The Washington Post

Detroit-Style Pizza

Detroit-Style Pizza 10.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Feb 23, 2016

The Motor City’s pizza is often described as “buttery” but actually contains no butter at all and only a small amount of oil. The crust is particularly light and airy, and the combination of mozzarella and Wisconsin brick cheese (available locally at Bowers Fancy Dairy Products at Eastern Market on Capitol Hill) helps give it that buttery flavor and crunchy caramelized crust.

You can use a traditional baking pan or order your very own Detroit-style baking pan online, crafted in heavyweight aluminum to mimic the original auto-parts pans that Detroit pizza makers in the 1940s appropriated from the local auto industry.

If you want to add pepperoni, it is traditional to place it on the dough before the cheese; any other toppings go on top of the cheese.

Make Ahead: If you want to cold-ferment the dough, it needs to be refrigerated overnight. The dough needs 2 to 3 hours' rising time in the pan before baking. You'll have a little tomato sauce left over; it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

Where to Buy: Diastatic malt powder is available via


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10 servings; makes one 10-by-14-inch pie

  • For the crust
  • 1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder or sugar (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast, preferably SAF brand
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water (90 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 cups (a generous 10 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • For the toppings
  • 6 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded Wisconsin brick cheese (see headnote)
  • One 15-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the crust: Place the malt powder or sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast into the warm water, mix well for 15 to 20 seconds, then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the water mixture again and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add one cup of the flour, the salt and the remaining yeast, mixing on low speed, then add the remaining flour until the dough begins to form a smooth but slightly sticky ball, about 4 minutes. Remove the dough ball from the bowl; rub 1/2 teaspoon of the oil onto your hands, then knead the dough lightly a few times.

If you want to cold-ferment the dough, put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Bring the dough back to room temperature before continuing.

To bake the dough the same day, use the remaining oil to brush all over the inside of a 10-by-14-inch metal baking pan, then press the dough into the pan until it's consistently even throughout the pan. If the dough keeps pulling back from the edges, cover it loosely with a kitchen towel and let it sit for 15 minutes, then go back and finish pressing the dough to the edges of the pan.

Cover the pan and let the dough proof at room temperature for about 2 or 3 hours, until the dough has roughly doubled in size and bubbles begin to form across its top.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

For the toppings: Combine the two types of shredded cheese and spread them evenly across the dough, all the way to the edges.

Bake the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on number of toppings). The bottom crust should be golden brown, with caramelized cheese all along the edges.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the crushed tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until well blended. Reduce the heat to low to keep it warm.

Once the pie is fully baked, use large spatulas to loosen the whole pizza from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board; let it rest for a minute, then cut it into squares and spoon the warm tomato sauce on top (a large spoonful or two per serving).

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Shawn Randazzo of Detroit Style Pizza Co.

Tested by Kristen Hartke.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 230

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 9g 14%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 25mg 8%

Sodium: 680mg 28%

Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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