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detroit style pizza recipe

Ultimate Detroit Style Pizza Recipe

Detroit style pizza, a culinary gem that has been a part of the Motor City’s food culture since the 1940s, is a testament to the city’s rich history. Its unique characteristics and delectable taste have earned it a special place in the hearts of pizza enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide not only walks you through a detailed Detroit style pizza recipe but also delves into the origins and essentials of creating an authentic version at home, allowing you to truly understand and appreciate this iconic dish.

What is Detroit Style Pizza?

Detroit-style pizza is a culinary marvel, distinguished by its rectangular shape and thick, crispy crust, which is soft and airy on the inside. Unlike traditional pizzas, the toppings are layered in reverse, with cheese going directly on the dough, followed by meats, and then the sauce drizzled on top. This style, born in the heart of Detroit, Michigan, was initially baked in industrial parts trays, which helped shape its distinctive thick crust.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make a genuine Detroit Style Pizza, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 cup of water (lukewarm)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, preferably Wisconsin brick cheese, for authenticity
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni slices
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled Italian sausage
  • Additional toppings as desired, like onions, mushrooms, or bell peppers


  • One can (15 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • Two minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Step-by-Step Detroit Style Pizza Recipe

Step-by-Step Detroit Style Pizza Recipe

  1. Prepare the Dough:

Mix the water, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let it sit until frothy (about 5 minutes). Add the flour, olive oil, and salt. Stir until dough starts to cling together. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled in size, approximately 1-2 hours.

  1. Prepare the Sauce:

Prepare the Sauce

While the dough rises, prepare the sauce by heating olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the basil, oregano, smashed tomatoes, salt, and pepper and stir. Simmer the sauce for 20-30 minutes until it thickens slightly. Set aside to cool.

  1. Shape the Dough:

Once the dough has risen, grease a rectangular baking pan (preferably a steel pan) with olive oil. Gently press the dough into the pan, pushing it to the corners. Let the dough rest in the pan for another 15-20 minutes.

  1. Add the Toppings:

Start by layering the cheese directly on the dough, covering the edges to create a caramelized crust. Add your choice of meats and other toppings. Finally, spoon the sauce over the top in three stripes.

  1. Bake the Pizza:

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

  1. Serving:

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before cutting it into squares. It allows the cheese to be set and makes it easier to handle.

Variations and Tips

Variations and Tips

Don’t be afraid to unleash your creativity and experiment with different cheeses and toppings to customize your Detroit Style Pizza. Some popular variations include using smoked provolone or adding jalapeños for a spicy kick. The possibilities are endless, and you are the master of your pizza creation!

For those looking to perfect this recipe, remember that the key to a crispy crust lies in the preheated oven and a well-oiled pan. The high heat and oil create crispy edges that make Detroit Style Pizza famous.


Detroit style pizza recipe at home is a delightful adventure that brings a piece of Detroit culinary history into your kitchen. With the right ingredients and a little practice, you can master this hearty, comforting dish and share it with family and friends. Whether you are a seasoned pizza maker or a novice, this style of pizza promises to deliver satisfaction in every bite. Enjoy your homemade Detroit Style Pizza and share the love!

Hi, My Name Is Marina. I am a culinary author. Here, I will share my years of experience writing recipes around the world. My blogs feature top culinary expertise and cuisines worldwide for my delighted readers.

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