King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza

Inspired by Serious Eats

One of our newest obsessions is Detroit-style pizza, a dish born at Buddy's Rendezvous (later to become Buddy's Pizza) in that city more than 70 years ago. Known for its thick crust with crackly-crisp sides and bottom, it also layers classic pizza toppings in reverse order: first optional pepperoni, then cheese (brick cheese, to be totally traditional), then sauce. It’s baked in a special dark anodized pan to achieve perfectly crispy caramelized cheese around the edge; a harmonious balance to the soft, chewy crust, and sauce and gooey cheese on top.

40 mins
12 to 15 mins
4 hrs 40 mins
12 servings
King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza - select to zoom
King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza - select to zoom
King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza - select to zoom
King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza - select to zoom
King Arthur's Detroit-Style Pizza - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix and knead all the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set to the dough cycle — until a shaggy dough forms.

  2. Cover the dough, allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then knead it again until it becomes smooth and elastic (if you’re using a bread machine, skip the rest and allow the machine to complete its kneading cycle).

  3. Form the dough into a ball, place it into a lightly-greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled, about 2 hours.

  4. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a Detroit-style pizza pan or a 9” x 13” pan. Gently stretch the dough into the edges and corners of the pan until it starts to shrink back and won’t stretch any farther.

  5. Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rest and relax for 15 to 20 minutes before stretching it again. Repeat the rest one more time, if necessary, until the dough fills the bottom of the pan.

  6. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for 30 to 45 minutes while you prepare the sauce. In the meantime, position a rack at the lowest position of the oven, and preheat the oven to 500°F.

  7. To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the garlic and pizza seasoning, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the juices have reduced significantly and you have about 3 cups of sauce, about 20 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

  8. Gently press the dough down with your fingers to release some larger air bubbles. Top the dough with an even layer of pepperoni, followed by the cubed cheeses making sure to spread them to the edges of the pan.

  9. Dollop the sauce over the surface of the pizza or spread it into three lengthwise rows.

  10. Transfer the pizza to the bottom rack of the oven, and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the edges have turned nearly black, about 12 to 15 minutes.

  11. Remove the pizza from the oven, run a spatula around the edges to loosen it from the pan, and let it rest for 10 minutes, or until you can handle it. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, cut, and serve.

  12. Store leftover pizza in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warm throughout, 10 to 15 minutes.