Detroit Pizza

Detroit Pizza

Almost all pizza is good pizza, but this is great pizza. This Detroit pizza is a deep dish variant that has a thick layer of pepperoni in the bottom on the crust, topped with lots of cheese, then lines of the homemade sauce. I know it sounds strange to put the sauce on top, but the wonderful thing about doing that is that the fat from the pepperoni basically fries the dough in the bottom, giving you a really amazing crust.

Homemade pizza sauce is really worth the time to make, because it has great flavor and it really makes your pizza fabulous. It is super simple and hardly takes any time to make. Once I started using this homemade pizza sauce recipe, I never went back.

As with any pizza dough, this recipe does take some time. The dough need to proof before you can use it so make this on a day when you have a few hours to spare. You won’t regret it. I often double all the ingredients for this aside from the sauce because the recipe only uses 1/2 the sauce, and make 2 pizzas so we have leftovers.

Detroit Pizza Dough

This recipe uses a Detroit pizza pan, but you can use a metal 9×13 pan or 2 8×8 cake pans if you don’t have one. I have this one, and I love the dark crisp edges it makes on the pizza.

detroit pizza

Detroit Pizza

Cheesy deep dish pepperoni pizza with homemade sauce
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Detroit Pizza pan or 2 8×8 metal cake pans if you don't have a 9×13 dark metal pan



  • 330 grams bread flour about 2 heaping cups
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup water approximately – adjust to your dough
  • oil as needed for greasing bowl


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • kosher salt to taste


  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 6 ounces monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 12 ounces pepperoni I prefer boar's head


Make the dough:

  • Combine flour, yeast, water and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until dough comes together into a rough ball, then shut off mixer and let rest for 10 minutes. Continue mixing at medium-low speed until dough forms a smooth, silky ball, about 10 minutes longer. Remove dough hook, form dough into a tight ball, set in the bottom of the greased mixer bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until dough has roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  • Pour a couple tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a Detroit-style metal pizza pan or two 8- by 8-inch cake pans. (Split dough in half if using cake pans.) Transfer dough to pan and coat in oil. Spread the dough toward the edges. You won't be able to get it all the way to the edge at first. Spread it as much as you can without tearing, then cover tightly in plastic and set aside for 30 minutes to allow dough to relax. Stretch it again. It should be able to reach the edges this time. If not, let it rest a little more and try again. To get the dough to stay in the corners, stretch it up beyond the corners so that it pulls back into place. Cover and set aside to rest while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:

  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 550, or as close to it as your oven gets. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add minced garlic, italian seasoning, 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 to about 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Make the pizza:

  • Press down on dough with your fingertips to remove any large air bubbles. Lay half of pepperoni evenly over face of dough. Top with cheese, spreading it evenly all the way to the very edges of the pan, then add remaining pepperoni. Spoon sauce over surface in 3 even rows. (You will need only about half the sauce if making one pizza. I usually double this recipe and make 2 pizzas because the leftovers are so good, so I use all my sauce).
  • Transfer to oven and bake until edges are black and bubbly and exposed cheese on top is starting to lightly brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Run a thin metal spatula all the way around the edges of the pan to loosen the pizza. Carefully lift it out and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut pizza and serve. Put any leftovers in the fridge and fight your family to be the one who gets to eat them.


If you only use half the sauce, it freezes super well and you can just put in the fridge overnight before you want to use it the next time.  I sometimes only use 1/2 the pepperoni when I’m wanting this pizza to be slightly lighter.   It is good both ways though.    This recipe originally calls for brick cheese, so if you can find that, use it.   I can’t get that locally so I use a combo of mozzarella and monterey jack, which is delicious.  
Keyword Main Dish, Pizza

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