Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza

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Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza is a nod to the Detroit and Chicago style pies. Detroit has the sauce on top and Chicago is a deep dish cooked in cast iron. The best of both pizza worlds!

Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza is a nod to the Detroit and Chicago style pies. Detroit has the sauce on top and Chicago is a deep dish cooked in cast iron. The best of both pizza worlds! #OurFamilyTable


I’m going to preface this post. This IS NOT a recipe for an authentic Detroit pizza. This is Detroit STYLE pizza. So, please no comments about this not being an original/authentic Detroit pizza recipe. Because I don’t claim that is it. I’ve had many comments about the “style” recipes that “this is not authentic!” Well, I don’t say it is. So SHUT IT!


Rant over.


What is Detroit pizza?


The national pizza chain who shall remain nameless advertised the Detroit style pizza. I’d never heard of it before then. Not that I keep up with all kinds of pizza styles and recipes. My idea of a perfect pizza is one packed with pepperoni and cheese. That’s it. Maybe mushrooms, but only if they’re canned. Don’t judge.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza is packed with cheese and pepperoni with the sauce on top. #OurFamilyTable


Detroit pizza is a rectangular pizza. Sort of like a Sicilian style pizza. Except it’s cooked in a steel pan. The type of steel pan used as automotive drip pans or to hold machinery. Sort of a nod to the type of blue-collar work that built Detroit.


The crust is thick and chewy. Sort of like focaccia bread. With a crispy crust, chewy crumb, and full of holes making it light and delicious. The toppings are simple. Pepperoni and Wisconsin brick cheese. Except, I didn’t have brick cheese. I used my favorite pizza cheese which is Provolone. Then I topped it with an Italian cheese blend.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza has a rich sourdough based crust that is thick and delicious. #OurFamilyTable


Finally, there is no sauce on the dough. Sometimes there’s sauce spread on top of the pizza before it’s baked. This is why I love this pizza! I’m not a huge sauce fan for pizza. Putting it on top means there’s less sauce and more toppings. It also means less heartburn for me. Me and tomatoes DO NOT get along. Especially in sauce form.


How was Detroit pizza invented?


The first Detroit pizza goes back to the 1940s. Buddy’s Rendezvous, later renamed Buddy’s Pizza, started making the pizza in blue steel pans make for the automotive industry. Why? Because baking pans of the day weren’t appropriate for cooking pizza like this one. They just didn’t hold up to the heat needed to make delicious Detroit pizza.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza has the sauce on top of the toppings!  #OurFamilyTable


This type of pizza stayed in the Detroit area for a long time. Like, decades. It wasn’t until 2011 did this type of pizza make it outside of the Detroit area. Two brothers opened a pizza restaurant in Texas, and they called it Detroit-style pizza. After that, Detroit style pizza took off and gained popularity and fame quickly.


Detroit style pizza has quite a few requirements. The first being a 70% hydration crust. I think mine is almost 70% not probably quite that much. Detroit style pizza should be at least 1 1/2 inches thick. Mine isn’t that thick either.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza cooks in a cast iron skillet for a super crispy crust. #OurFamilyTable


As much as I love bread dough, it’s a bit much for a pizza. The first few iterations are about that tall. I had to cut it to about 3/4 of an inch for it to be a good bread to cheese ratio for me. Then again, I didn’t use as much cheese as a typical Detroit style pizza calls for, either. About a pound of Wisconsin brick cheese and some Mozzarella. That’s a lot of cheese!


What is Wisconsin brick cheese?


It’s a version of an American Cheddar cheese. It has a creamy texture and a higher fat content than most cheese of it’s type. That’s why it is so good for Detroit style pizza. Because Detroit style pizza bakes at high temps. 400 or more F. Some even go as high as 700! This is why the steel pans from the automotive industry. The steel can take the high heat.



And the brick cheese can take the high heat. Because of the make up of the cheese, it almost doesn’t melt. That’s why some mix it with Mozzarella to get that pizza cheese structure most think of when craving pizza. You know, the stringy cheese when you pull the slice out of the pan. I mean, who really achieves that at home? I know I don’t.


What is deep dish pizza?

