There’s a lot to appreciate about Detroit-Style Pizza, with its thin, soft dough that’s crisp on the bottom and charred on the sides and its generous helpings of gooey cheese and scorched pepperoni pieces. Usually, it’s cooked in a rectangular pan, but we used two square metal baking pans, each 8 inches square, to get the same crispy, golden borders. Simmering the sauce until it thickens and becomes rich adds depth of flavour and prevents the dough from becoming soggy. The key to success is layering the pepperoni and cheese. Brick cheese from Wisconsin is the standard, although low-moisture part-skim mozzarella and provolone also work well. Add the remaining pepperoni slices and spoon the tomato sauce on top in alternating stripes (like the racing stripes on old race cars) (pro tip: buy a log of pepperoni and slice it yourself for better quality and thicker slices). The crust of your pizza will be the crispiest if you bake it on the lowest oven rack over oven steel.
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (about 9 1/8 ounces) bread flour, plus more for work surface and as needed
- 1 cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
- 1 teaspoon instant or quick-rising yeast (from 1 [1/4-ounce] package)
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing bowl
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 teaspoon)
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 5 ounces pepperoni (preferably with natural casing), thinly sliced (1 cup), divided
- 8 ounces Wisconsin brick cheese or low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (1 1/2 cups)
- 4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese (10 slices), torn into bite-size pieces (1 cup).
Step-1: For approximately 2 minutes on low speed in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook attachment, mix the flour, warm water, yeast, and two teaspoons of salt until a shaggy dough forms. After around 10 minutes of beating on low speed, the dough should be smooth and elastic. When the dough barely pulls away from the bowl when mixed, add extra flour, one tablespoon at a time (the dough should be sticky). Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and work with it. Form into a tight ball and transfer to a large, lightly greased basin. In a warm (about 85°F) setting, cover and let rise until twice in size, around 2 hours.
Step-2: Meanwhile, bring three tablespoons of oil to medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stirring often, sauté the garlic for approximately a minute until it begins to release its aroma. Stirring constantly, sauté the oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 30 seconds or until the spices are aromatic. Include smashed tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to approximately 2 cups by simmering for about 40 minutes, often stirring to prevent burning. Please take off the stove and put it away until needed.
Step-3: Turn the oven on to 500 degrees and put the rack on the bottom level. The dough should be punched down and placed on a lightly floured surface. Slice the dough in half. In a metal baking dish, 8 inches on a side, drizzle one tablespoon of the oil. Place one dough disc in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; use your hands to press the dough out to the pan’s edges (let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes if it shrinks back). A second 8-inch cake pan, the remaining tablespoon of oil, and the leftover dough should be used for a second baking. To rest for 30 minutes at room temperature, cover pans lightly with clean kitchen towels.
Step-4: Roll out the dough and cover it. Any giant air bubbles in the dough should be gently pressed down. Pile around 16 pepperoni slices, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup provolone on top of each dough ball. Spread three stripes of tomato sauce (approximately three teaspoons each) over each pizza. Sprinkle the remaining pepperoni in rows over the exposed cheese on top of the pizzas. Put the baking pans on the bottom rack of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, the crust is dark golden brown, and the pepperoni is crisp. Take it out of the oven. Metal spatulas are perfect for loosening pizza crust around the pan’s edge. Take pizzas out of the range and place them on a cutting board. Cool down for around 5 minutes. You should divide each pizza into eight equal pieces.
Have fun eating!