Detroit ‘Za – Who Knew?

So I grew up loving Chicago pizza – especially Gino’s East deep dish pizza. I even spent some time cooking pizzas at Gino’s North. It wasn’t affiliated (at all) with the venerable Gino’s East, but was just appropriating the name. So here comes Detroit pizza, something that I didn’t even know existed until this week. Susan says it’s sort of like Hammer’s Old World Sicilian pizza at Hammer’s General Feed Store in Galesburg, IL.

Ingredients (dough):

  • 2 cups flour (all purpose or bread)
  • 1 t instant yeast
  • 1 T Kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • EVOO

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add water and stir (with a wooden or silicon spoon) to combine. You goal is to create a shaggy, semi-dry ball of dough – you may not need to use all the water.

Set the bowl aside for 15 minutes to let it rest. After resting, flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes (about two minutes of kneading, then a minute of rest – about three times overall). The ball of dough should be silky and smooth. Put back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about two hours – it should double in size.

When risen, pull out a 10×14 inch nonstick cake pan (or hard-edged Detroit pizza pan). Pour a few tablespoons of EVOO in the pan and dump in the ball of dough. Roll it around to coat it with oil and work it flat with your fingers, trying to get it to the edge of the pan. It’ll get close but it won’t quite get there. That’s fine – just let the dough rest for 15 minutes and work it again. It’ll get there.

Ingredients (sauce):

  • 2 T EVOO
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add minced garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Protip: You might want to put a lid on the sauce as it simmers – it’ll tend to sputter tomato sauce everywhere!

Ingredients (the rest):

  • 12 oz Brick cheese, cut in 1/2 cubes
  • Sliced pepperoni

You’ll notice this pizza uses brick cheese. It’s worth trying to find it. It’s salty, melty and amazing and SO much more flavorful than our dumbed-down Americana mass-market mozzarella!

Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Place a layer of pepperoni over the raw dough in the pan. Next, cover with cheese cubes, getting them right up to the edge (they’ll get all dark and crispy at the edge – trust us, you’ll want that!). Then cover with another layer of pepperoni. Finally, ladle on the sauce in three rows over the toppings – you might not use all the sauce, which is fine. Put some in a bowl to save for dipping.

Put the pizza in the oven (as low as possible for maximum heat) and bake for 15 minutes. Check the pizza and rotate 180 degrees and cook for another five minutes. Keep doing five minute intervals until the pepperoni starts curling, the crust browns and the cheese at the edge gets dark and crispy.

When that happens, pull from the oven and work a spatula around the edge to free the crispy cheese from the edge of the pan. Slip the spatula underneath and slide the pizza out onto a cutting board. Let it rest a few minutes then slice and enjoy.

This pizza is REALLY easy to gorge on and overeat – it’s just SO damn tasty. You have been warned! (this recipe is a riff off of a Serious Eats recipe that has some awesome science behind it – check it out:

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