Automate the process for Detroit-style pizza

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Detroit-style pizza has become so hot and trendy that even Pizza Hut introduced four varieties earlier this year. However, automating the process for the retail freezer case can be tricky.

“Detroit-style pizza is typically a square cut, thick crust pizza baked in a deep rectangular pan,” noted Jeff Zeak, national development manager, bakery, at Reiser. “The dough is topped with cheeses and other desired toppings with a light application of tomato sauce on top in spotty dollops or thick racing stripes.” The resulting baked crust has a light, chewy interior with a layer of crisp, fried bottom crust. While cooking, the cheeses flow down the side edges of the crust where they caramelize and impart a slightly burnt taste that is associated with Detroit pizza.

Typically, bakers divide, round, and roll out conventional dough before placing it in molds. However, Alexander Weissbach, head of technology, product management and Rondo’s Dough-how Center, noted that the sheets could also be used, much like making other flat breads of the same thickness.

“Rondo has tremendous experience in the production of focaccia, so we know how to precisely laminate, cut and mold this type of dough,” he said.

Dino Cantore, master baker at Minipan, said the secret to Detroit-style pizza is how much cheese is used.

“If you triple the amount of cheese on the surface, it melts and browns, protecting the dough from burns,” he said. “The oil from the cheese comes out and fried around the edges while the bottom of the pan has time to reach the right temperature and cook the dough. The cheese does not melt. On the contrary, it roasts and becomes crispy.

This article is an excerpt from the October 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the full article on Pizza & Flatbread, click here.


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