil in a 9x13 inch pan and using a brush or your fingers, cover the bottom and sides with the oil evenly. Dump the dough directly into the baking dish (it's super sticky.) Grab a tablespoon of bread flour between your fingers and use it to spread the dough so it doesn't stick to your fingers. Spread the dough as much as you can without tearing it. If the dough doesn't reach the edges, let it relax (covered with plastic wrap) for another 30-40 minutes before trying to spread it again to the edges. Depending on how much you needed to stretch it the second time, you may want to let it rest for 10-15 minutes again (that's if you stretched it a whole lot the second time too.)
- Bake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 550ºF (or as high as your oven will go.) Sprinkle the dough with dried oregano followed by your favorite toppings. Next top with cheese and finally drizzle the sauce in three straight lines. Bake the pizza uncovered for 12-16 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown and crispy. Let cool for a minute or two before using a sharp knife to loosen the pizza. Place the pizza carefully on a cutting board and slice into 12 pieces. Serve immediately!
- I suggest using the spoon and level method to measure out the flour for this recipe.
- You can also replace some of the mozzarella with cheddar cheese, comes out great that way too!