Detroit Style Pizza


What exactly is Detroit Style Pizza? Everyone knows about the famous Chicago deep dish pizza but maybe not the Detroit style so much. It is gaining popularity and there’s a reason why. It is absolutely delicious. Traditionally made in a rectangular pan (specific to Detroit style pizza) then topped in reverse with cheese first and sauce last, over a fluffy chewy crust and crispy cheese “frico” edges that is to die for. Cut into square pieces instead of the more traditional triangles is its signature.

If you don’t have a Detroit style pizza pan I am sure that you can purchase on Amazon or elsewhere. I don’t have one, but I do have a pan that works just as well in my opinion. Even if you don’t have the exact pan you can still make Detroit style pizza in a regular rectangular baking pan.

Detroit Style Pizza

A Crispy edge, thick fluffy based pizza in the Detroit Style with sauce on top
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Course anytime, Appetizer, brunch, Main Course, pizza
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 1 9X13 pizza


  • 1 stand mixer with dough hook,
  • 1 Detroit style Pizza Pan (optional) 10×13"
  • 1 Pizza Stone (optional)


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp, lukewarm water
  • ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR (3 grams)
  • OR 4½ grams active dried yeast
  • Tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cups Bread Flour
  • ½ Tbsp fine sea salt

For the Toppings:

  • Cups shredded Mozzarella or wisconsin brick cheese *or Mozza cheddar combination
  • 100 grams pepperoni slices
  • ¾ cup Pizza sauce


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp, lukewarm water. yeast and 1½ Tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil. Let sit for 10 minutes to bloom the yeast (if using instant yeast, continue to next step)
  • Add the 3 cups Bread Flour and ½ Tbsp fine sea salt and combine. Mix the dough on a low to medium speed for 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the dough is smooth, silky and has good elasticity.
  • If you do not have a stand mixer, combine as above in a bowl with a wooden spoon or your hand, then knead until a smooth dough forms (about 15 minutes)
  • Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough ball in it, flip it to coat the dough lightly, then cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take 2 hours. (don't rush it)
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly oil the bottom and sides of your pan with olive oil. This will help the pizza develop a nice crust and get crunchy.
  • Transfer the dough to the pan and push the dough out to the corners, dimpling the dough as you go. Cover the dough and let rise for 15 minutes to relax the gluten. Once the dough has relaxed and become more pliable, Gently spread and dimple it again using your fingers and push the dough into the corners of the pan.
  • Let rise again for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen about ½ way up the pan.
  • PREHEAT you oven for to 450 ℉. If you have one, place the pizza stone in the oven at this time, using your bottom rack. If you don't have a pizza stone a baking sheet will do. Alternatively you can place your pizza on the bottom of the oven (if it is a sealed unit). To get the desired bake.
  • Once the oven is at the desired temperature THEN top the pizza in the Detroit style. Start with the cheese, paying particular attention to the edges-this will create the signature "frico" or cheesy crusty edge. Add the pepperoni, then 2 to 3 stripes of sauce on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top and dark and crispy along the edges, the "frico".
  • Let the pizza cool for a few minutes, then gently remove it from the pan (recommended) before slicing into squares.
  • Enjoy!


This dough can be made the day you want to use it or you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge overnight.  This is especially useful if you want to make more than one pizza on the day you want to serve it.    Just make sure you remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before you press it into the pan.
Keyword cheesy, crispy, detroit style, pizza

Why is Detroit Style Pizza a Must Try recipe?

