meatpizzaNot all pizzerias that promote “Detroit Style Pizza” on their menus actually serve the real deal. In order to be truly authentic Detroit Style Pizza, a pizza must be prepared according to specific guidelines. These guidelines are critical to preserving the integrity of Detroit Style Pizza as a unique type of pizza, as well as the historical heritage that led to its creation. Here’s how to know whether what you’re getting is the true, authentic, Detroit Style Pizza.

The Pan

Seasoned PanAuthentic Detroit Style Pizza is baked in well-seasoned square steel pans – the same type of pans once used as parts trays by Detroit’s automobile manufacturers. But there’s more to the pans than their history and shape. Their steel construction allows for heat transfer that results in a crust that’s crispy on the outside, yet soft and airy on the inside. Pans are prepared through a special seasoning process that lends Detroit Style Pizza part of its outstanding flavor.

The Dough

The dough is what truly sets Detroit Style Pizza apart from any other type of pizza, and as such it must be properly proofed. Authentic Detroit Style Pizza dough features optimal hydration levels between 65% and 75% to ensure proper texture after baking.

The Pepperoni

Authentic Detroit Style Pizza is layered with pepperoni under the cheese, and any additional toppings are placed on top of the cheese. It might seem a minor detail, but it makes all the difference.

The Cheese

IMG_0633Cheese must be applied edge-to-edge so it caramelizes on the crust when baking. Traditionally, brick and mozzarella are the cheeses of choice for Detroit Style Pizza.

The Oven

Authentic Detroit Style Pizza is baked in real deck ovens, known for their natural-fired baking. This helps Detroit Style Pizza achieve the proper texture, and results in more consistency between pizzas.

The Sauce

Last, but certainly not least, is the red sauce, which is ladled on top before or after baking.

If these guidelines are not adhered to, then you’re not getting truly authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

Be Creative!

These guidelines are limiting only in that they preserve the integrity of Detroit Style Pizza. Outside of them, pizzerias are encouraged to experiment with their own toppings, dough recipes, and sauce recipes. Detroit Style Pizza doesn’t limit pizzerias, it empowers them to get creative with their recipes and add their own unique spin to authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

Does My Pizzeria Serve Authentic Detroit Style Pizza?

If you operate a pizzeria, you can follow the aforementioned guidelines to help you craft authentic Detroit Style Pizza. If you’re a pizza lover, ask your local pizzeria whether they follow these guidelines. The only way to know for sure, of course, is to order from an Approved Detroit Style Pizza Maker.

Authenticity is important when it comes to Detroit Style Pizza. If you’ve never enjoyed a truly authentic Detroit  Style Pizza, you’ll never know how great it truly tastes!