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Let’s Get Deep - We’re Talking Pan Pizza!

Continuing our trip down pizza memory lane, this week we’re focusing on pan pizza… Arguably the most indulgent of pizza styles, pan pizza tends to have a thicker, more robust base, and is loaded with toppings. We kick off in Sicily, where pan pizzas were born...

Sicilian-style Pizza
Sicily’s intriguing history has a rich multicultural past, left behind by the different rulers the Island has had. Although ubiquitous with Italian cuisine, tomatoes weren’t introduced to Sicily until the mid 16th Century, so pizza before then was without pomodori!

Sicilian style pizza is known as sfincione in Italy, and was the only type of pizza eaten on the island until the mid 19th Century. There are many stories about how Sfincione came to be, including the  Nuns of the Royal San Vito Monastery in Palermo, and their resourceful nature to turn plain bread into something fit for a prince!. 

So, what is sfincione? The Palermitan version is a focaccia style base, topped with a variety of ingredients including tomato, herbs, onions, cheese, and anchovies, and continues to be a staple of daily life. Each region has its own take on sfincione, both in toppings and form! 

Check out Slicemonger’s recipe for classic Sicilian… 

Detroit-style Pizza
Detroit style pizza is undoubtedly the most indulgent of all pizza-styles. A thick, bouncy base, with a crisp bottom crust, absolutely stunningly cheesy edges and indulgent toppings. Detroit is the ULTIMATE comfort pizza. 

Detroit was created back in the mid 1940s by Buddy’s Rendezvous, and was based on owner Anna Guerra’s mother’s recipe for Sicilian pizza, although there is some controversy as an employee claimed it was their recipe. The distinctive rectangular shape originates from the metal pans it was originally baked in. Buddy’s used blue steel pans, made from scrap metal created to contain small automotive parts. They were the perfect size and shape for the deep pan pizza style. The distinctive sauce stripes on top are named racing stripes, honouring the Motor City of Detroit.

The term Detroit style didn’t come into play until the 1980s, and wasn’t widely used until the late 2000s, as the style was still referred to as Sicilian.

The popularity of Detroit style took off after 2012 when Shawn Rendazzo won the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo world championship with a Detroit-style pizza. He went on to train many pizzerias in the style of Detroit.  

It’s a firm favourite at Ooni HQ, with everyone vying for the corner piece. Here’s our how to.

Chicago-style Pizza
The most famous of the pan pizzas… Chicago-style. Yep, you may remember a certain brand of micro pizzas from your youth… Chicago Deep Dish pizzas are unrivalled in flavour and style. With its characteristically tall crust and pastry-like base, each slice is loaded to the max with cheese, meat, and sauce.

Let’s skip back to 1943. Pizzeria Uno in Chicago is commonly cited as the birthplace of Chicago-style, but there are conflicts between whether it was founder Ike Sewell or pizza chef Rudy Malnati who first developed the deep dish delight. If that wasn’t enough contention, the Saverio Rosati family claim their recipe for deep dish pizza hasn’t changed since Rosati’s authentic Chicago pizza opened in 1926! What’s food without a little competition and controversy?! 

Grab an Ooni Skillet Pan and give the recipe a whirl for yourself!

Stay tuned for the OG of pizza…

Pan Pizza

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