This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Jun 16, 2024

Small Batch Detroit-Style Pizza (with Hot Honey, Jalapeños, and Pepperoni)

This small batch Detroit-style pizza with hot honey, jalapeños, and pepperoni (honeypeño) pizza is a uniquely flavorful take on the Detroit pizza. 

Detroit-Style Pizza cut up on a cutting board.


This pizza is so easy to make and will have you fighting for the last piece. 

What is Detroit Pizza?

Originating in 1946 to introduce Sicilian-style pizza to Detroit (by Buddy's Pizza), Detroit-style pizza has a thick but light airy crust, and in its most basic form, is baked with cheese from edge-to edge and then topped with stripes of sauce after it emerges from the oven. 

Traditional Detroit-style pizza is made in a 10 inch by 14 inch dark pan (a pan modeled after the pans used for holding tools in the auto factories) with a high hydration dough. For this pizza, to make it accessible, all you need is an 8-inch by 8-inch square cake pan, preferably a darker pan if you have one. 

Detroit-Style Pizza on a cutting board with a bottle of wine in the background.


I first saw this version of the pizza on a Diners Drive-Ins and Drives episode in March for Izzy's Pizza Bus in Omaha, Nebraska. I've been kind of obsessed with Detroit-style pizza for a while so this one caught my eye. 

I've posted Detroit pizza in the past, one with just cheese and sauce, and one with added pepperoni, but this one really grabbed me because it includes pickled jalapeños and a drizzle of hot honey. Rest assured, both ingredients are optional. 

I've also converted the recipe to be "small batch" and have included both a same day method and an overnight method. 

Detroit-Style Pizza in the pan after baking.


Ingredient Notes:

Flours: I used a combo of bread flour and white whole wheat flour. Traditional Detroit-style pizza is made with all high gluten white flour.. but this is the Omaha version! 

Cheeses: Traditionally, Detroit Pizza is topped with brick cheese combined with mozzarella. Traditionally, the cheeses are cut into cubes. Brick cheese is not available here so I substituted Meunster cheese, which was soooooo good. I also topped the assembled pizza with Parmesan. For this version, I grated the cheeses. 

Pickled Jalapeños: I used sweet crispy jalapeños ("candy crisp") but any pickled jalapeño will do. If pickled jalapeños aren't for you, feel free to skip this ingredient. 

Candy crisp jalapeños in a jar.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil: You will need a little bit for the dough and about a tablespoon for the pan. You could also be more traditional and use butter for greasing the pan to increase the browning of the cheese. 

Pepperoni: I used a very thinly sliced pepperoni that is supposed to form cups and brown crisply on the pizza when the pizza bakes (Hormel "Cup and Crisp"). It only partially cooperated by forming "cups" but it was still very tasty. Use any pepperoni you like. 

Hot Honey: Drizzle the final pizza with a bit of hot honey.. or skip it. It's up to you. Mike's Hot Honey is a popular brand. 

Crushed Red Peppers: Any crushed red peppers will work. 

Pizza Sauce: Use your favorite homemade or jarred pizza sauce. I'm totally enamored with Rao's pizza sauce. 

Slice of Detroit-Style Pizza on a plate.


To Make this Small-Batch Honeypeño Detroit Pizza:

Detroit-style pizza is traditionally layered with the toppings in reverse order... pepperoni first (if you are using meat), cheese next, and sauce last. Often, the sauce is heated and ladled onto the pizza in stripes after the pizza has been baked. 

In this case, I rebelled a little (after all, this version is based on an Omaho, Nebraska version) and layered the pizza in this order:

1. Dough

2. Mozzarella and Meunster Cheeses

3. Oregano

4. Pickled jalapeños

5. Pepperoni

6. Pizza Sauce (layed out in rows before baking)

7. Parmesan cheese

Step by step photos to make Detroit-Style Pizza.


After baking, sprinkle on some chopped parsley and drizzle with a little hot honey if you like. 

The signature feature of Detroit pizza is the crusty cheese on the sides of the crust. Be sure to spread your cheese from end to end and maybe tuck some cheese down the sides of the pan. 

Three slices of Detroit-Style Pizza on small plates.


I made this dough two ways. First, I made a make-ahead slow fermenting overnight version with minimal yeast, and then a same-day version, with lots more yeast. Everything else about the recipe ingredients is the same but the process is different. 

How are the two pizzas different?

It was very hard to tell, but the slow fermented version of the crust was perhaps more chewy with slightly uneven holes... and maybe slightly more flavorful. The short fermented version's crust had more even holes. Neither crust was dense. 

I asked Mr. Kitchen if he noticed a difference between the two versions of the pizza, and he did notice the difference in chewy-ness... but he probably wouldn't have noticed unless I had asked. 

Detroit-Style Pizza on a cutting board with plates in the background.



