Detroit Style pizza

Detroit pizza style logo

Key elements:
– Crispy and crunchy edges with the cheese that shapes like a crown on the rectangular pie.
– The toppings are added in reverse order compared to a traditional round pizza. The tomato sauce goes on hot at the end.
Airy square crust, with little bubbles in the crumble, a result of high hydration dough.
Buttery flavour.

Few words about the history

We are now in Detroit, Michigan.

City of Detroit. Where the Detroit Style pizza was born

Based on my studies, the Italian emigration to Detroit started around 1700 and continuously grew to throw the years.
Detroit was the city where most emigrants arrived and stayed temporarily; before travelling onwards to mines in northern Michigan. In 1904 the city of Detroit had 900 Italians.
By 1925 the number of Italians increased to 42,000 (Woodford, p. 186).
And in 1925, Detroit had about 150,000 Italians.

Most of those Italian emigrants originated from Liguria, Lombardy and Sicily… and here we go: Sicily is what I’m interested in when I talk about the Detroit style pizza, because this style is a reimagining of the Sicilian one.
Deep dish, cheesy and high in carbs content: the perfect food for a city that was a major industrial centre and was offering lots of job opportunities.
1n 1950 (the year when, probably, the Detroit style pizza was born), the city’s population hits 1.85 million—making it America’s fourth-largest city, with 296,000 manufacturing jobs.

I wrote about the history of the Detroit pizza style on my Italian blog.
I did not translate it into English yet.

The pan

This is a Detroit style pan.

(small one)

The Detroit style pizza’s appearance

Detroit style pizza 
by Giuseppe Cortinovis

Detroit style pizza is usually available in 8 x 10 inch (20.32×25.4cm) and 10 x 14 inch (25.4×35.56cm) sizes.
The shape is rectangular with a thick crisp crust, signed with dark brown caramelized cheese.
By watching a Detroit pizza from above, you shouldn’t be able to see any part of the dough: only toppings and cheeses!. Indeed, the signature characteristic of authentic Detroit style pizza is the caramelized edges, crunchy and cheesy: achieved by using the Brick cheese blend that melts on the pan during the 30 min cooking time.
Other than the cheese crust. The main difference with Sicilian style is the tomato sauce, which goes on the pizza after cooking. That is why this style is usually referred to as “red top”.

Detroit style pizza structure sourdough Giuseppe
Detroit style pizza structure made with sourdough