Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza

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I have heard a lot recently about Detroit-style pizzas, so I asked for, and received, a Detroit-style pizza pan for Christmas. 

Last night I used it with good results for the first time to make a pepperoni pizza.  Detroit-style pizzas have several characteristics:

  1. They are cooked in a deep-dish rectangular pan which originated in auto assembly plants.
  2. There is an extended rise in the oiled pan, which produces a light crust with a crispy bottom.
  3. A mixture of low-moisture mozzarella and brick cheese is used.  (Brick cheese is not widely available so a common substitute is a cheese like Monterrey jack, which is creamy and melts well.)
  4. Part of the cheese is put on the edge of the pan to form a browned edge.  There is no naked crust.
  5. The order of ingredients for a pepperoni pizza is pepperoni, cheese, and then sauce.

Here is the recipe I followed for a 10 x 14 inch pan, which makes 4 servings.  It is adapted from


7 oz. 85 degree water

¼ cup semolina flour

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. instant dry yeast

7.6 oz. (1-3/4 cup) bread flour

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. canola oil (to oil pan and hands


15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

½ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. garlic powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The dough is best if made the day before so that it can slowly ferment in the refrigerator, but it can be used the day it is made.

Put in the bowl of a stand mixer the water, semolina flour, sugar, and yeast.  Mix well.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Add the bread flour and salt to the bowl and mix with the wet ingredients with a dough whisk.  Cover and rest for 15 minutes.

Using the dough hook, knead the dough until smooth.  Put the dough in a doubling container, coat with a little oil, cover it,  and refrigerator it overnight.

About 2.5 hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Allow it to warm up for 30 minutes.   Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with oil using your hands.  With your oiled hands put the dough in the pan and spread it out to partially cover the pan.   Allow it to rest for 15 minutes and then using oiled hands press it out to fully cover the pan including the corners.  Cover and allow to rise for 2 hours.

While the dough is rising make the sauce by combining the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Simmer the ingredients for 15 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

Put a pizza steel or stone in the oven and preheat it to 450 degrees.

Assemble the pizza by covering the dough with a layer of pepperoni and then a layer of cheese making sure to put cheese all the way around the edges of the dough.  Finally, spoon three stripes of sauce down the length of the pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is browned.  Ease the pizza out of the pan onto a cutting board and cut into rectangles for serving.


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