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Detroit Style Pizza: Or How I Learned to Enjoy the Crust

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posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 11:01 PM
Usually when the debate about pizza comes up people pick one of two sides: New York Style or Chicago Style. Well, little do you know, your favorite pizza chain may just be what's known as Detroit Style. But first, a bit of history on the two more well known styles of pizza.

For those of you who don't know, Chicago Style Pizza is characterized by its copious amounts of cheese and extra chunky tomato sauce. There are two main subsets of Chicago Style Pizza: deep dish and stuffed.

The deep dish pizza is often credited to Uno's Pizza, but that's debatable. It is characterized by its thin round crust that forms a deep bowl, that is often two or more inches deep, for lots and lots of toppings. Because of this thickness in toppings, the pizzas have extraordinarily long cook times and so they are often made "upside-down," with the cheese on the crust and the tomato sauce on top.

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

The stuffed crust version of Chicago Style Pizza is similar to the deep dish, with a deep round bowl of thin crust, however it is often thicker and features an extra layer of dough on the top, sealing in the toppings. On top of this extra layer of dough is usually an extra layer of tomato sauce. The two most well known chains for this style pizza are Giordano's and Nancy's.

Chicago Style Stuffed Crust Pizza

New York Style is also defined by its thin round crust, which is crunchy along the edge and flexible under the toppings. Often sold by the slice as a street food in New York City, these wide slices are often folded in half and eaten on the go. Baked in coal fired, brick ovens these hand-tossed pizzas most often have the cheese on bottom and sauce on top. The New York Style pizza began the American love affair with the dish in Little Italy at Lombadi's Pizzeria in the mid 1900s.

New York Style pizza, showing signature fold

Now both main styles of pizza had two things in common: These round pizzas are based on a thin crust! Detroit Style Pizza differs in these two areas. First off, it is square or rectangular and, secondly, the pizza has a thick, crispy, yet chewy, crust.

The square shape of the pizza can be attributed to the auto industry of Detroit. Small industrial parts trays from the auto companies were originally used to bake these pizzas. The crust is often twice baked, and always in a well oiled pan. This heavily oiled pan results in a crust that has a crunchy fried texture on the bottom and retains a chewiness in the rest of the crust. After cooking the pizza is often coated on top with a butter and garlic or Parmesan spread before slicing.

Detroit Style Pizza tray

The Detroit Style Pizza, which was first created by Buddy's in 1946, has quickly gained traction as a popular choice. Within years of opening Buddy's had spawned off many competitors, mostly opened by former Buddy's cooks, such as Shield's, Tower Inn, and Luigi's. However, these chains, while still in business and regarded as some of the best in the area, never quite made it out of the region.

An example of Detroit Style Pizza, from Shield's

Despite that, the Detroit area is home to five of the nation's largest pizza chains. Here's the breakdown of what we've given the world to enjoy:

Domino's Pizza: The second largest pizza chain the US and largest worldwide. Over 10,000 locations in 70 countries.
Little Caesars: The third largest pizza chain in the US and has locations around the world.
Hungry Howies: The eleventh largest pizza chain in the US with 575 locations.
Jet's Pizza: Currently over 300 locations in 19 States.
Happy's Pizza: One of the nation's fastest growing pizza chains, having explosive growth in the last decade, now has around 100 locations in six states.

Due to the rising popularity of the Detroit Style Pizza there are many independent locations throughout the nation serving these pizza. Examples, to name a few of many, include Tomaso's in Cedar Rapids, IA; Pizza Squared in Tampa, FL; Blue Pan Pizza in Denver, CO; Via 313 in Austin, TX; and Loui Loui's in Seattle, WA.

