Detroit-Style Pizza

Servings: 2 10 x 14-inch pizzas
Prep time: 30 minutes
Rise time: 1 hour
Cook time: 12 to 15 minutes

Jill’s note: Since moving to Washington, DC, there are many regional foods from the Detroit area of Michigan that we miss. The big one that comes to mind is Buddy’s pizza. Buddy’s pizza serves up authentic Detroit-style pizza—which is, of course, only how people refer to it outside of Detroit. Detroit-style pizza is made in a square, blue steel, industrial pan, which produces a crispy, deep-dish, downright delicious crust.

Last year, I did a little digging and found a place to buy the same pans used by Buddy’s and other Detroit-style pizza makers: Northern Pizza Equipment, Inc. (Unfortunately, the company doesn’t seem to have the pans in stock at the moment. You can order them from another company, P.A. Products, Inc, but it only sells them by the dozen.) If you’re not obsessed with Detroit-style pizza and don’t want to special order the blue steel pans, a regular baking pan should produce similar results.

I also found a recipe for Detroit-style pizza crust, which my mom has tested and tweaked, and my dad, Buddy’s pizza aficionado, has approved. You can use whatever you’d like for toppings, cheese, and sauce, but it’s important to layer them in that order.

For crust:
4 cups bread flour (for a crispier crust) or all purpose flour (for a chewier crust)
1 tsp sugar
1 envelope (¼ oz) instant dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp

For pizza:
5 oz pepperoni
16 oz shredded mozzarella
15 oz pizza sauce
½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Run the mixer on a low speed with the dough hook attachment in place, and add the water and 2 tbsp olive oil. Keep mixing the dough until it forms into a ball. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also mix the ingredients by hand and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball.)

Grease a large bowl with 2 tsp olive oil, add the dough, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it has doubled in size, for about an hour.

When it’s ready, punch the dough down, and divide it into two even pieces. Grease two pizza pans, place the dough in the pans, and spread it out evenly with your hands. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, and take it out of the oven. Sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano around the edges of the crusts. (This creates the famous Detroit-style crispy crust edges.) Then, add your toppings, mozzarella cheese, and sauce.

Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

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14 thoughts on “Detroit-Style Pizza

  1. Absolutely love this recipe! I moved from Michigan in the 80′s and kind of forgot about “Detroit Style” which for me was always Louies in Hazel Park, though Buddies and Shields were good too. The dough can be thrown together quickly and proofed in the fridge for up to a week or so. Just pull it out let it come to room temp, press in (bacon!) greased pans and let it rip. Much easier and better tasting than making Napoletana style since I don’t have an oven that hits 800 degress.

    • We’ve never tried Louie’s! We lived near a Buddy’s so it was always our go-to. Last time we ate there (last year), they had a coney dog pizza on the menu. It was two Detroit favorites in one!

  2. Can you tell me how you measure out the four cups of flour? For example, do you lift flour from its storage container into your measuring cup and level, or do you just scoop the flour out of the storage container and level (or not), or maybe some other way? And have you ever weighed the four cups of flour?

    Thank you.


    • I usually just scoop the flour out of the bag with a measuring cup. With a dough like this, I pay more attention to texture than exact measurements. If it’s too sticky, I know I need to add more flour. If it’s too dry, it needs more water. I hope that helps!

  3. Nancy Jean,

    Thank you. However, I was looking to convert the recipe to baker’s percent format for a friend who likes to work with weights and change quantities more easily.


  4. Hello! I will be trying out this recipe for the first time and have a question. What are the dimensions for the pans you are using? I just want to make sure that the crust won’t be too thick/thin when I’m spreading it out in the pan. Thanks!

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