Detroit Style Pizza Pt. 1 - The Discovery
With omnicron doing it's thing, it has been a rather quiet week at our wine bar VIGNA but LX Burritos was humming along nicely.
Thus I had a bit of extra time on hand and I had been playing around with baking no knead rolls (took me 4 iterations to get it right) and Flammkuchen (aka Tarte Flambe, German-French style pizzas). In addition my FB feed had shown me a lot of #DetroitStylePizza posts recently and I had been wanting to try my hands on it for a while now.
DSP is a thick US style pan pizza (a cousin of the Sicilian and Grandma style pizza if you will), but compared to other pan pizzas it is lighter in texture with a crisp crust and a slight chew (I guess a love child of a Sicilian and a foccacia topped with cheese and sauce and a slightly chewier crumb would describe it adequately).
Another difference to other pizza styles is that the toppings & the cheese are put directly on the dough (so dough, topping, cheese, sauce) and the tomato sauce is put in thick lines on top not spread all over. The cheese is put all the way to the edge of the dough which has 2 effects. First it releases its oil and runs down the edge of the dough and the crust becomes super crispy. Second the cheese becomes crunchy at that edge and who doesn't like the crispy edges of a grilled cheese sandwich.
The pizza is supposed to be baked in an anodized Detroit style aluminum pan (or even more traditionally a blue steel pans). I didn't have such a pan but you work with what you have, right, so whip out the trusty stainless steel baking pan.
A true Detroit style pizza also uses Wisconsin brick cheese, which is a soft, mild cheese from, yeah you guessed it, Wisconsin. Wikipedia says it's an offspring of a cheddar. Having no access to that, I substituted a mix of mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey Jack, the latter two to give that signature cheesy, tangy flavor and contribute their fat and oil for flavor.
For the dough I used a blend of AP and whole wheat flour and made a high hydration dough. Giving it a couple of rises and a final proof in the baking pan did the trick. I opted for half pepperoni which I put on top instead of under the cheese in the hope of crisping them up. Unfortunately the were not the cupping type which you can basically only find in the US.
Cranked up the oven all the way and baked it for 15min until the cheese was bubbly, the edges almost charred and then pulled it out. Quick peek under the crust revealed a lightly fried bottom and that signature cripsy cheese crust on the edge. Yay! Let it cool on a rack and cut a slice to try.
Bingo, crispy with a light chew, charred cheese edge, I'd call that a success.
FYI: We don't sell Detroit style pizzas at LX Burritos at them moment but if you are interested in getting some, pls drop us a message, if we got enough interest we might look into it :-)