So go forth and enjoy a slice or two of America's soon-to-be favorite style pizza. You won't be disappointed!

posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 11:10 PM
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid
And now I'm hungry for some GOOD pizza....Looks delicious. I eat New York style the most, but Detroit looks rather delicious..

posted on Feb, 22 2016 @ 11:42 PM
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

very nice share, i have all 3 recipes Buddy's pizza has used... shields or jets is basically te same as their 2nd iteration just put together differently for their own branding of it.

if one is not a cook they mail order it out and you simply finish the baking...

since it is a detroit origonal and closely guarded no im sorry but i will not be sharing their recipes

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:08 AM
I prefer my own homemade pizza. Crust made in the bread machine with whole wheat flour and a few Italian herbs in the crust, my own sauce made with my garden veggies, some sliced onions, peppers, sausage, pepperoni and a liberal application of cheese. Well-oiled pan, into the oven for 15-20 minutes. It's a feast Since I like both thick and thin crusts, I can decide when the dough is done which style to make.
I've also done them in a cast iron Dutch oven in the fireplace. Delish!

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:31 AM
Best pizza I ever had was in Rome.

I honestly don't know the name of the place. I saw a couple of local street sweeper guys in neon green vests go into this small door down a side alley and followed them inside. I figured if it was good enough for the local working man for lunch, it'd be good enough for me.

I opted for the classic "Margherita" style. Simple, elegant. The kitchen was downstairs and they used a little elevator thing to bring up the food. The place had deli-style ready-to-go food behind some glass for a quick grab N go. What made the pizza so good was that each ingredient was as fresh as possible and prepared freshly and simply. You could taste how each ingredient shined with pride.

The second best?

Santarpio's Pizza, East Boston. I don't know if it's something in the water or what...but my god that was a good pizza!

It was so good I had some "to go" and took it with me through TSA security, and the long flight back to Alaska. I re-heated it in a frying pan with a lid over medium low and it was almost still just as good.

I don't consider Chicago style a "pizza" ... it's more of a pizza-style casserole or something. It's so far removed from what even the original pizza was, and still is even in Italy that it's not really a "pizza" to me. It's still delicious, but it's not really a "pizza" to me.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:36 AM
a reply to: diggindirt

The thing is, unless you have an outdoor brick oven or invest in a special pizza oven inside your home ... you'll never quite get that pizzeria product at home. Home ovens simply don't do the trick.

There are lots of work arounds that get stones, special pizza baking trays with holes...but it's futile. Coal fired or wood ovens can get over the 500-600F of your home oven to flash bake the pizza.

Another thing ... a lot of pizzerias let their dough "rest" for a day or more in containers ... that adds flavor as the dough ferments more. A lot of people don't want to wait or have the room to make a big batch of dough, partition if up into containers and stick them in the fridge for a day or more.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:40 AM
You guys should try this NY style crust recipe but substitute melted butter for the oil, and whole milk for half the water.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:49 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

i would say that pizza made me moist but then weirdos might pass some law... forgetting such a thing as salivation

anyone else a pizza purist? cheese and pepperoni is my jam when buying it myself.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 12:57 AM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Me too -- I don't like a ton of toppings. It weighs down the pizza, often makes the crust soggy and it messes with the cooking.

Pepperoni and cheese, or just cheese. Maybe cheese and sausage.

Although, I WILL do two variations on my standard "keep it simple" mantra:

Pepperoni and mushroom

Pepperoni and pineapple

I call the last one a "spicy Hawaiian". It's weird, I went to a pizza place in Hawaii and they didn't have pineapple as a topping option. They had to bring me out some pineapple from the bar they use as a garnish for me to put on myself LOL. This was at the Kauai Brewing Co ... which sells a LOT of pizza with their beer!

If I want a lot of toppings like green peppers, onions, olives....just roll it all up, bake it and give me a calzone!

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 01:21 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

lol about the Hawaiian... marketing stereotypes meet reality huh? it does make for a nice combination of flavors that can cut acid and balance on the pallette. sausage without something to catch its grease half kills my digestive tract... so i try to avoid that. did you by chance try a hawaiian hot dog? now thats a cultural iteration that needs some steam to it.

due to consumer demand of the customer in food establishments much of the food industry went the way of equivelents in chemistry etc to meet demand like bromine to quickly ferment bread only later to find it causes cancer or hydro corn syrup because its less expensive than sugar to import... these cost cuttings have been a determent to not only health but flavor.

im glad that cooks have inspired the masses to see it as an art form, science, and cultural heritage as a truly artisan endeavor to be enjoyed and passionate about instead of... youre hungry shove this in your face and get back to what else you were doing... as it is one of the best pleasues in life and savoring that becomes very apparent the older one gets.

mayo is a nice addition when making pizza dough in my opinion

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 01:35 AM
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Wow... the first one looks like a pie and the second like a quiche.


