Aaaaaaahhh Pi Day! A day dedicated to Pie is a day I can get on board with.
When you think of pie, you may think of a sky high pile loaded with deliciously spice apples or a bursting with fresh, plump berries or a rich, silky, decadent chocolate pie smothered in light, whipped cream.
We think of pizza.
Yup. The Pizza Pie (said with a phony-baloney Italian accent)
We’ve tried all kinds of pizza, but this Detroit-Style Pan Pizza is stands out above the rest. It’s made in a special pan that has deep sides kind of like a lasagna pan but they flare out a bit. It is also a dark pan which really helps the cheese crisp up. Blackened cheese is a good thing, trust me. For whatever reason, it doesn’t taste burt or bitter. It just is crispy and awesome.
True Detroit style pan pizza is made with Wisconsin Brick Cheese. Which is a mellow, buttery, high-fat cheese. And damn, it’s good. We’ve made it with Brick Cheese that we ordered on Amazon. If you order in bulk it isn’t that expensive, but for this pie we went with Kraft Mozzarella with a touch of Philadelphia for a bit of creaminess. A mix of mozzarella and a very mild cheddar and gruyere would work too.
The dough on this bad boy may seem a bit labor intensive, but it really isn’t and it even if it were, it’d be worth it. It takes time, but you can catch up on The Bachelor or whatever it is that you are ashamed to tell anyone you watch. It’s made with bread flour, that makes a nice airy, chewy crust. You can use AP flour as well, it just makes the crust a bit less chewy, but still good. Also, cooking it in the olive oil at such a high temp gives it a nice crisp.
You also assemble this pie in reverse. Pepperoni, cheese, then sauce. Sounds weird, but the fat from the pepperoni and cheese penetrate and actually fry the crust, making it super crispy and flavorful. No one ever said this was health food, by the way.
Then there’s this sauce. I.Love.This.Sauce. It’s so simple it’s ridiculous and it is damn delicious. My new fave, I must say.
You can see all the science-y stuff behind the authentic Detroit-Style Pan Pizza at Serious Eats.
Please don’t look at the length of this recipe and run screaming to your local pizza joint. This pie was made from beginning to end by Nina. She’s eleven. If she can do it, so can you. And it was fantastic. You’ve got to give this a shot. It’s a little different, but let’s face it, any pizza is good pizza.
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Detroit Style Pan Pizza
For the Dough:
- 300 g bread flour 10.5 ounces; about 2 generous cups
- 5 g instant yeast 0.15 ounce; about 1 teaspoon
- 9 g salt 0.3 ounce; about 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt or 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 220 g water (room temp to warm) 7.75 ounces; about 1 cup minus 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 1 28 oz. can high-quality crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 8 oz. package Kraft shredded Mozzarella with a touch of Philadelphia
- 12 ounces Pepperoni, cut into 1/8-inch slices (optional)
For the Dough
Combine flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Stir to combine, then add water.
Mix on low speed until dough comes together into a rough ball, then shut off mixer and let rest for 10 minutes.
Continue mixing at medium-low speed until dough forms a smooth, silky ball, about 10 minutes longer. (It should stick to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads rather than riding around the edges.)
Remove dough hook, form dough into a ball, set in the bottom of the mixer bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
For the Sauce
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add minced garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to about 3 cups, bout 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Assembling the Pizza
Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a Detroit-style pan or two 8- by 8-inch cake pans. (Split dough in half if using cake pans.)
Transfer dough to pan(s) and turn to coat in oil. Press down on dough and spread it toward the edges. It's ok that you won't be able to get it all the way to the edges. Spread it as much as you can without tearing, then cover tightly in plastic and set aside for 30 minutes to let the dough rest.
Preheat oven to 550F
Return to dough and stretch it out again. It should be able to reach the edges this time. If not, let it rest a little more and try again. To get the dough to stay in the corners, stretch it up beyond the corners so that it pulls back into place. Once dough is stretched, cover again and set aside while you make the sauce.
Press down on dough with your fingertips to remove any large air bubbles. Lay half of pepperoni (if using) evenly over the dough.
Top with cheese, spreading it evenly all the way to the very edges of the pan, then add remaining pepperoni.
Spoon sauce over surface in 3 even rows. (You will need only about half the sauce—save the rest for another pizza.)
Transfer to oven and bake until edges are black and bubbly and exposed cheese on top is starting to lightly brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a trivet or folded kitchen towel on countertop.
Run a thin metal spatula all the way around the edges of the pan to loosen the pizza. Carefully lift it out and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut pizza and serve.