Detroit Style Pizza

This is my son’s favorite pizza at least at the time of writing. He says it is even better than a well-known local pizza chain! It has a crispy, fried crust, but the interior while dense is fluffy. There are three components to this pizza: the dough, the sauce and the toppings. The dough may be made earlier and put in the refrigerator overnight for its final rise, and even frozen after that. For the base of the sauce you may make your own or buy something pre-packaged. In either case it should be fairly plain like a basic marinara without any special flavorings. The toppings, of course, may be whatever you choose. For this recipe I will use store-bought marinara and pepperoni.


Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Bake / Wait: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total: 2 hours

Equipment Notes

  • An oven that can reach at least 500°F / 260°C. A hotter oven may be used, but the cooking time should be adjusted down.
  • A stand mixer is used in this recipe. The dough may be kneaded by hand, however.
  • Detroit style pizzas are usually cooked in a special metal, rectangular 10in x 14in pan with high, sloping sides. Other types of pans or baking dishes may possibly be used if they are roughly the same dimensions, although I have only used the special pan.


There are three components: the dough, the sauce and the toppings.


  • 1C warm water (110°F / 43°C)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4t)
  • 1t white sugar
  • 2t olive oil + more to grease the pizza pan
  • 2 1/2C bread flour
  • 1t kosher salt


  • 16fl oz marinara sauce
  • 1t dried oregano
  • 1t red pepper flakes
  • 1t garlic powder


  • 16oz shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or brick)
  • Pepperoni slices


  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer add the yeast, sugar and warm water. Stir to dissolve and leave alone for 10 minutes. A layer of foam should form. If not then start over making sure the water is not too warm and that the yeast is not too old.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix in the stand mixer using the dough hook on medium-low speed for 5 minutes.
  3. If you are making the dough in advance, you may place in a container at least twice as large as the dough, cover with olive oil, cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Then you may either use it, or freeze it. If you do either of these, take the dough out of the refrigerator or freezer and let come to room temperature before continuing.
  4. Cover the bottom of the pizza pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Even it out with your hands then flatten the dough into the pan trying to cover the bottom fully. The dough may keep shrinking away from the sides which is fine.
  5. Cover with a cookie sheet and let rise for an hour to an hour and a half. This step should be skipped if the dough was placed in the refrigerator to rise.
  6. At this point the dough should cover the bottom and about half way up the sides of the pan. Punch down the dough leaving a lip around the edges a little higher than the rest of the dough.
  7. Place a single layer of pepperoni on the dough. Cover with a layer of cheese making sure the cheese covers everything including the lip of dough around the edges. Ladle three strips of sauce equidistant from each other along the long length of the pizza.
  8. Bake in a 500°F  / 260°C oven for 15 minutes or until the crust and cheese are slightly charred. If desired it may be put under a high broiler briefly.
  9. Slide onto a cutting board and let cool about 5 minutes before cutting.


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