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Detroit style Pizza : the original recipe

One of the most interesting recipes on the international scene, a crossover between Palermo’s sfincione and Milan’s pizza al trancio. What am I talking about? But of Detroit style Pizza of course!

Recipe by



 8 November
45 minutes
15 minutes
6 hours
2 35×25 (10″x14″) or 4 25×20 (10″x8″) pans

The Detroit style is one of the most interesting pizzas on the international scene, a crossover between the Palermo sfincione and the U.S.-made Milanese pizza al trancio.


To the most absent-minded it may seem trivial, but as we will see below, reversing the filling ingredients and using a sauce instead of raw tomato completely twists the look, taste, and texture making the Detroit a pizza with a very high level of enjoyment.


But let’s cut to the chase and see what you need and how to proceed.


For the dough


For the filling

  • Fresh provola or Fontina: 500g
  • Dry mozzarella: 200g
  • Tomato puree: 600g
  • Oregano: qs
  • Salt: 6g
  • Garlic: 3 cloves

Recommended accessories


1-His pan

Don’t even try to make Detroit in the classic pans with a 2 or 3 cm rim. Besides getting a disappointing result you would take hours to clean up your oven from the mess.


Legend has it (but it is in fact all true and documented by old photographs) that Detroit’s dough was spread in small blue steel tanks used by car companies for parts. The special feature of these pans was that they had flared, very high edges that allowed them to contain the abundant filling and offer perfect baking of the edges as well.


We at Taste Games had them made by a local company by “copying” exactly the measurements and materials of the original U.S.-made ones used in the 1970s.


2-The cheese


Normally for Detroit-style pizza, you should use 2/3 Brick cheese from Wisconsin and 1/3 pizza cheese (the kind that comes in blocks, for reference). There is a possibility that you may not be able to find these cheeses but do not despair. A good substitute for Wisconsin brick could be Ceddar or sweet scamorza or even fresh provolone.

The trick is all about not using cheeses that release their whey and are not too savory.


3-The sauce

Dense, concentrated, rich, leading but not intrusive. These are the characteristics of salsa in the Detroit. And of course I explain how to make a simple but incredibly delicious version.


In case you prefer to follow the guide while also watching the video recipe, by pure chance, I’ve made one on our channel. Feel free to share it below:




Detroit style Pizza


You will prepare 2 35x25cm pizzas or 4 25x20cm pizzas



Let’s start right away with the preparation of the dough for Detroit style Pizza.

  • Start by pouring all the flour into a bowl large enough to hold about three times as much.
    For simplicity, divide the water into 2 jugs, one filled with 450g and the other with 75g and mix the yeast and malt in the one with the greater content.
  • Create the classic “volcano” in the center of the flour and insert the previously prepared water-malt yeast mix.
    Then start mixing the ingredients using a spoon, pay special attention to lumps, which of course should be completely absent, and continue mixing until everything is perfectly blended.
  • Then proceed to manipulate the dough (hey yes it’s time to get your hands in the dough), add the remaining water in small doses and only when the previously inserted water is well absorbed.
    In order for all the elements to be mixed in the best way, the easiest method is to rotate the bowl with one hand, while with the other you bring the dough toward the center, never stopping. This is to form as much glutinic mesh as possible.
  • Before adding the last part of water , insert the salt along with a drop of water, to facilitate its absorption, and continue kneading as described in the previous step.
    You may need to alternate breaks of about 10 minutes per manipulation to allow the flour to fully absorb the water.
  • Once you have a smooth, nonsticky dough ball you can put the dough to rest.
    Let the mass “relax” for 30 minutes in the bowl covered with food wrap.
  • Then take the dough onto the pastry board, divide it into 2 parts of 640g for the 35×25 pans or 4 parts of 320g for the 25×20 and make a round of very delicate folds to give the loaves a round shape.



  • After forming nice oval-shaped loaves grease them well, place them in 3-liter leavening containers and close them with their airtight lids.
  • Then put them to rest at room temperature (20-22°C) for about 2 hours so that they double in volume. The rectangular shape and the transparency of the containers are not insignificant aspects; they will greatly help you to have a certain visual reference of how much the dough is growing and make it easier for you in the next step, the rolling out.



Once doubled in size, your rolls are ready to be rolled out.

  • Coat both the surface and the edges of the pans with plenty of oil.
  • Dust the work surface with very little semolina and invert the container so that the loaf lies flat on the surface.
  • Give it a rectangular shape by helping yourself with your fingertips, trying to “copy” the shape of the pan in which it is to be placed.
  • Once each rolled out dough has reached about 2/3 the size of the baking pans, lay it inside them, cover with plastic wrap taking care that it does not touch the dough, and let it rise for about an hour at 24-25°C (the oven with the light on should reach the necessary temperature).



After the “rest” hour has passed, all that remains is to dress the pans.

  • Gently press down on the dough to enlarge it, arrange edges and corners perfectly, and cover again with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise for another 2 hours at 24-25°C.



  • Grate all the cheese so that it can be spread as easily over the entire surface of the baking dish
  • Sauté the roughly chopped garlic with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the tomato puree, oregano and salt to the sauté, letting the sauce cook until it is thick enough that, when you pass the spoon into the pan, you uncover the bottom without the sauce reconstituting.


Detroit style pizza: the filling



This is it, it’s time to bake and see all your efforts pay off.

  • Preheat the oven to full blast (270-250°C) and place the grate on the slide closest to the bottom or insert the firestone right at the bottom of the oven.
  • Sprinkle each pan with 350g of cheese, making sure to distribute it evenly and bake for 7-8 minutes.
  • After the first few minutes of cooking, lower the temperature to 200°C and let it cook for another 7-8 minutes
  • Then take your Detroit style Pizza out of the oven, remove it still steaming from the pan (you won’t make any effort) and place it back on an elevated rack so that the condensation doesn’t “soften” the golden bottom and it gets extra crispy.
  • Finish with the sauce you prepared earlier by arranging it as you like, complete with a drizzle of EVO oil and the most fragrant basil it has available.
  • Cut into 6 equal parts and serve to your guests. Be careful because the 4 corners will be the most coveted because of the crispy cheese crust that will have formed.


Detroit style Pizza



I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised trying this somewhat out-of-the-box pizza. I am madly in love with it and hope it will conquer you too.


If you have any questions or further inquiries about the article you just read, send me a message on Instagram by clicking here. => by clicking here


…And now knead, enjoy and taste!




For the dough


For the filling

  • Fresh provola or Fontina: 500g
  • Dry mozzarella: 200g
  • Tomato puree: 600g
  • Oregano: qs
  • Salt: 6g
  • Garlic: 3 cloves

Recommended accessories


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