Author Topic: Detroit Style Pizza: Thermal Capacity for Crispy Edges  (Read 1437 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Detroit Style Pizza: Thermal Capacity for Crispy Edges
« on: March 06, 2021, 02:56:37 PM »
ThermoBlog by Martin Earl 3/6/2021

Let’s make a distinction here real quick. Pizza from Italy and pizza from America are not the same thing. In the same way that the Chinese don’t eat most of what we call Chinese food, so the Italians would look on our pizza with disbelief and derision. And that’s ok! Foods change as they encounter new cultures, new ingredients, new food traditions.

Just because Rafaele Esposito didn’t come up with Chicago deep dish or BBQ chicken pizza doesn’t mean they aren’t a valid part of our national cuisine now. Pizza is something we have taken, regionalized, personalized, and Americanized in amazing ways.

Among the myriad styles and variations of pizza in America, it is about time that Detroit-style is finally getting some attention. in the last 10 years or so, word of this style has started to make its way around the country, and for good reason. It’s a unique, hearty style of pizza and ought to be tried by pizza lovers everywhere. Here we’re going to give this regional specialty some of the limelight it deserves, including how to use temperature to get the very best results. Read on!

What is Detroit-style pizza?

Detroit-style pizza is what one could term a “pan” pizza, as opposed to “hearth” pizza. It was originally—and still is—cooked in a blue-steel tray that was intended for use for holding small parts on the manufacturing lines of the auto plants. The heat-conducting properties of those pans helped the style become a success: as the cheese near the edges drips down into the cracks, it gets crispy and caramelized and toasty, as does the crust itself, which is doused heavily in oil to prevent it from sticking in the pan.

But a Detroit pizza is distinguished by more than just its square-pan shape. It is also distinguished by its toppings, or rather how those toppings are applied—in “reverse” order. Yes, they put pepperoni down first, right on the raw dough, then sprinkle on the brick cheese, then top it with sauce. Heresy! You cry, but no. Innovation is the correct refrain. The sauce on top changes the whole feel and flavor profile of the pizza. This particular recipe uses a homemade sauce that is at once zippy and richly tomato-y, and is very easy to make.

If you were reading that last paragraph closely and you’re not from the Midwest, you may be asking the question “Brick cheese? What’s that?” Take a gander at this:

    Brick cheese is one of the main kinds made in the USA and one of the few which can claim an American origin (although possibly modelled on a German cheese called Box). First made in Wisconsin, around the 1870s, it is now manufactured in other states and Canada also.

    The name may refer to the brick-like shape and size bestowed on it by the forms in which it is made, or to the actual bricks traditionally used in pressing it.
    Brick is a whole-milk cheese with an elastic texture, less firm than Cheddar, with irregular holes or ‘eyes’, and easy to slice.”
    -Alan Davidson, The Penguin Companion to Food, pg. 126

The cheese is buttery, sharper than mozz but not as sharp as even a mild cheddar, and it melts like a dream. Plus, because of its high fat content, it is less likely to burn in the oven, so your melted-cheesy goodness will be toasty, not burnt-tasting. By all means, if you can’t find brick cheese, don’t shy away from this pizza! A combination of mild cheddar and low-moisture mozzarella will do. But if you can find brick cheese, I highly recommend it.

Recipe and instructions at link:

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Re: Detroit Style Pizza: Thermal Capacity for Crispy Edges
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2021, 04:26:31 PM »
I have seen Detroit pizza on various cooking shows. Not interested. It looks gross and exceedingly doughy.
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