Sicilian pizza, with its focaccia-like base, boasts a thick, chewy crust and diverse toppings like cured meats, onions, and strong cheeses.
Detroit-style pizza, born in 1946, counters with a thick, crispy crust and caramelized edges. Its signature feature is pepperoni, often nestled under creamy Wisconsin brick cheese, though other toppings abound!
Read on to discover more about the differences between Sicilian and Detroit-style pizza to choose your ideal slice of Sicilian or Detroit-style pizza!
Sicilian-Style Pizza vs. Detroit-Style Pizza: Key Differences ar a Glance
|Evolved from focaccia & pizza al taglio in Italy
|Invented in 1946 by Gus Guerra at Buddy’s Rendezvous in Detroit, inspired by Sicilian dough & auto industry pans
|Thicker, denser; lower hydration (55-60%); olive oil influenced; focaccia-like
|Lighter, airier; higher hydration (68-70%); olive oil or butter; crispier crust
|Mozzarella; sometimes layered with other cheeses
|Wisconsin brick or mild white cheddar; spread evenly before sauce
|Underneath or on top of cheese; varies by style
|Always on top of cheese, often in stripes or dollops
|Rectangular trays or sheet pans; shallower
|Deep-dish rectangular pans; often repurposed auto factory pans; creates crispier cheese edges
|More flexible; traditional Italian & American options
|Often a lot of pepperoni with caramalized cheese; classic toppings like sausage, onions, green peppers
|Dense, focaccia-like; chewy base with crispy edges
|Crispy, cheese-edged; airy interior with caramelized bottom
|Chewy base with a crispy focaccia-like edge
|Crisp, caramelized crust giving way to a fluffy, chewy interior
|Dense, focaccia-inspired; emphasis on sauce & toppings
|Lighter, airier; emphasis on crispy cheese edges & tangy cheese
What is Detroit-Style Pizza?
Detroit Style Pizza is a rectangular, thick-crust pizza originating from Michigan, USA. It boasts a 1.5-inch thick crust with crispy edges. The unique layering style puts pepperoni beneath Wisconsin brick cheese, topped with sauce. Baked in pans, the result is a delicious blend of flavors – gooey on the inside, crispy on the outside.
Characteristics of Detroit-Style Pizza
- Rectangular shape
- Thick, crispy crust
- Heavily topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and pepperoni
- Simple tomato sauce
- Baked in a deep dish
Unique Features of Detroit-Style Pizza
- Reverse layering technique
- Blue steel or anodized aluminum pan
- Crispy, blackened edges
- Pepperoni on the bottom
What is Sicilian Style Pizza?
Sicilian-style pizza, or sfincione, hails from Italy and has a thick, soft crust. Often square or round, it offers a unique topping canvas. The dough, made with flour, water, olive oil, and yeast, creates a spongy texture. Toppings include onions, tomatoes, herbs, and a blend of cheeses, resulting in a flavorful and hearty pizza.
Characteristics of Sicilian-Style Pizza
- Rectangular or round shape
- Thick crust with a crunchy base and airy interior
- Toppings: onions, tomatoes, herbs, anchovies, and strong cheese like Pecorino romano and caciocavallo
- Spongy dough made with flour, water, olive oil, and yeast
Unique Features of Sicilian-Style Pizza
- Baked in a pan for a thicker, softer crust
- Toppings are pressed into the dough, resulting in a strong flavor.
- Spongy dough absorbs all the olive oil in the pan, creating a crispy bottom and soft middle.
Exploring the Difference Between Detroit Pizza and Sicilian Pizza in Detail
Here, we break down the difference between Detroit-style pizza and Sicilian-style pizza.
- Detroit-style pizza: Originated in Detroit, Michigan, USA, in the 1940s.
- Sicilian-style pizza: Originated in Sicily, Italy, and dates back to ancient times.
Making the perfect dough is a delicate art.
Detroit-style Pizza Dough
- Mix flour, yeast, salt, and water until a rough ball forms.
- Rest for 10 minutes.
- Knead until smooth and silky.
- Cover tightly and rest for 2 hours.
Sicilian-style Pizza Dough
- Mix flour, salt, yeast, water, and olive oil until a dough forms.
- Wrap in plastic and rest until bubbly.
- Rest time: 1-2 hours with a food processor or stand mixer; 12-24 hours with no-knead method.
The key differences in dough preparation are the addition of olive oil to Sicilian-style pizza dough and the longer resting time for Sicilian-style pizza dough.