  • First of all THE CRUST: The crust is deep but not heavy and dense. Because it is make with bread flour and the long rise it is more like foccacia than what you normally think of as a pizza dough. It is light, airy and bubbly and oh so delicious.
  • Secondly, THE TOPPINGS: In order for the crust to bake perfectly, the toppings are added in reverse from what you typically see on pizza. It is cheese first, meat (or other toppings) next and the last topping is the sauce (and not a lot of it)! Traditionaly Detroit style pizza uses Wisconsin Brick cheese, but I can’t get it where I live, so I use a low moisture mozzarella and shred it myself. The pre shredded variety is full of additives and anti-caking ingredients so I like to avoid that-but you can use whatever you like.
  • Thirdly, THE SAUCE: as i said you don’t need a lot of sauce on this pizza. Traditionally is has 2 or 3 lines of sauce so it doesn’t weigh down the dough. You can use store bought sauce or make your own.
  • FINALLY, THE PAN: Traditionally baked in a seasoned steel pan made specific for Detroit style pizza. If you don’t have one a regular rectangular baking pan should work fine. I have a pan that has a non-stick coating and deep sides, though not a true Detroit style pizza pan, it works amazingly. AND it was probably 1/4 of the price of a true Detroit style pan. If you can find one like that I recommend trying it.

Ingredients for the perfect Detroit Style Pizza:

  • Bread Flour: I highly recommend using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. The strong bread flour dough holds up to the layering of toppings without weighing down the dough.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Although traditionally made with Wisconsin Brick cheese it is not readily available to me. If you can find it, perfect, use it. I use a low moisture mozzarella cheese that I shred myself. (you can use a combination of mozza and cheddar if you like, but I am a purist and like the traditional mozzarella only). I also like to add a few slices of mozzarella around the entire circumference of the pan to make sure that i get that “frico” cheese crust that Detroit style pizza is known for.
  • Pepperoni: there is no more traditional topping than a good natural casing pepperoni. That’s what my family like, so when I make Detroit style pizza that’s the only topping I use.
  • Sauce: You can use store bought sauce if you like, but since there is a lot of effort in this pizza why not go all out and make your own sauce. It is easy to make and the more simple the sauce the better the pizza. If you don’t have a sauce recipe you can find mine here. There isn’t a lot of sauce on this pizza so the best sauce will make an Great pizza.
  • Pizza Pan: You can purchase authentic Detroit Style Pizza pans on Amazon I am sure. But if you don’t want to spend the money, I suggest a good metal non-stick coated rectangular pan will work. If you use a regular pan like this then I recommend also using a pizza stone, this will ensure the bottom of the pizza gets that nice crust that we are looking for. Just put the pizza stone in your oven when you preheat the oven so that it is at temperature when the pizza goes in.

How to make Detroit Style Pizza:

The first step to making the Detroit style pizza is obviously making the dough. I prefer to use my stand mixer, but you can do it by hand, it just takes a bit longer. Combine the ingreditents in the bowl of the stand mixer, then using the dough hook, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl (turn the dough to coat it all over), then set it aside to rise. The first rise is 2 hours or until the dough has doubled. I have a proofing function on my oven so it generally takes less time to complete the first rise.

Once the dough has doubled in size, press it into the well-oiled non-stick rectangular pan and using your fingertips, spread it out and dimple it then let it rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten. Once that has happened you can press and stretch it out to the corners of the pan into a flat and even layer. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or a tea towel and let it rise again for another 2 hours or until it has risen to about half way up the pan.

Preheat your oven (and pizza stone if using) to 450 degrees F. If you don’t have a pizza stone, then i recommend you use a baking sheet also letting it preheat in the oven. This will help get the crispy bottom crust we are looking for.

Just before putting the pizza in the oven, add the toppings, in reverse of course! Start with the shredded (or cubed-traditionally) mozzarella cheese. Make sure to get a good amount of cheese around the entire edge of the pizza (I like to add slices around the edge to ensure i get that “frico” cheese crusty edge). Then add the pepperoni in whatever pattern you like, scattered or more organized (it’s your pizza after all!), then finally 2 or 3 lines of sauce. It really only needs that much.

Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes until the cheese becomes golden brown and bubbly and you can see the crust forming along the edges. Let it cool for a couple of minutes then remove it from the pan for slicing. Cut into square pieces and enjoy! I like to serve it with a nice caesar salad to complete the meal.

If you want to make the dough ahead of time:

To make ahead just make the dough and then refrigerate it overnight or up to 72 hours wrapped in lightly oiled plastic wrap. Once you are ready to continue, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before putting it in the pan as per the recipe continue at that step.

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