The characteristic shape of Detroit’s pizza is directly related to its city of origin: the rectangular baking pans were originally developed as drip pans for cars or as trays to hold tools and parts.
Photos by Hillary Levin, mail delivery
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (290 grams) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon of instant yeast
1 (28-ounce) can of mashed tomatoes
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crushed
1 tablespoon of dried basil, mashed
1½ teaspoons of finely chopped garlic
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
8 slices of hot peppers, optional
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups of grated brick cheese, Munster, Monterey Jack or more mozzarella
Note: Brick cheese is a type of cheese; it’s not a cheese that comes in the shape of a brick.
1. To make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, add the water and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the flour and yeast and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough becomes a shaggy mass. Make sure all of the flour is hydrated.
2. Mix with the dough hook attachment for 4 minutes at medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and peel the batter off the hook. Mix for another 4 minutes or more, until firm enough to hold a round shape.
3. Spray a bowl with nonstick cooking spray or lightly brush it with olive oil. Put the batter in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough relax for 15 minutes.
4th Shaping the Dough: Lightly oil or butter the inner surfaces of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or Detroit pizza pan.
5. Place the batter in the pan and use your fingertips to spread the batter around the corners and sides of the pan. The dough will be sticky, so dip your fingertips lightly in oil to make stretching easier. Set the pan aside, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the batter in the pan is about ½ to inch thick.
6th Prepare the sauce: mix tomatoes, sugar, oregano, basil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and stir in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly. Puree the sauce until smooth with a hand blender or food processor. Put it back over medium heat. Let the pureed sauce simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until it has thickened slightly, stirring regularly.
7th Keep the sauce warm to scoop over the pizza, or refrigerate for up to a week. This recipe makes about 3 cups of sauce and can be frozen for up to 3 months if desired. You have enough sauce for 3 pizzas.
8th. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
9. Scatter the parmesan around the edge of the pizza where the batter touches the sides of the pan. This cheese forms a crispy, caramelized rim on the crust. If desired, place the peppers in 2 rows of 4 pieces along the pizza directly on the dough. Carefully press the peppers into the batter.
10. Sprinkle the mozzarella and brick cheese over the surface of the pizza, spreading it to the edges where the batter meets the sides of the pan. This cheese also adds to the crispy, caramelized edge of the crust. Season the top of the pizza with a pinch of oregano and salt.
11. Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Look for an amber top and crispy edges.
12th After taking the pizza out of the oven, use a small offset spatula or knife to peel the sides of the crust off the pan. Slide the pizza out of the pan onto a cooling shelf. If you now want a crispier base, you can place the pizza (from the pan) directly on the oven rack or a baking sheet and bake for another 5 minutes to make the base of the crust a little more brownish.
13th After taking the pizza out of the oven, top it with the warm sauce. Traditionally, it is scooped in two rows along the pizza. Serve warm.
Per serving: 350 calories; 12g fat; 7g saturated fat; 40 mg of cholesterol; 1528g protein; 38g carbohydrates; 10g sugar; 4g fiber; 1,527 mg of sodium; 571mg Calcium Recipe from Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo, from Zingerman’s Bakehouse