After my previous attempt at 60% hydration Detroit-style pizza, I did some grousing about the result on Facebook. Dmcavanagh and Norma saw my complaining and gave me some advice. First, that this style really does have to be made at a higher hydration, and, second, that all-purpose flour works best. You want a lower protein count for a softer crust that she says, “almost melts in your mouth.” Anyway, tonight? SUCCESS!
The only reason I had been using 60% hydration doughs with this style is that the pans I bought came with instructions that said to cook the first couple of pizzas on the dry side. (Less chance of pizza sticking to the pan, at least until the pan got seasoned a bit more with subsequent bakes.) I had planned on following SonnyC79‘s methods once my pans were broken in. (SonnyC79 showed up in some Slice comments with a PDF how-to based on an excellent Detroit-style thread on Pizzamaking.)
Anyway, long story short, THIS FORMULATION WORKED. As Norma said, the dough on this was so light and airy it’s almost not there. Yet it’s still got some crispness on the bottom, and of course the Detroit cheese-crisp edge is off the hook. (I dont know why I used that phrase, it’s horrible.)
I made this pizza with homemade fennel sausage and diced green peppers and onions — for a Midwestern “supreme” flavor. When my wife smelled it, she said to our daughter, “Papa made a Round Table pizza.” (Yes, I know Round Table is a western chain, but I think the point was that the aroma was classic “supreme pizza.”) Blah blah blah.
1 gram instant dry yeast
156 grams all-purpose flour (I used Hecker’s unbleached)
117 grams water
3 grams salt
I’ve been mixing the flour and yeast together, then dissolving the salt in the water. This was something John Wozniak hipped me to in working with autolysed dough. I’ve gotten into the habit in general now, even though I don’t think it necessarily helps anything with this, a non-autolysed dough.
UPDATE (2015-01-05): This is one of the more popular posts on this website, so I will direct you to this thread on Pizzamaking.com, where there is A LOT of information and discussion going on. It’s a lot to wade through, but it’s much more than I get into here.
After making these Detroit-style posts on what was my previous personal pizza blog, Famous Original A’s, I sort of gave up on Detroit-style pizza and switched to honing my bar-pizza recipe. I had a personal epiphany that bar-style pizza was what I REALLY craved, and nobody near me in NYC was doing it, so I did it for myself. Anyway, my Detroit-style explorations then took a back seat, and I’ve only recently started playing with the style again. I don’t consider myself an expert at it, so if you have any questions, I likely won’t be able to answer. The real experts are over at Pizzamaking.com, in particular Norma, who, if pictures are anything, seems to be making a stellar example of the form — which you can try if you’re anywhere near Roots Market in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area.