In the UK we don't get those kinds of Pizza (AFAIK)

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 02:38 AM
Those are some pizzas! We don't get anything that stylish and delicious in Australia. (Well, maybe at specialty pizza stores in the city. I'm a country girl! I'm lucky to have access to a simple Domino's.)

I do like making my own pizzas though
I'm lazy and grab circles of pita bread, cover them with cheese and sauce and whatever happens to be in the fridge that takes my fancy. Chuck them in the oven. Quick and easy!
edit on 23 2 2016 by kaelci because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 02:56 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom
Oh, but I'm blessed with that fireplace and cast iron Dutch oven. And sauce made from stuff I grew in my gardens. That's what has spoiled my family.
And being blessedly retired, I can take the time needed to grow the food and give the crust as much attention as it needs. I love to experiment with new combinations. I've never had a shortage of volunteers to participate in these experiments!

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 03:01 AM
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Damn you!

It is exactly 3am in a small central Texas town with no all-night pizza shops.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 03:17 AM
Dammit, Cmdr. Our neighborhood mom & pop pizza shop doesn't open til 11!

I actually don't give a rip about crust styles at all, nor quantity of ingredients. We're extremely pleased to have found one that has a huge emphasis on high-quality pies that don't break the bank. I mean, you think a chain tastes good & all, but then you get pizzas made with made-in-house sauce, made-in-house sausage, pepperoni that isn't merely a grease-fest, you're watching the folks chop whole veggies up immediately prior to tossing them on your pie, there's a guy in the back stretching the mozzarella they make themselves & another's checking on how the dough's rising before getting back to making more by hand.

Crust type means nothing next to quality ingredients

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 04:19 AM
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

First of all, I have seen Chicago style pizza before, although I have never tasted it. What I would say, is that if I wanted the soup, I would have ordered it.

I have thrown my own pizza before, but that was a long time ago, and I had only the crappiest toppings to work with as well. The base came out very well though, I must say. In any case, my idea of an ideal pizza is one where the tomato sauce is replaced with barbecue sauce, heaped high with cheese, and every possible meat product one can get a hold of. Death on dough. Cadaver pizza. The abattoir special you might call it. I also like a cheese stuffed crust, because more cheese, and therefore win.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 06:05 AM

originally posted by: MystikMushroom
There are lots of work arounds that get stones, special pizza baking trays with holes...but it's futile. Coal fired or wood ovens can get over the 500-600F of your home oven to flash bake the pizza.

This aspect and the proofing you mentioned are the biggest reasons home pizza almost always comes out different from pizzeria pizza. The ovens I had at my restaurants could get to 1,000* and cook a pizza in a minute. With a high-hydration dough this temperature allows the dough to quickly rise in the oven before the char forms which gives you that great, toothsome crust.

Eventually I want to build a wood oven in the backyard.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 01:07 PM
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Yep, and I cringe when I see one of those conveyor belt ovens for pizza...It might be good for toasting a sandwich, but they're just not quite up to par with a real oven meant for pizzas!

EDIT: Yes, I realize Papa Johns and other chains use them -- but they also have done a lot of science to tweak their dough specifically for those conveyor ovens.
edit on 23-2-2016 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 02:32 PM
There's a pizza kitchen in St. Joseph, MO, that's certified Neopolitan. They actually had the people come out from Italy to do it. My husband swears by it, but I need to make the pilgrimage up there to try it. There are a few indy food joints up there that are decently good, like an authentic gyro pit. I guess having a large multi-national set down in your town with a regional college will do that for it.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 02:48 PM

originally posted by: MystikMushroom
Yep, and I cringe when I see one of those conveyor belt ovens for pizza...It might be good for toasting a sandwich, but they're just not quite up to par with a real oven meant for pizzas!

I had a vendor come into one of the restaurants trying to pitch me on one of those. I almost beat him with the pizza peal.

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