It’s sort of self-explanatory. It’s a pizza baked in a deep dish like a cast iron or steel pan. Sometimes it’s made with cornmeal or semolina flour in combination with regular flour to make that yellow-ish color that deep dish pizza has. Sometimes they use food dye, too. I can’t even imagine.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza has a rich sourdough based crust that is thick and delicious. #OurFamilyTable


The dough gets pushed up the sides of the pan in order to hold the large amount of toppings used in deep dish pizza. According to Wikipedia, crushed tomatoes are the topping. I don’t remember this with Uno’s pizza. I could swear there is sauce on the bottom like regular pizza. Then again, there is other deep-dish pizza that is not Chicago deep dish that starts with sauce.


What is Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza?


Detroit style pizza is typically rectangular. With a thicker crust. Ironically, the first version of this pizza had the amount of dough that a Detroit style pizza calls for. It was too much dough for me. But this Detroit style deep dish pizza has the focaccia style crust that is pushed up the sides of the pan like a Chicago style deep-dish pizza.


A bullseye of sauce tops this Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza.


This Detroit style deep dish pizza also has a bunch of cheese and pepperoni on top of the dough. Not as much as one pound like Detroit style usually has. But there’s almost a pound of cheese on there. I combined Provolone with an Italian style blend for the ultimate in cheesy goodness on this pizza. Since I can’t find Wisconsin Brick cheese here, I thought it was the next best blend. At least for me.


I spread the dough for my Detroit style deep dish pizza into a well-oiled cast-iron skillet. This is the nod to Chicago. I wanted the bottom of the crust to be nice and crispy. Almost fried in texture to bring in that deep-dish pizza crust I was looking for.


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza has a rich sourdough based crust that is thick and delicious. #OurFamilyTable


Finally, there’s pizza sauce on top of the Italian blend of cheeses. This brings home the Detroit style in this Detroit style deep dish pizza. The sauce is a simple jarred sauce. I planned on making sauce but wound up just using a simple marinara. And I didn’t put too much sauce on there. At most I used a half a cup. I added more to the first one, but I didn’t like all that sauce on top. If you do, then feel free to add more!


You can see the nice crumb of the crust. It’s tender with a hint of sourdough flavor to that makes if so delicious. There’s the layer of Provolone, pepperoni, Italian blend, and the sauce on top. The cheese gets golden browned. The pepperoni is nice and crispy. It’s a delicious pizza!! I made it 4 times. And I ate a couple of pieces every time I made it! It’s so good, I plan on making it again, soon!


Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza has a rich sourdough based crust that is thick and delicious. #OurFamilyTable
Yield: 4

Detroit Style Deep Dish Pie

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes

Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza is a nod to the Detroit and Chicago style pies. Detroit has the sauce on top and Chicago is a deep dish cooked in cast iron. The best of both pizza worlds!


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 11 ounces 50% hydration sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 to 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces sliced Provolone cheese
  • 6 ounces Italian cheese blend
  • 6 ounces pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce


For the pizza:

    1. Combine the water with the yeast, sugar, and sourdough started in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir with a whisk to combine.
    2. Bloom the yeast 5 minutes or until foamy.
    3. Using the dough hook, add 2 cups of flour, the olive oil, and stir until the dough forms a ball.
    4. Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
    5. Allow the dough to rise until double in size, punch the dough down, and then refrigerate overnight.
    6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to temperature for one hour.
    7. Lightly knead the dough to remove excess air bubbles.
    8. Divide the dough into two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, carefully pick up the dough. Using your knuckles; gently stretch the dough for a few minutes. If you’re skilled enough, you can toss the dough to allow gravity to stretch the dough for you.
    9. Or you can use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.
    10. Continue stretching the dough until it’s the same width as your skillet. If the dough starts to tighten up, allow it to rest 30 minutes and then continue stretching the dough.

For the pizza:

      1. Coat your skillet generously with olive oil and place the dough in the skillet.
      2. Cut the sliced Provolone cheese in half and place it on top of the dough.
      3. Top with pepperoni (or other toppings of choice).
      4. Top with the Italian cheese blend.
      5. Spoon the pizza sauce on top of the pizza.
      6. Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are dark brown and the toppings are bubbly and browning.
      7. Allow the pizza to cool 5 to 10 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 2234Total Fat 58gSaturated Fat 24gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 28gCholesterol 111mgSodium 1837mgCarbohydrates 336gFiber 14gSugar 6gProtein 85g

What? That's insane. No way that's 2K a serving.

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