How the toppings are layered on a Detroit-style pizza is completely different than on a Sicilian pizza.
Both use a unique layering method that gives the pizzas a special flavor.
The Detroit-style pizza takes a unique approach to layering, deviating from the conventional “sauce, cheese, toppings” method. Instead, it’s constructed in reverse, offering a distinctive spin on the classic dish.
The first layer of a Detroit pizza is pepperoni. Place the pepperoni right on top of the dough. After that, add creamy Brick cheese, mostly Wisconsin. Lastly, add plenty of pizza sauce on top of the pie. This layering style causes the crust to be crispy and crunchy while the inside remains soft and gooey.
On the other hand, Sicilian-style pizza requires a lot of creativity. Layering the toppings is not straightforward, and you can choose to put whatever you want on the pie. Yet, to make the perfect Sicilian pizza, putting the sauce right before it’s time to bake is important. As a final step, cover the face with pepperoni.
Detroit-style pizza pans have changed over time. Originally, they were made of blue steel. Today, they are usually made of anodized aluminum with a nonstick coating to remove the cooked pizza easily.
The pan is deep and rectangular, measuring 10 x 14 inches, with sides flaring from the bottom. This creates a crispy, blackened bottom that is the hallmark of Detroit-style pizza.
However, the type of pan used for Sicilian-style pizza does not matter as much. A rectangular, heavyweight, cold-rolled steel pan is commonly used. The tapered one-inch depth and crisp angled corners help to create a thick crust and make the edges of the pizza crispy.
Detroit-style pizza is typically layered with Wisconsin brick cheese. It’s considered the best for all Detroit-style pizzas as it gives the pizza a distinct buttery taste. It’s a high-moisture cheese that melts well.
On Sicilian pizza, caciocavallo cheese is used with a bit of pecorino romano. This gives the pizza a strong flavor and incredible melting properties. The distinct flavor of the cheese makes Detroit-style pizza and Sicilian-style pizza distinguishable.
Detroit-style pizzas are famous for their crispy edges. It’s achieved by pouring caramelized cheese all over the pizza.
It’s essential to place the cheese from edge to edge. As a result, the edges of Detroit pizza are blackened and crunchy.
On the contrary, Sicilian-style pizza shouldn’t have crispy edges like a Detroit pizza. It consists of softer edges. It’s made possible by carefully putting the cheese on the pie, avoiding any edges. Some restaurants brush milk or olive oil on the crust edge instead of water to make it soft and tender.
The Detroit pizza is recognized for its rectangular shape. It cannot be called a Detroit-style pizza unless it’s rectangular. The pans are modeled after the pans used in Detroit’s automotive shops, which popularized the thick-crusted Detroit pizzas.
On the other hand, Sicilian pizzas don’t necessarily need a rectangular shape. They’re also made in round and square shapes. The specialty of Sicilian pizza is its unique method of preparation rather than its shape.
Texture tells a tale of two titans. Detroit, airy and light, offers a crisp, caramelized crust yielding to a fluffy, chewy interior. Sicilian, denser and bolder, delivers a chewy base topped with a crisp, focaccia-like edge. Detroit melts in your mouth, Sicilian takes a satisfying bite. Both reign supreme, but with contrasting textures that tempt different palates.
Taste tells a contrasting tale between these thick-crust titans. Detroit, light and airy, bursts with a sweet, caramelized crust and a tangy, cheesy interior thanks to its Wisconsin brick. Sicilian, denser and bolder, offers a robust, focaccia-like base topped with savory, melt-in-your-mouth cheese, often mozzarella. Detroit whispers with subtle sweetness, Sicilian shouts with bold flavors. Both sing delicious melodies, but on different octaves.
Detroit-style and Sicilian pizzas, both thick-crusted titans, differ in their caloric punch.
Sicilian-style pizza ranges from 400-600 calories for a typical slice, but it can go up to 800+ calories with heavy toppings like sausage, extra cheese, and thick sauce.
On the other hand, Detroit-style pizza, with its deeper pan and often caramelized cheese, has a higher calorie range than Sicilian, averaging 500-700 calories per slice. It can reach 800+ calories with rich toppings.
Remember, this difference is little; ultimately, both pizzas are loaded with more calories than regular pizzas.
Craving something cheesy and delicious?
Look no further than Detroit-style and Sicilian-style pizzas!
These top-rated pies boast mouth-watering flavors and gooey, melted cheese. Now that you’re more familiar with both Detroit-style pizza and Sicilian-style pizza, it’s time to put your taste buds to the test.
