I've long been fascinated by the Pan-Pizza Detroit-style. It is the platypus of pizza: apparently composed of different parts of other regional pizzas, but in the end a separate breed. It takes the spongy, honeycomb crust of a Sicilian granny slice and goes with the cheese topping sauce Chicago Layer method and a ton of Wisconsin cheese. And guess what – it works. Cheese fanatics and lasagna corner friends, you have just met your ideal pizza.

  Under this sauce? So much crispy bread & cheese.
Under this sauce? So, so much crispy bread & cheese.
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Exploring Pan-Pizza recipes in the style of Detroit, I began, as I often do, with one of the always-rigorous culinary Science Guy himself, J. Kenji Lopez -Old. He, I think exactly, categorizes it as (and I paraphrase here): "not an everyday pizza, not a pizza every week and maybe not even a pizza every month, but damn, it's a good pizza ".

After reading this intro, I became a bit anxious; Did that mean that the recipe would be tedious or difficult, or would require overly obscure ingredients? When I did it, to my relief, I discovered that the Detroit-style pancake is actually quite simple to put together: the dough lasts a few hours, but most of it is permissive rising time, and while some of the ingredients (Brick cheese, I look at you) are hard to find, the recipe has a generous scope for substitutions

Overall, it's a damn good pizza – one that's almost more the cheesy bread of your dreams than pizza. Not that I complain. It's also a pizza that I'm claiming you should do this weekend. Because winter, because dark, early evenings because you just scroll back and look at those bronzed, tough corners. Nobody does not need the in their life.

The Pan (s)

Most recipes require pizza to be baked in the traditional anodized pizza pan in Detroit style, a modern version of the industrial blue tits that were originally used in the factories of Motory City as utility trays. If you do not want to buy any special equipment, you can easily use a 9×13 inch baking pan or divide the dough between two 8×8 inch square baking tins. Try to select those with dark surfaces that increase the heat conduction and form the crunchy, bronze crust we all crave.

The Cheese [n]

If you want to be traditional with your Detroit-style pizza, I have to track down the elusive Wisconsin Brick Cheese. Fat, creamy and relatively mild, this cheese melts very well and spreads to cover the whole pizza in a crunchy, golden crust. Wisconsin Brick Cheese is surprisingly hard to find, at least outside the Midwest. I had to call four supermarkets and two cheese shops before I finally met with gold. It is not cheap either; My 7 ounce block cost me almost $ 7. If you do not live in an area with a good selection of cheeses and still want to stick to the tradition, ordering Brick cheese online is your best bet.

Fortunately, if you do not have the time or energy to look hard. To find dairy products, you can easily make a substitute by combining two cheeses that are common in every grocery store: cheddar (mild, preferably from Wisconsin) and mozzarella with low moisture content. The taste will not be the same, but it's still damn good. Some cooks also decide to cover the whole with an extra parmesan before it goes into the oven, which I certainly do not disagree with.

  Pepperoni and cheese: the classic mating.
Pepperoni and cheese: The classic mating.
Photo of Mark Weinberg

The linings

Up or up? That was … the question I asked myself when making this pizza. Most of the Detroit Pan pizzas I found did not need either toppings or hot peppers, typically smoked, with occasional mushrooms, peppers, jalapenos, or sausages. If you want to get a little wild, you can also add withered greens, caramelized onions or sliced ‚Äč‚Äčolives. On my first appearance in the world of Detroit-style pizza, I kept things simple and painted the pads.

If you want to add something, you have to make another decision: placement. Some places put their toppings under the cheese, Chicago's deep-dish style, which flavors the crust while others put their add-ins on the cheese so they're nicely charred. Still others say yolo and both. I'll leave that to you, but remember, this pizza is mostly about the cheesecloth and the tough, bronze crust, so do not go overboard in the clothing department.

The sauce

The sauce was my biggest problem with Detroit-style pizza. Most of the recipes I researched required ground or ground tomatoes combined with a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, sugar and spices. As an advocate of simpler, raw tomato sauces on pizza, I had to put aside my prejudices and simply trust that Detroit knows best. However, I have made some tweaks to the sauce recipes that I found to reduce the sugar into garlic in place of garlic powder and to make up for it with a vigorous shake of red pepper flakes. Sacrilege? Could be. Mea culpa.

There are also different instructions on how and when to apply the sauce to the pizza: before or after cooking? In two lines or three? On the page for diving? (Okay, the last one was just me, but I think it would be good.) I stole the sauce in two rows on the pizza after it was cooked to promote maximum cheese browning. However you apply your sauce, make sure you cut your pizza so that each piece gets something out of it.

  Everything messed up, ready to go.
Everything messed up, ready to go.
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Go and Pizza

Now that you've done your homework, you're ready to dive headfirst into the thick-breasted, cheese-eating experience of Detroit. Style pan of pizza. Invite a few friends, drink a lemon salad and open some wine – a pizza that is so easy to share.

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Detroit Pizza

By Catherine Lamb [19659027] Dough

  • 300
    Grams of bread flour (about 2 cups)

  • 5
    Grams of instant yeast (1 teaspoon)

  • 9
    Grams of salt (1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt)

  • 220
    Gram of water (2 tablespoons shy of 1 cup)

  • extra virgin olive oil, as needed

    Everything else

    • 1
      Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    • 2
      Garlic cloves, chopped

    • 2
      Teaspoon of dried oregano

    • Dash of red peppercorns

    • 1
      28 ounces can chop tomatoes

    • 1
      Teaspoon of onion powder

    • 1
      Teaspoon of sugar

    • Kosher salt, to taste

    • 12
      Ounces of pepperoni, sliced, or other toppings that you want (just do not overload the pizza)

    • 12
      Ounces of stone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. If you do not find brick cheese, a mild, high-fat Wisconsin specimen, use a blend of mild cheddar and low-mozzarella mozzarella.

View Full Recipe

Are you loyal to a particular regional pizza style? New York? Chicago? Detroit? Tell us in the comments!

SOURCES: VEGGIENUMNUM FOOD52 THEBUTTY
SMITTENKITCHEN NOTWITHOUTSALT HOWSWEETEATS

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