This pizza was a huge hit in our house. Even Mr. Kitchen, who is normally not a fan of spicy heat, loved this pizza. I think the jalapeños added just the right "something-something" to the cheese and pepperoni. 

Note: This pizza makes great leftovers. Reheat at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. 

This month, the Bread Baking Babes are gathering together to share a bread recipe, and for June, our bread is small-batch Detroit-style pizza. Before the recipe, be sure to check out what the Babes did with the pizza! 

Detroit-Style Pizza on a cutting board with hot honey in the background.




The Bread Baking Babes' Versions:

A Messy Kitchen

Judy's Gross Eats

Blog from OUR Kitchen

Bread Experience



Small-batch Pepperoni Detroit-Style Pizza Recipe

Small-batch Pepperoni Detroit-Style Pizza Recipe
Yield: 9 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This small batch Detroit-style pizza with hot honey, jalapeños, and pepperoni, or honeypeño pizza, is a uniquely flavorful take on the Detroit pizza.

Ingredients

For the Dough
  • Yeast: For the long ferment version, 1/8 teaspoon (.75 grams). For the one-day version, 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams)
  • Bread Flour: 133 grams (1 cup)
  • White whole wheat flour: 14.5 grams (2 tablespoons)
  • Water: 104 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
  • Salt: 3.25 grams (1/2 teaspoon for tablesalt, more for sea or kosher salt)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 4 to 8 grams (1 to 2 teaspoons), plus more for the pan (about 2 to 3 teaspoons)
For the Toppings
  • 43 grams (1.5 ounces) mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
  • 128 grams (4.5 ounces) meunster cheese, freshly grated (or brick cheese if you have it available)
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 57 grams (2 ounces) pickled jalapeño slices
  • 57 grams (2 ounces) thinly sliced pepperoni cups
  • 170 grams (6 ounces) pizza sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Finely minced parsley
  • Hot honey (optional)

Instructions

Instructions for the Overnight Dough Version
  1. Using a stand mixer, or by hand, mix together the yeast, flours, salt, water, and oil until combined.
  2. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough, cover, and refrigerate overnight, and up to 3 days.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.
  4. Add the oil to an eight inch square cake pan (preferably darker) and coat the bottom and sides of pan.
  5. Place the dough in the pan and flip it over to cover both sides. Push the dough to spread over the bottom of the pan. If the dough springs back, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes and then try again. Let the dough rise, covered, until puffy, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Follow steps 5 through 10 below.
Instructions for the Same Day Dough Version
  1. Using a stand mixer, or by hand, mix together the yeast, flours, salt, water, and oil until combined.
  2. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the oil to an eight inch square cake pan (preferably darker) and coat the bottom and sides of pan.
  4. Place the dough in the pan and flip it over to cover both sides. Gently push the dough with your fingertips to spread it over the bottom of the pan until it is halfway across the pan. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes and then push the dough all the way to the edges. Let the dough rise, covered, until puffy, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. In the meantime, heat the oven to 500 degrees F. with a rack on the lower third (closer to the heating element). You can also add a pizza stone if you have one.
  6. Sprinkle the top of the dough all the way to the edges with the Muenster and Mozzarella. Sprinkle with the oregano.
  7. Layer the jalapeños, then the pepperoni, and then ladle the sauce over the pepperoni in three stripes. Sprinkle on the Parmesan and the crushed red peppers.
  8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the edges are a deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley. Let the pizza cool in the pan for five minutes and then remove it from the pan to a cutting board and slice.
  10. Drizzle with hot honey to taste (optional).

Nutrition Facts

Calories

114

Fat (grams)

9 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

5 g

Carbs (grams)

3 g

Fiber (grams)

1 g

Net carbs

2 g

Sugar (grams)

2 g

Protein (grams)

6 g

Cholesterol (grams)

24 mg
pizza, Detroit Pizza
Bread
American
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @karenskitchenstories.com on instagram and hashtag it #karenskitchenstories



More Resources: 

Honeypeño Detroit Style Pizza from Izzy's Pizza Bus in Omaha Nebraska. 

Link to the Diners Drive Ins and Dives episode

History of Detroit Pizza

More inspiration: King Arthur Baking

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's take on the pizza on Serious Eats... especially if you want to totally nerd out on the topic. 

Homemade candied jalapeños

Homemade hot honey. 




Would you like to comment?

  1. Those crumb shots, yummers! All your pictures are just so appetizing, I need to make this again, a little less spicy this time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yours looks pretty amazing too.

      Delete
  2. Gorgeous photos! And what a flavorful pizza. My son loved it! Thanks for the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. The photos!!! But what's even more thrilling is learning about this style of pizza. What a great choice this month. Thank you, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  4. YUM! We have been enjoying some homemade Detroit style pizza, but the jalapenos and hot honey would take it to the next level. I can't wait to try this!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! That looks fantastic. I'll have to call it something other than pizza tho.... The hubs is convinced that pizza must have a thin crust. I love it in all iterations.

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.