The Ultimate Detroit-Style Pan Pizza Recipe

Authentic Detroit-Style Pan Pizza Recipe: Crispy Cheesy Crust Perfection

Craving a slice of crispy, cheesy heaven? Look no further than this mouthwatering Detroit-style pan pizza! With its signature crispy cheese crust and thick, fluffy dough, this Midwest classic will transport your taste buds straight to Motor City. Let’s dive into the art of crafting the perfect Detroit-style pie right in your own kitchen!

What Makes Detroit-Style Pizza Unique?

Detroit-style pizza stands out with its rectangular shape, crispy cheese-crusted edges, and reverse layering technique. The dough is pressed into a well-oiled pan, topped with cubes of Wisconsin brick cheese (or a tasty alternative), and finished with strips of zesty tomato sauce. The result? A pizza that’s crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, and packed with flavor in every bite.

Mastering the Dough

The foundation of any great Detroit-style pizza is its dough. Our recipe uses bread flour for that perfect chewy texture, and a high hydration level for an airy crumb. Whether you’re using a stand mixer, food processor, or your own two hands, we’ve got you covered with detailed instructions for each method.


For the Dough:

  • 300g bread flour (10.5 ounces; about 2 generous cups)
  • 5g instant yeast (0.15 ounce; about 1 teaspoon), such as SAF Instant Yeast
  • 9g salt (0.3 ounce; about 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt or 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 220g water (7.75 ounces; about 1 cup minus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (about 5g) dried oregano
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce; 800g) can high-quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon (about 6g) granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (about 6g) granulated onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon (about 15g) sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste

To Finish:

  • 12 ounces (340g) brick cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note)
  • 12 ounces (340g) high-quality natural-casing pepperoni, such as Boar’s Head or Vermont Smoke & Cure, cut into 1/8-inch slices (optional)


  1. Prepare the Dough: Choose your preferred method (stand mixer, food processor, or by hand) to mix the dough ingredients. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  2. Shape the Dough: Oil your Detroit-style pan or cake pans. Stretch the dough to fit, letting it rest if needed. Ensure it reaches all corners for that authentic shape.
  3. Craft the Sauce: While the dough rests, simmer your sauce ingredients until thick and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Season to perfection.
  4. Assemble Your Masterpiece: Preheat your oven to its highest setting (ideally 550°F/290°C). Layer half the pepperoni (if using), all the cheese cubes, remaining pepperoni, and stripes of sauce.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Cook for 12-15 minutes until the edges are dark and bubbly, and the top cheese starts to brown. For extra crispiness, consider placing the pan directly on the oven floor.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Carefully remove the pizza from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, slice, and savor every bite of your homemade Detroit-style pizza!

Expert Tips for Pizza Perfection

  • Can’t find brick cheese? A mix of Jack or young cheddar with low-moisture mozzarella makes a great substitute.
  • For the crispiest crust, invest in a Detroit-style anodized aluminum pan. No specialty pan? Two 8×8-inch cake pans work in a pinch!
  • Don’t skimp on the cheese around the edges – that’s where the magic happens!
  • Experiment with toppings, but remember: less is more. Let the cheese and crust shine!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This Detroit-style pizza isn’t just a meal – it’s an experience. The contrast between the crispy, cheese-crusted edges and the soft, airy interior creates a textural symphony. The reverse layering method ensures that every bite is perfectly balanced with tangy sauce, gooey cheese, and optional crispy pepperoni. Whether you’re a pizza aficionado or a curious cook, this recipe will elevate your homemade pizza game to new heights!

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 796
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 80mg 27%
Sodium 1830mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 674mg 52%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 824mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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