Motor City Madhouse


Finally made the Detroit. I wanted to do it before the weather warms up. I bit the bullet and ordered the brick cheese from Widmar. It’s expensive and the taste is not worth the price, but this pie is a novelty and I wanted to try it. I just used a non-stick pan that is a little smaller than the one specified in the book, 9 x 13, I think, so I used a 20 oz doughball—a little less due to the smaller pan. The pan was great, especially because it’s non-stick. Clean up was breeze and everything browned up nicely.

The brick cheese tastes okay plain, and I piled up the Cabot cheddar around the edges. What seems to happen is that the fat pours out of the cheese and it winds up being a little salty on the edges and very crunchy. For some reason, I enjoyed the first pie more than the second. Maybe the novelty wears off quickly or something—I’m not sure.

I think I may have enjoyed it less because I made this second Detroit pie side-by-side with the cast iron pie, and I think the cast iron pie has more flavor because of the sausage, provolone, and that touch of corn meal. From this point forward, I’ll only use olive oil in the dough. The amounts of cheese are prohibitive, and olive oil, IMO, is tastier and healthier. The lard/shortening doesn’t seem to add anything, and to me is not worth the bad fats investment. I think the butter on the bottom of the pan, though, did add flavor and crunchiness.

Medium detroit  crust

Medium detroit 2.0

Medium detroit bottom

Medium detroit hole

Medium widmar cheese

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Maria .
posted 8 months ago

Save 0

The charred cheese on the sides turned out great!
What would you say brick cheese compares to? I'm asking because here in Austria, I was unable to find brick cheese.

Ulli Haus
posted 8 months ago


Hi Ulli: Perhaps more importantly: Do you have good cardiologists in Austria? lol
The cheese I chose is the mild brick. I called Widmar because they also sell an aged brick. They said for pizza to get the mild. I would say it's like a mild cheddar . . . maybe even skimmed milk mozzarella . . . maybe muenster. . . (I'm not a cheese whiz :-))

What's pizza like in Austria? Is it accessible to the masses or just the privileged? Are you a pro or hobbyist?

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Maria .
posted 8 months ago


hahahha - we do have good and plenty doctors ;)
Pizza in Austria: I'd say Classic Italian Style and Pizza Hut Style only. Very rarely Neapolitan. At fares, the also offer pizza from rectangular pans which have a thicker crust and no rim (crust style is more like Pizza Hut) - but that's mostly due to the efficiency caused by pans and them being rectangular which maximizes your dough area in the oven.

Is it accessible to the masses? --> definitely. Prices start at around 6€ per 12" margarita (maybe even 5€). However, there are places where you pay 15€ for the same pie with buffalo morzarella.

I am a hobbyist. However, me being very passionate about my hobbies, I tend to be more on the excessive side :P (2 Pizza ovens, 5 pizza stones, 2 steels, pans and skillets bought specifically for pizza - just came back from Modena Italy with new equipment including 60kg different pizza flours and a whole box of original San Marzano tomatoes lol). If I find a way to open my own place without having to make the pies 24/7, I will probably do that one day :-)

Ulli Haus
posted 8 months ago


Ulli, that's all pretty interesting stuff. I've never heard of (water) buffalo mozz until PB. What is it--I mean do they just hook those animals up to machines for their entire lives as they do the cattle? Anyway, sounds like you have a lot of good stuff to work with from Modena. (hope you got some balsamic) Keep us up to date!

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Maria .
posted 8 months ago


Looks great Maria. Very impressed you bought the brick cheese! I've made a few Detroit Style pies, but always ended up using a different cheese because the Brick is not easy to source.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted 7 months ago

tks, Raj. I took a loan on my 401K. I figure enough Detroit, and I won't live long enough to retire anyway! BTW: Widmer delivers w/a cooler and an ice-pak, or you could pay for expedited shipping.

- Maria   7 months ago


Hi Maria, yeah, lots of nice stuff hehe :D
I have no clue how they keep the buffalos (I do remember there being a scandal once bc the conditions under which they kept the animals were not correct - but I'm not up to date on that).

Ulli Haus
posted 7 months ago


Tks, Ulli. Makes you consider soy cheese . . . Don't forget to send pics, and tell us about those Italian flours.

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Maria .
posted 7 months ago


I use "Kerry's Irish Butter," and a Sicilian Olive Oil on the bottom of the pan if I want the same affect as the pizza dough you're referring to.Very delicious and RICH FLAVOR!

James A.
posted 5 months ago

The butter's REALLY DELICIOUS!

- James   5 months ago


James: Will do! I eye-up the Kerry Gold in the supermarket every week--it's right next to the Dubliner cheese. European butters have a higher butterfat content and are supposedly creamier. I have some LOL super premium European butter that I may have used on the Detroit. I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make in this application, but it's a good excuse to try the Irish butter!

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Maria .
posted 5 months ago

If you mix your cheeses'. Like the locatteli, Galbani Whole Milk Mozz, and a STRONG FONTINELLA, (I gotta laugh, because everyone I know says it smells like "stinky foot cheese!) Like a "classic white pizza," except you're "deep fat frying," your dough. Be careful though, because the amount of moisture from the cheese, fresh tomatoes, and onions will make your dough soggy. Unless, it's on the thick size. A truly "gut sticking meal." Not to mention if you use an organic Sicilian Oregano and extra virgin olive oil for the base on top of the dough before adding sea salt, ground black pepper, the oregano I talked about. Then your grated locatelli, the sliced, on the thin side, tomatoes and onions, sliced slightly thicker Galbani mozz, the oregano, and a meat if you wish. I prefer Margherita Pepperoni.
A truly rustic hearty "peasant meal," fit for ANYONE!
Try it. You might like it. I call it my "poor man's pizza."
It makes the neighborhood smell like a pizzeria when I open the windows in the kitchen!

- James   5 months ago


Mix a lower grade olive oil so the burning point is higher as the butter and oil will smoke in your oven, and if you live in a house like I do...the smoke will billow out of the oven. Necessitating you to open your window's and door's. Depending on what you prepare your pizza's with. YOU'LL DRIVE THE NEIGHBORS' CRAZY!

James A.
posted 5 months ago

good call on the fontinella, James! I remember eating it at my grandma's house as a child. It came in a red wax round. I've never been able to find it in that wax seal as it was sold in Brooklyn. It was much milder than auricchio.

- Maria   4 months ago


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