Delicious Detroit-Style Pizza

There are so many styles of fantastic pizza. New York. Sicilian. Chicago. American. And then there’s Detroit.

According to michigan.org, in 1946, Gus Guerra owned what was then a neighborhood bar, Buddy’s Rendezvous, when he decided he needed something new for the menu. He enlisted the help of his wife, Anna, who borrowed a dough recipe from her Sicilian mother. The Sicilian dough, topped with cheese and tomato sauce, would become the model for pizza in Detroit.

For this pizza, it’s not only the shape (it’s square) and the way the pizza is made (the sauce is on top) that makes it different, it’s also the pan that it’s cooked in! You can’t have a Detroit-Style Pizza without the pan. I use this specific pan, which we bought off Amazon.

The pan creates a pizza that is soft and airy inside with a crisp exterior because of the caramelized cheese on the edges. I found that the warmed sauce is best put on after the pizza is baked! This way, it doesn’t weigh down any of the airy-ness that’s baking in the pan.

You can make Detroit-Style Pizza as easy or as homemade as you want. You can use store bought pizza crust and store bought sauce or you can make your own for both.

Here’s how ya do it.

Ingredients

  • Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
  • Pizza sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 block of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 block of cheddar cheese
  • Pizza toppings of your choice (pepperoni, veggies, etc.)
  • Softened butter
  • Detroit Style Pan (see link above to buy one)

Instructions:

If you choose to make your own pizza dough, that’s the first step. I’ve got a recipe for my favorite dough below.

Then, if you’re making your own pizza sauce, get that started. If you’re using store bought, don’t worry about it quite yet.

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

Butter your Detroit-style pan on all interior sides and stretch your dough out to cover the bottom and go up the sides just about an inch or so. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Shred the cheeses and prepare your toppings. Place the cheese all the way to the edge of the pizza, so that it’s touching the sides of the pan. Put your toppings in the center and put more cheese on top.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

While the pizza is baking, warm up your pizza sauce so you can dollop it on top after the pizza is baked. Don’t put too much on top, if anything you can add more when you serve it.

Let the pizza cool about 5 minutes, slice and serve! Enjoy!

Detroit-Style Pizza

Pizza dough:

  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 cups bread flour

Combine the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to come alive (about 5 minutes). Add the oil and one cup of the flour, then the salt and the other 2 cups of flour.

Mix with dough hook for 8 minutes.

Let rise until double in size.

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Vintage Recipes … but how exactly do I make it?

The Daily Independent Cook Book

Welcome back! It’s been a moment since I’ve had the time to work on my Vintage Recipes series, a whole year to be exact. 2022 was crazy, but it’s time to reset and get back to sharing recipes with you.

As I was researching what to bake next, I ran into a strange issue in one of my books titled, “The Daily Independent Cook Book” from 1948. It was published by Kannapolis Publishing Company. They called it “A collection of favorite recipes tested and proved in Kannapolis area kitchens by some of North Carolina’s best cooks.”

Well, bless their hearts. Some of those “best cooks” didn’t leave instructions!

In any vintage cookbook, I always look at the cookies, cakes and desserts first. But, it’s hard to bake a new recipe with no information.

When this book was published, there was no internet. I found similar recipes for two of the three below online, but, in 1948, unless you know the baker or had it before, sorry friend, you’re missing key information to make it on your own.

Here are just a few of the interesting ones in the book.

The Irish Potato Coffee Cake. The author thankfully gives all of the ingredients, but as for the filling and what exactly you’re boiling, or at what temperature and for how long you’re baking the cake … you’re out of luck.

I am interested in how this would taste with potatos, coffee, spices, raisins and that filling. Maybe I’ll just have to wing it. I’ll let ya know how that goes.

The Easter Bunny Cake … takes the cake, in my opinion.

Bake it however you want. Just figure it out. Hopefully you don’t curdle the milk with the lemon juice. Also, what makes it an Easter Bunny cake anyway?

You can try to google this one by the name, but you’ll only find cakes shaped like Easter Bunnies. Not exactly helpful.

And finally, the Jam Cake. Unless you’ve had this kind of cake before, I’m not sure you’d know how you’re supposed to bake this! Do you put the jam *in the cake batter?

I imagine the filling is for between the cakes, but that’s not clear either. I did some research on this one since it was the most vague and, turns out, there are a lot of other Jam Cake recipes. Southern Living and even Paula Dean had recipes for this cake. But again, no internet in 1948 to find out more.

The jam seems to be the star, so next time I make or buy some great strawberry jam, I may just give this a try!

If you’ve made any of these recipes or have had them before, let me know! I’d love to hear how they came out and how exactly you bake them. Comment below or email me at heather@pigdogfarms.com.

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