Detroit-Style Pizza

Deep dish pizza comes with two very distinct choices. Chicago style deep dish pizza is one choice.
The other is Detroit Blue Pan pizza.

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The Detroit-style pizza was born in 1946. The original dough was mixed according to a Sicilian recipe. The thick dough was then pressed into a deep, square blue steel pan. The pan was three-fourths to an inch thick and was well oiled. The crust was crispy on the bottom with a chewy middle. The pepperoni was layered to cover the bottom of the crust. The cheese was heaped on top of the pepperoni. The red sauce was drizzled over the top. A legend was born in an industrial town.

From it’s beginning, Detroit Blue Pan pizza has not changed much. It’s an original and distinct type of deep-dish pizza. The deep-dish crust is still pressed into a square pan. Blue steel pans that are well-seasoned bake a certified Detroit style pizza. The pan must be well oiled in order to achieve the signature crust. The crust bakes crisply outside and is light and chewy on the inside. The bottom and edges have a fried texture. Butter is sometimes brushed over the crust before baking. The fatty cheese adds to the golden crispy texture. The fat from the cheese drips into the pan and adds to the delicate fried flavor of the crust.

Pepperoni is layered directly on top of the crust. Margherita pepperoni is the most preferred option when building a certified Detroit style pizza. Mushrooms are sometimes added with the pepperoni. Other meats can be included, but pepperoni is traditionally the only topping with the cheese. The flavor of the pepperoni seeps into the crust and creates a flavorful bite. Sometimes the pepperoni is placed on top of the cheese. It bakes to a crisp and adds oily pockets of flavor.

Brick and mozzarella cheeses cover the pepperoni edge to edge. The Wisconsin brick cheese is usually cubed. It melts and spreads to cover the entire crust. The brick cheese caramelizes to the crust during baking. This caramelization adds to the fried flavor of the crust. While the edges are dark and crisp, the center is gooey and thick. Brick cheese is very stretchy causing strings to drip from each piece.

Thick, sweet red sauce is poured over the cheese. Thin sauce seeps into the pizza and causes sogginess. The thick sauce is flavored with oregano and garlic. It sits nicely on the top where it bubbles as the pizza cooks. The cheese surrounds the red sauce as it melts. The flavors blend and create the signature taste of a Detroit style pizza. Because the sauce is on top, sometimes Detroit-style pizza is called red pizza.

Detroit-style pizzas are cooked at a very high temperature to help caramelize the cheese and crust. The most common ovens used are deck ovens. They ensure the proper melting and blending of the ingredients. 

America’s industrial city delivers a hearty and filling pizza worthy to share its name.