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Delicious homemade Detroit-Style Pizza
Easy cheesy Detroit-Style Pizza
If you’ve never had Detroit-Style Pizza before, I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Or maybe make a pilgrimage to Detroit to get the real-deal at one of the original Buddy’s restaurant locations.
Detroit-Style pizza is a memorable pie beloved by all. This Detroit pizza love affair is similar to the fame the Philly Cheesesteak brought to Philadelphia and the deep-dish pizza brought to Chicago.
While we can’t all travel to Detroit just for a big cheesy pizza, we can make it at home with very little effort.
Overview of ingredients:
SAUCE: We love our no-cook, simple pizza sauce recipe. It comes together in 5 minutes and is perfect on this thick crust Detroit pizza. However, if you’re in a rush or have a favorite store-bought brand, no worries. You’ll need one heaping cup of homemade or store-bought sauce for this pizza.
For the sauce:
- canned crushed tomatoes
- tomato paste
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- dried oregano
- onion powder
- granulated garlic or garlic powder
- granulated sugar
- fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
PIZZA DOUGH: We also love this homemade thick-crust pizza dough that’s almost like a simple focaccia bread recipe. Again if you’re in a rush, store-bought pizza dough might work well too. It won’t have the exact same airy texture but will still be delicious.
For the pizza dough:
- instant or rapid rise yeast
- room temperature water
- granulated sugar
- all-purpose flour
- olive oil
- table salt
CHEESE: To be completely authentic you’ll need to travel to the Midwest and pick up plenty of Wisconsin Brick Cheese. This popular cheese melts beautifully and tastes buttery due to the high fat content.
To achieve a similar flavor and golden brown bubbly topping without having to travel, we’ve used a combination of cheeses you can find in any grocery store.
For the cheese topping:
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- shredded whole milk mozzarella
How to make Detroit-Style Pizza
The pizza dough has a long rise time so start making this recipe about 4 1/2 hours before you plan to serve.
1. To prepare the pizza sauce:
Mix all the sauce ingredients together, cover and refrigerate until needed. This sauce can be made up to two days in advance.
2. To prepare the pizza dough:
Spray a commercial grade 13×9-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with vegetable oil and set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the flour, sugar and yeast. Add the water and olive oil and mix until no dry flour remains.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium speed until the dough forms a sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm location for 15 minutes.
Grease your hands with olive oil then press and stretch the dough evenly into the corners of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough more than doubles in volume and large bubbles form on the surface, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
3. Bake the pizza
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat to 500 degrees F.
Combine the cheeses and sprinkle evenly over the dough all the way to the sides of the pan to completely cover. Spoon three strips of sauce over the cheese lengthwise.
Bake immediately until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then loosen from the sides by running a small thin knife around the edge of the pan. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and cut into 8 slices. Serve immediately.
For best results use a hefty 13×9-inch nonstick pizza pan
One of the hallmarks of a great Detroit pizza is the crispy edges and crusty corners where the cheese melts against the sides of the pan. This is best achieved in a pan that can withstand the 500 degree F oven temperature.
You can use a deep-dish stone baker if you have one, or cut the recipe in half and bake in a cast-iron skillet.
Otherwise I highly recommend buying this amazing, affordable commercial grade Lloyd Detroit Style Pizza Pan. Every time I use it I’m amazed at how easy it is to clean and maintain, and how incredibly well it cooks this pizza.
If you plan to make this recipe on a regular basis, like we do, you’ll want to buy this pan.
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A brief history – Detroit-Style Pizza
The original Detroit pizza was created back in 1946 by local bar owner Gus Guerra and one of his employees, Concetta “Connie” Piccinato. It seems Connie missed her home in Italy and all that wonderful focaccia bread she grew up on.
Connie asked Gus if they could make a pizza that started with a thick crust similar to focaccia. They did just that and then turned regular pizza on its head by adding the cheese first and then the sauce.
Everybody gets a corner slice
Don’t be surprised when your family actually squabbles over the corner pieces. With all that crispy, crunchy cheese it’s very hard to resist.
But no worries! If you’re cutting the pizza into 8 slices to feed 4 people, there’s enough corner pieces for everyone to have at least one.
Other topping options
Feel free to add pepperoni to your pie or any of your favorite pizza toppings.
We like pre-cooked Italian sausage pressed gently into the dough before topping with cheese. The crust kind of soaks up the sausage flavor and results in a nice pop of flavor.
Don’t be tempted to add more sauce than the recipe calls for. One cup is just perfect and all you need. However, if you’re in love with pizza sauce like I am, feel free to pass extra heated sauce for dipping the crispy corners.
Thanks for PINNING!
For the sauce:
- 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes (8oz or 244g)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the pizza dough:
- 1 ½ teaspoons
instant or rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup room temperature water (8oz)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (290g)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for oiling the pan
- 1 teaspoon table salt
For the cheese topping:
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese about 2 cups
- 2 ounces shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese about ½ cup (or additional Monterey Jack)
To prepare the pizza sauce:
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together, cover and refrigerate until needed. This sauce can be made up to a day or two in advance.
To prepare the pizza dough:
- Spray a 13×9-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook mix together the flour, sugar and yeast. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the water and olive oil. Mix until no dry flour remains, scraping down the bowl as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the salt and knead on medium speed until the dough forms a sticky ball that clears the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes. (Do not leave your mixer unattended as it may move while mixing)
- Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm location for 15 minutes.
- Grease your hands with olive oil then press and stretch the dough into the corners of the pan. If the dough resists or won’t stay in place, cover and allow it to rest another 10 minutes then try again. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (free from drafts) until the dough more than doubles in volume and large bubbles form, about 2 to 3 hours.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 500°F.
- Combine the Monterey Jack and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the dough all the way to the sides of the pan to completely cover. Spoon three strips of sauce (about ⅓ heaping cup each) over the cheese lengthwise in the pan.
- Bake immediately until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 15 minutes.
- Cool or 5 to 10 minutes then loosen from the sides by running a small thin knife around the edge of the pan. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and cut into 8 pieces. Serve immediately.
Everybody loves Detroit-Style Pizza
We’re crazy about pizza. Thick, thin, scratch or semi-homemade, we just don’t care. Pizza is my one food. You know the one food you could eat for the rest of your life if stuck on a desert island and had to eat the same thing everyday. Pizza …everyday.