Updated: Jun 2, 2019
I've been feeling homesick lately and when that happens what I miss most about home, besides my wonderful friends and family of course, is the food that reminds me of Northwest Ohio. There is something about Toledo-Style pizza that is different than Chicago Deep Dish or Thin Crust New York -Style. The closest I have been able to explain to people would be Detroit-Style Pizza. It has a sort of Focaccia pan pizza dough which is halfway between thin crust and deep dish, the toppings are under the cheese. In Detroit the sauce goes on top of the cheese, in Toledo the cheese is on top. I decided to give making Detroit-style pizza a try before attempting the Toledo Style. I'm not sure the logic on this, but just go with me here.
I made this Detroit-Style pizza for a friend for our low-key New Year's Eve celebration and it went over really well!
I found this recipe originally from Serious Eats! Go check out their site for some extra helpful tips and history of Detroit-Style pizza!
2 heaping cups bread flour
1 teaspoon Instant Dry Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
7.5-7.75 oz water
I used my Sunday Gravy Marinara sauce by reducing the sauce and adding a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce. Link here!
Toppings of your choice
12 ounces of Brick Cheese. If you can't find Wisconsin Brick cheese in your area just use a nice quality full fat Mozzarella. Cut the cheese into small squares to place on pizza.
1. Sift Flour, yeast, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using dough hook attachment stir to combine while slowly adding water.
2. Mix on low speed until dough just comes together in a ball. Then let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Continue to mix at medium-low speed until dough forms a smooth ball about 10 minutes longer.
3. Remove dough and form into a tight ball. Allow to sit in a warm spot in the bottom of the mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap until the dough has doubled in volume. This will take about 2 hours.
4. Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a Detroit-style anodized pan. The pan should be 10x14 to emulate the oil pans used back in the day in Detroit. Press down on dough and spread it towards the edges getting it as close as you can. Be gentle. Allow to rest an additional 30 minutes. Stretch the dough again. You should be able to get the dough to stay at the edges at this point. If not, don't force it, just allow the dough to rest a little longer.
5. I started the reduction process on my marinara sauce at this point.
6. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F if your oven goes up that high. If not, just turn the oven on as high as it will go without using the broiler setting. Press down on the dough again with your fingertips to remove any large air bubbles that may have formed. If you use meat/toppings, place them on the pizza now. I went with sliced pepperonchinis. Then place the cheese on top of the toppings making sure that the cheese is meeting the edge of the pan so you can achieve that delightful caramelization on the crust. Spoon the sauce over the surface of the cheese in three even rows if you want authentic Detroit-Style presentation. Being from Ohio, I need a LOT of sauce, so I added extra to mine.
7. Bake with the wire rack set to the lowest it will go until edges are black and bubbly and exposed cheese on top is starting to lightly brown, 12 to 15 minutes. My oven only goes up to 500 degrees F, so I needed to bake my pizza a little longer than the originally 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on the middle to make sure your dough has a chance to bake all of the way through. Be extra careful when you remove from the oven.
8. Run a thin metal spatula or dull knife all the way around the edges of the pan to loosen the pizza as it is cooling. If not you run the risk of losing some of that wonderful caramelization. Carefully lift it out and slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly before cutting the pizza.
I did buy a LloydPans Kitchenware 10 x 14 inch pan for this Detroit Style Pizza. I will say, it was lovely to use, but you would be just fine using whatever square or rectangular METAL pan you already have on hand in your kitchen.