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Pandemic Pizza: Part 3 - Detroit Style Pizza!

Submitted by Bethany on Mon, 02/01/2021 - 13:03

This week’s Sunday creation is Detroit Style Pizza! Never heard of it? You will soon as Pizza Hut is rolling out their version sometime this year.

But, this pizza has been around for a long time. Legend has it that an auto worker brought home a steel pan from the factory that was used to store parts. He asked his wife to make a Sicilian style pizza in the pan, thus the Detroit Style Pizza was born. If you would like to read more about its history then check out the story on Wikipedia.

 I purchased an authentic steel Detroit Style Pan a couple of months ago and just this week decided it was time to try it. (I wanted to beat the debut of the Pizza Hut version. Lol.) If you don’t want to invest in an authentic pan you can use a dark cake pan, although the crust won’t get quite as crispy. It is not any more difficult than other pizza crusts I have made, but it is much more time consuming. You will definitely need to plan ahead if you are going to make this pizza. I have watched several YouTube videos, each with their own slight variation.

I decided to stick with the Detroit Style Pizza Co.’s recipe and directions.

The focaccia like dough has 70% hydration which creates an open, porous, chewy crust with a crispy exterior. The dough takes 24-48 hours for the first proof (rise) in the refrigerator. This time intensifies the flavor and improves the texture. Once you are ready to make the pizza the dough will need to proof for another 2-3 hours.

Traditionally cubed mozzarella is used. I did cube the cheese, but next time I will use shredded cheese to save time.

I followed the recipe for the sauce. But there is nothing wrong with buying sauce in a can or jar, which is what I usually do.

So here is the recipe:

Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza Pizza

2 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil, for oiling the bowl

Pizza Sauce:
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

8-12 ounces sliced pepperoni
16 ounces brick cheese or whole-milk mozzarella,½” cubes or shredded
3 cups pizza sauce

Pizza Dough:
1. Put the water, yeast and sugar in a stand mixer, stir for 1 minute and then let stand for 10 minutes
2. Add the flour & salt then mix until a shaggy dough forms.
3. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then knead it again on medium-low for 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic
4. Form the dough into a ball & coat with a thin layer of oil, place it into a lightly-greased bowl and cover. Put the dough into the refrigerator for 24-48 hours to allow for cold fermentation. This will intensify the flavor and improve the texture.

Pizza Sauce:
1. Heat a small saucepot over medium heat and add all of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes until concentrated, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Note: Either make the sauce ahead of time and then heat before using, or make the sauce while the dough is proofing for 2-3 hours.

1. Pour canola oil in an authentic Detroit-style pizza pan, or a rectangular dark metal cake pan. Rub the bottom, sides & corners well so the pizza doesn’t stick.
2. Put the Pizza Dough in the pan and gently stretch it toward the edges. You won't be able to get it all the way to the edges; this is okay. Stretch it as much as you can without tearing, then cover tightly in plastic and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the dough to relax. Return to the dough and stretch it out again. It should be able to reach the edges this time. If not, let it rest a little more and try again. To get the dough to stay in the corners, stretch it up beyond the corners so that it pulls back into place. Once dough is stretched, cover again and set aside for another rise about 2-3 hours. The dough should be rise 1/3 up the side of the pan
3. Position an oven rack in the lowest part of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500° F
4. Sprinkle the dough with dried oregano. Gently layer on the ingredients so as not to deflate the dough. Layer the pepperoni then the cheese all over, especially around the perimeter & up to the edge of the pan. This creates the crispy cheese crust. Then lightly dollop the pizza sauce on top in 3 long lines. (This mimics the stripes on a racing car.)
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until bubbly and golden and a crispy cheese crust has formed.
6. Using a spatula, loosen up the edges and place on a cutting board. Slice into squares and serve!

Here is my creation before going in the oven.

And here is a pic of the final product. If I do say so myself. It was worth it.

For "Thursday Dough Day" this past week my son, Matthew, helped me make Chicken Pot Pies using pizza dough for the crust. Turned out great!

I will continue to share more styles and recipes for pizza next time. And of course, I will share what my latest pizza creation is. And on "Thursday Dough Day" I will share how I used pizza crust for something other than pizza.

~Peggy Palmer-Johnson