Thursday, October 22, 2020

Detroit Style Pan Pizza

Early on in the lockdown of 2020 we got to talking about the great foods we were missing while in quarantine. One family favorite was the great Chicago deep dish pizzas we had last summer while on vacation. (We were a house divided between Giordano's and Lou Malnoti's) Since we had yeast and bread flour (a hot comodity!) we decided it was a great time to give it a whirl. 

Over the years we've had nothing but great luck with Peter Reinharts recipes. At the time we were making bread a few times a week from The Bread Bakers Apprentice so I went on the hunt to see if Peter Reinhart also had a deep dish pizza recipe. While this recipe wasn't the Chicago-style deep dish I'd been expecting we decided to give it a try.

On a Friday night in early April we had a family movie night where we watched Jurrasic Park for the first time and made this outstanding pizza. It quickly became a family favorite and has been a mainstay of Friday night pizza and movie nights since. 

Don't let the fact that this takes 2 days to make scare you off. It's so simple to make and the effort absolutely pays off. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Detroit-Style Pan Pizza


4 1/3 cups bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups cool water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil for stretching and folding the dough
12-16 ounces firm mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Pizza sauce 
Mozzarella cheese for topping
Your favorite pan pizza toppings


Day one
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the yeast and 1 cup of the water. Let the yeast proof for a few minutes until foamy. 

Add in the flour, salt, and remaining water and with the mixer set on a low-medium speed mix to form a shaggy dough. Pour in the olive oil and continue beating for 30-60 seconds to combine. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. 

Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and mix for an additional 30-60 seconds. The dough should be soft and smooth and a bit sticky to the touch.

On a clean countertop spread 1 teaspoon of olive oil to cover about 15 inches diameter. Turn the dough out onto the counter. Stretch & fold the dough 2-3 times, then let the dough rest for 5 minutes, covered, on the counter.

Repeat the stretch, fold, and 5 minute rest process 2 more times, adding the olive oil in 1 teaspoon increments as needed. After the final stretch and fold place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refridgerator for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, or up to 72 hours. 

Day two

5 hours before baking prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment and coat very lightly with oil.

Turn the dough onto the prepared pan and press to dimple the dough. Let rest for 20 minutes. Dimple the dough again, gently spreading the dough across the pan. Continue pressing the dough with your fingertips to dimple it, and rest for 20 minutes. It will take several rounds before it stretches to the full pan size. Don't rush, just enjoy the process!

Once the dough is covering the pan press the mozzarella pieces into the dough. Let sit for 3 hours for the final rise. The dough will swell up and surround much of the cheese.

Heat oven to 500 degrees then assemble your pizza. With Detroit style pizza the toppings and cheese go first and the sauce tops it all. 

Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake again for 7 to 9 minutes or the cheese is bubbly. 

Transfer the pizza to a heatproof countertop or board. Carefully remove the pizza from the pan using a spatula and slide it onto a cutting board. 

Slice into 3 or 4 inch squares and enjoy!