Detroit-Style Pizza

This style of pizza, thick and pillowy on the inside with a golden crispy crust just isn’t as popular as it should be, especially here in Canada!

Although, I have never been to Detroit, I know this pizza. I like to call it Nonna pizza because both my grandmothers and many other grandma’s I know, hailing from the south of Italy, made their pizza this way. They often used sheet pans instead of casserole dishes but the result was basically the same. It’s also quite reminiscent of focaccia.

It is said that this pizza style was brought to Detroit by a couple of Sicilian heritage circa 1946. Their pizza shop was called Buddy’s Rendez-Vous Pizza and it still exists today! The toppings look a little different than what my grandmothers used to do though. For instance, in Detroit, they use low moisture mozzarella or to be super traditional, brick cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes making sure to get the cheese to the very edges of the dough, so that it all gets golden and crispy. It’s truly the best part. Even a little char along the edge is welcomed in my book.

I found this version online and it’s not only tasty but so easy to make! The recipe calls for instant yeast which makes this a no-brainer. Just combine it with your water & flour mixture. I even kneaded it by hand but if you prefer, you can use a mixer with the dough hook attachment.

I’ve included 3 topping combinations, the traditional Detroit-style toppings, Moibyan’s toppings (my fav), and my other favourite, for the Anchovy lover! All 3 combos are to die for and I hope you try one of them.

A big thank you to Hajar Larbah of for the inspiration for this post! This is now the only pizza we want to make in our house!

Visit me on Instagram for more meal inspo and recipe step-by-steps. Leave a comment or send me a DM about this or any other of my recipes you try! I’d love to hear from you.

Detroit-Style Pizza

Print Recipe


  • 1 9X13 high-sided baking pan I have a Detroit-style pizza pan from



  • 2 1/3 cups 340g Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 227g lukewarm water (hot enough that you can just stand the heat if you stick your finger in)
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Extra olive oil for greasing the pan

Toppings – Note: Quantities and ingredients are very personal so add as much as you like!

    Garlic butter mixture

    • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted and kept warm
    • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
    • 1 tsp grated fresh garlic or to taste
    • 2 tsp Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated
    • A pinch dried oregano
    • A pinch of Kosher salt

    Detroit style:

    Stephanie's favourite :

    • 1/2 cup Pizza sauce or Marinara. I like Mutti brand pizza sauce
    • 250 g Fresh Mozzarella or Burrata drained and torn into large shreds or chunks. Place in a bowl lined with a paper towel in the fridge until ready to use.
    • 170 g Regular low moisture mozzarella (optional)
    • 60 g Pepperoni
    • Jalapeno sliced, to taste
    • Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated, to taste
    • Honey for drizzling (or hot honey)

    Anchovy lover:

    • 1/2 cup Pizza sauce or Marinara. I like Mutti brand pizza sauce
    • 250 g Fresh Mozzarella
    • 10 anchovy filets in oil, drained on paper towels and sliced on the diagonal
    • Jarred hot peppers to taste
    • Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated, to taste



    • In a large mixing bowl, add water, instant yeast, sugar, flour, salt and olive oil. Bring dough together by hand (or you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook), until a shaggy dough forms.
    • Knead right in the bowl or turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead with the heel of your palm for about 2-3 minutes until you get a soft and elastic dough. It’s meant to be sticky but if it’s sticking to your hand, and tough to manage, add a little flour.
    • Transfer down to a greased bowl and cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and then top that with a dish cloth (a nice heavy one is best). Place it on the counter but if your kitchen is cold, place it in the oven (turned off). Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes.
    • Add a generous amount of oil to your baking pan, (about 2 tbsp) and grease the bottom and sides well.
    • Reserving the plastic wrap and dish cloth, transfer the dough to your pan and gently press it down with the tips of your fingers, delicately stretch the dough out towards the edges and corners. Cover with the same piece of plastic wrap and the dish towel. Allow to rest again for about 1hr, until risen and puffy. It will be easier to stretch after it rests.
    • Preheat your oven to 525F if it goes that high, otherwise go as high as you can.
    • In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, parm, salt & dried oregano. Keep warm if possible.
    • Once the dough has risen, stretch the dough to the sides of the pan and pop any big air bubbles that may have formed. Little ones are ok.
    • Brush the dough with garlic butter mixture. (so amazing)
    • Add pizza sauce on top, then mozzarella and the rest of the toppings. I like my pepperoni on top of the cheese so that it gets crispy. Top it all with the parmesan cheese. Make sure to get the cheeses right up along the edge of the crust to it crisps up. It’s an integral part of the Detroit-style pizza experience!
    • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges and bottom is crispy and golden brown.
    • Remove it from the oven and give it a few minutes before removing it from the pan cutting it into squares. Drizzle a little honey over top (if using) and enjoy, enjoy, enjoyyy! I can’t wait for you to try this!!


    Topping choices and quantities are totally up to you. Let this recipe be a guide to your ideal pizza!
    The butter mixture can be made with olive oil instead of butter but you will need to warm the oil so the garlic and herbs can infuse their flavours better.
    Print Recipe
    Detroit-Style Pizza

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