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Detroit-style Pizza

There are three styles of pizza that are all very similar to each other: Sicilian, Grandma and Detroit-style. They all start with a high hydration, focaccia-style bread dough and are all baked in metal pans, but the way you handle the dough, the exact type of pan, and the way you cook the pizzas vary from one to the next.

When researching exactly what makes a Detroit-style pizza, you’ll find plenty of variations and opinions online. The story goes that it started in Detroit when people began using industrial metal pans to cook the pizza. That’s why it’s now often cooked in a sheet pan or baking tray, and has a distinctive rectangular shape. It’s got a generous amount of sauce on top and cheese spread all the way to the edges, and the dough is left to rise inside an oiled pan – the result is a thick pizza that has a nice crunch all around the edges and bottom of the crust, that’s still quite chewy and fluffy on the inside.

It’s yet another delicious style of pizza that works so well for cooking on your Ooni pizza oven.


Electric scales
Electric mixer
Large mixing bowl
Metal baking pan (max. 33 x 23cm/13” x 9”)
Tea towels


Makes one 33cm x 23cm pizza

For the dough:
350g strong bread flour
260g warm water
½ tsp (3g) instant dried yeast 
2 tsp (10g) salt 
1 ½ (20g) olive oil, plus extra for coating the metal pan

For the topping:
80g shredded cheddar cheese
100g shredded mozzarella
100g pepperoni slices
120g pizza sauce


Add the flour to a mixing bowl. In another bowl, add the yeast, salt and oil to the water, mix together and pour over the flour.

Using an electric mixer, mix the dough on a low to medium speed for 5 minutes, or until all the ingredients are fully combined and you have a smooth, silky dough with good elasticity.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (clingfilm) or a cloth and leave to prove on your kitchen counter at room temperature for 2-4 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. If you prefer to cold prove the dough, at this point you would refrigerate the dough for up to 72 hours, then remove the dough from the fridge at least a few hours before you plan to cook it; allow the dough to come back up to room temperature before continuing the following steps.

A few hours before you plan to cook your pizza, coat the baking pan with a light layer of olive oil. This step is really important as it will help the pizza crust to caramelise and give the base a satisfying crunch!

Transfer the dough into the pan and ‘dimple’ it with your fingers, shaping and pushing the dough into the corners. Cover the dough and leave it to rest for about 30 minutes. 

Once the dough has relaxed and become more pliable, dimple the dough again using your fingers, continuing to push it towards the corners of the pan. You might need to repeat this rest-and-dimple step a few times in order to get the dough to completely cover the base of the pan. 

Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the dough, then cover and leave the dough to rest again for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.

Once the dough is undergoing this final proving step with the cheese, fire up your Ooni pizza oven to 450°C. Preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes, as the stone baking board needs to be really hot to ensure the heat in the stone bakes the bottom of the pizza properly.

Once the dough’s finished resting, add the remaining toppings – add the rest of the cheese, then the pepperoni, and then two stripes of sauce on top. Make sure to sprinkle the cheese all the way to the outer edges to really add to that delicious crunch.

Check the oven is up to 450°C, then turn the flame down to its lowest setting. Place the pan right at the front of your Ooni so it’s not too close to the flame. Leave the pizza door on the oven while it’s cooking. 

At the start, rotate the pan every couple of minutes so the bottom bakes evenly as it draws heat from the stone. Bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the crust and the size of the pan being used.

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