Which one will you choose? Get ready to savor every bite and discover your new favorite pizza.
Recipe to Make the Perfect Detroit-Style Pizza
Making a Detroit-style pizza is easy once you get the hang of the procedure. If you want to recreate the perfect Detroit pizza, follow this recipe.
To make a poolish
- 300g of flour
- 300ml of water
- 5g of dry yeast
- 5g honey
To make the dough
- 150g of bread flour
- 10g sea salt
- One teaspoon of olive oil
To make the sauce
- Two tablespoons (27g) of extra-virgin olive oil
- One can of tomatoes (crushed)
- Fresh basil
- Salt to taste
To top it off
- 340g of Brick cheese (shredded)
- 340g of high-quality pepperoni sausage
- Fresh basil
Making the Poolish
Poolish is a type of pre-ferment commonly used in bread or pizza making.
- To make a poolish, combine equal parts flour and water (by weight), add yeast, and stir until well combined. Let the mixture ferment at room temperature until it has doubled in size and is visibly active, which can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
- For convenience, you can make the poolish the night before you make the pizza.
- Add it to the final dough recipe to help improve the texture and flavor of the finished bread.
Making the Perfect Dough
You can make the dough in 3 ways: In a stand mixer, in a food processor, and kneading the dough by hand if you don’t have any equipment. All 3 processes give similar results, so you don’t need to worry about which method to use.
- Combine your flour and yeast in a bowl and add salt.
- Then, add the poolish.
- Pour in water and stir until the dough forms a rough ball. Let it rest for some time and mix again for the same amount of time (10 minutes for stand mixer and hand mixer; 30 minutes for food processor).
- Add olive oil to the dough while it’s mixing at maximum speed.
- Move the completed dough ball to a separate bowl. Ensure the bowl is covered and allow the dough to rest until it has expanded to twice its original size.
Making the Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 550°F (290°C) and start making your sauce while it’s preheating.
- In a rectangular pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. After that, add the tomato paste and cook on medium to low heat for thirty minutes.
- Add salt to taste.
Layering the Pizza
- To prepare the pizza, put some olive oil on the surface of the dough.
- Press down the dough with your fingertips to eliminate any large air pockets.
- Arrange the cheese on top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the pepperoni evenly over the cheese, ensuring it covers the edges of the pan.
- Finally, pour the sauce over the cheese, creating three even rows.
Baking the Pizza
- Put the pizza pan in the oven and bake for about twelve to fifteen minutes. A sure way to know if your pizza is done is to see if the edges are black and bubbly and if the overflowing cheese has caramelized.
- Take it out of the dish and enjoy your Detroit-style pizza!
Recipe to Make the Perfect Sicilian-style Pizza
You’ll find this recipe useful if you love a good New York-style Sicilian pizza. It’s easy to make and only takes three hours to make.
For the Dough
- 500g bread flour
- 10g of salt
- 2g of yeast
- 6g of granulated sugar
- 60g extra-virgin olive oil
- 320g room-temperature water
- One ¼ tablespoon olive oil
For the Sauce
- 20g extra-virgin olive oil (about two tablespoons)
- 800g of tomatoes (one can)
- Salt to taste
- 450g of deli-style mozzarella cheese, grated
- 325g of natural-casing pepperoni, cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 115g of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
- One tablespoon oregano
Making the Dough
You should use a food blender to make the dough, but you can also use a stand mixer or hand method.
- Combine flour, yeast, salt, and twenty grams of olive oil and water. Mix until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
- Spread the remaining olive oil evenly over the baking sheet using your hands.
- Spread your soft dough on the sheet and coat it with oil.
- Cover the sheet with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough becomes double its size (about one to two hours).
- After the dough becomes bubbly, remove the plastic wrap and stretch the dough gently beyond the pan. At this point, the dough should pull back until the dough fills the pan.
- Set aside for 23 minutes and start making your sauce.
Preparing the Sauce
- Simply mix your tomatoes and salt. Put to the side and go back to finishing your dough.
Layering the Pizza
- Pour a little bit of sauce on top and distribute evenly.
- Cover and bake in the oven at 425°F (218°C) for twelve minutes.
- Take it out and start layering.
- Add the grated cheese and pour the remaining sauce on top.
Baking the Pizza
- Bake the pizza for approximately ten minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- After removing from the oven, add the pepperoni and sprinkle the remaining Romano cheese over the top.
- Add some oregano.
- Put in the oven for one minute, then take it out.
- Cut the pizza into slices and enjoy your Sicilian-style pizza!
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