Pizza, Motor City Style

Motor City ‘Za – a rectangular pizza with a not-t00-thick crust and a wicked crispity wall of cheese around the edges.


A solid fave around our house ever since I first saw Jeff Mauro make it on TV, though, of course, I have switched things up a bit.

Mr. Mauro calls for rapid-rise yeast, but regular active dry works fine; and he makes his dough in a blender.


I did try it that way the first time, because I had just bought a well-rated, pretty powerful new blender. It made the dough, but I was not loving the slight ‘burning motor’ smell I was getting, so, you know what? My stand mixer with the bread hook works a treat!

•2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
•2 tsp kosher salt
•1 tsp yeast
•1 tsp sugar
•1 cup warm (~100º) water
•Olive oil

•Olive oil
•8 oz sliced pepperoni
•Thinly sliced sweet onion (optional)
•16 oz Brick and/or Mozzarella cheese, cubed (Pepper Jack works great, too)
•Pizza sauce

A note on the pizza sauce: Mr. Mauro makes a fine pizza sauce, which I am very fond of, but this time, I had some leftover marinara from a batch of short ribs, so used that instead. You could also use your fave jarred pizza sauce; it is all good.

Add the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar to a stand mixer bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the warm water and, with the dough hook, stir on low speed until the liquid is absorbed.

Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough comes together in a ball and cleans the side of the bowl.

If your dough isn’t coming together, add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it does.

Gather the dough together with your hands, pulling off any extra from the dough hook.

At this point, you could add olive oil to another bowl, add the dough ball, roll it around to coat with the oil, then cover and set aside to rise for two or so hours; until the dough has doubled in size.


that dough really has cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl, so you could just drizzle the olive oil in over the top, then roll the dough to coat, cover, and set aside to rise until doubled in size.

Note: as always, you are the boss of that dough! Can’t get back to it in two hours? No worries! The dough will be fine just sitting there, even overnight, if needs be; some recipes actually specify letting the dough rise over night.

When you are ready to deal with the dough and make the pizza, brush your Detroit pizza pan (or 13×9 baking pan) with olive oil, and heat your oven to 500º.

Punch the dough ball down, then lay it out in the pan, stretching it to fit the pan.

Note: if the dough is not playing nice while stretching, just set it aside for 15 minutes or so, then come back to it. Worked for me.

My key takeaway about Detroit style pizza is that you have a kindofa wall of cheese all around the edges, that bakes up into a crusty, crispity cheesy goodness.

Everything else, as far as I am concerned, is up for grabs. That said, I chose to brush a thin layer of sauce on the crust before building my wall of cheese all along the sides. I used Pepper Jack this time.

Cheese wall built, scatter the remaining cheese cubes – here I also added shredded Mozzarella – then cover evenly with sliced sweet onion and the pepperoni slices.

Top with the remaining pizza sauce – I guess that tradition says the top sauce should be added in three stripes down the pan.

I don’t do that.

Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and, using a fish spatula, remove the pizza from the pan and cut into squares to serve.

Hot honey makes for a great drizzle with this pizza, though my husband is also fond of adding Italian seasonings and grated Parmesan cheese.

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