The place where pizza comes to be written about

Guest drop #1: Buddy’s Pizza of Detroit!

Buddy's Pizza, back in the early days

From the ridiculous to the sublime. Yesterday: an absurd anecdote about the innate silliness of porn. Today: a pizza recipe from a genuine legend of American pizza.

One of the great things that has resulted from this blog in its first week of existence is that I am being followed (and more incredibly, actually read and listened to) by some top American pizzerias, which is kind of like Grandmaster Flash suddenly taking an interest in a random teenage bedroom DJ. Well, I simply had to ask them if any of them if they’d be willing to do a guest drop, and blow me if Buddy’s Pizza of Detroit, makers of the world-renowned Detroit original square pie, didn’t agree to give us a guest recipe! Incredible.

All rise for the branding

So now I’m going to hand over to Wes Pikula, vice president of operation for Buddy’s Pizza, to explain How To Make A Detroit-style Pie At Home…

Here in the states, it’s important to note that the battle for pizza lovers’ attention goes beyond famed New York or Chicago style pies. Detroit originated the square-shaped deep dish crust – and it all started at Buddy’s Pizza.

Our family-owned pizzeria  has a long history in the city. Our original Detroit location opened as a blind pig in 1936 and was transformed into a legitimate tavern in 1946, when Sicilian style pizza was added to the menu. At Buddy’s Pizza we’ve been dishing out our Detroit original square pie recipe for 65 years.

The Buddy's speciality in all its square, pipping hot glory. Yeah, I KNOW!

How did we do it? The secret to that signature shape is in the pan itself. Our pizza pans reflect our Motor City heritage. They were originally used to hold nuts and bolts in Detroit’s automotive factories. We use forged steel pans made by Dover Parkersburg, a company that dates back to 1833. It may be one of the secret ingredients to our success.

But there are others. We use what’s called a lean dough to make our 2-3 inch thick pizza crust. There is no oil or sugar added. And we proof it, or let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until it rises, before it hits the oven. Unlike most pizzas, you’ll find our signature sauce on top of the cheese, not below it. We also use brick cheese, which adds to the taste.

English people! This is what brick cheese looks like!

If you’re curious, it’s possible to re-create the Detroit square pizza at home. Here’s how:

Step 1: Start with an authentic black steel square pan, 10 inches by 14 inches with 2 ¾ inch sides. Season the pan by coating the inside with vegetable oil and burn it in a 600 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Wipe off any residue left in the pan after burning it.

Step 2: Make a lean dough – don’t use oil or sugar. Weigh the dough into 10-16 ounce portions depending on your preference and roll each portion into a round ball.

Step 3: Place the dough ball in the square pan and press evenly until it covers the complete bottom of the pan completely, making sure that the sides are slightly pushed up around the perimeter.

Step 4: Spread shredded or ground brick cheese on the dough. Proof the cheesed pizza at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on preference.

Step 5: Lightly sauce the pizza, on top of the cheese (not on the dough as traditional pizzas are usually made). Place pizza in a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees and bake to desired doneness. It will take approximately 20-30 minutes.

Step 6: Remove the pizza from the oven. Take a spatula and run along the inside of the pan to loosen the pizza from the sides.  Lift pizza out of the pan and cut to desired size pieces and serve. Enjoy!”

Okay, I think it’s fair to say that this is now a serious pizza blog. My thanks to all at Buddy’s – I resolve to come and visit just as soon as I can. All that remains is for me to remind you all that, for those who’d like to order a Buddy’s Pizza, the family-owned pizzeria does ship anywhere. Call 001-313-892-9001 or check them out at buddyspizza.com or on Facebook or Twitter. A final, big thank you to Wes Pikula and Stephanie Casola, who made this possible, and for the magnificent phrase “desired doneness” which I am going to have printed on a T-shirt ASAP.


Filed under: Guest drops, How to...

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