Sourdough Detroit Style Pizza

For the past few months I have been determined to make a delicious sourdough Detroit style pizza. After trying a few recipes, and making major adjustments, I created a recipe that I think anyone will love. This pizza I’ve come up with is fluffy, chewy, and tastes like it’s from a restaurant. You can double it to make a bigger batch if you need to feed a crowd.

A rectangular Detroit Style Sourdough Pizza that is still in it's pan. It hasn't been cut yet. The cheese is crispy and brown in places, and you can see pepperoni and some of the sauce as well.

A few notes before we dive in with the recipe. First, if you keep your starter in the fridge, pull it out a few days in advance. Feed it several times to make sure it’s nice, happy, and lively. This recipe has no yeast, so the starter needs to do all the heavy lifting. Make sure your starter is ripe!

Second note, my starter is at 100% hydration, so I make a stiffish starter that’s about 85% hydration for this recipe. If your starter is already around 85% you can skip that section. But if you are working with something at like 60% hydration, you’ll need to adjust the water/flour. I recommend using a hydration calculator like this one to figure it out.

If you have any questions, hit me up. Even as a professionally trained baker, sourdough is still a wonderful, magical mystery that I’m enjoying figuring out. Now onto the recipe!

A slice of Sourdough Detroit Style Pizza is sitting on a black plate, and you can see a second slice on another place in the bottom of the photo. The other slices of pizza are in the pan.

Naturally Leavened Sourdough Detroit Style Pizza

Yields one 14×10” pizza – 8 slices
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Detroit Style Pizza, Pizza
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 16 minutes
Resting/Rising Time 6 hours
Total Time 8 hours 16 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Candice Zablan


  • 14×10″ Detroit Style Pizza Pan
  • KitchenAid Mixer with Dough Hook Optional
  • Bowl
  • Towel
  • Pizza Cutter


Stiffish Starter

  • 22 g ripe 100% hydration starter
  • 42 g bread flour
  • 34 g water


  • 85 g stiffish starter see above
  • 206 g water about 60°F
  • 330 g bread flour
  • 7 g salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil for bowl


  • 1 lb 1 lb mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Sauce of choice
  • 1 pack Pepperoni or any other toppings


Instructions – Day 1:

  • Make your stiffish starter by mixing your ripe 100% hydration starter, bread flour, and water together in a container. Set aside for about 4 hours or until it’s almost doubled in volume.
    22 g ripe 100% hydration starter, 42 g bread flour, 34 g water
  • When it’s ready, mix 85g of the stiffish starter along with the 206g of water until the starter dissolves.
    85 g stiffish starter, 206 g water
  • Add in the 330g of bread flour and mix until you get a shaggy dough.
    330 g bread flour
  • Sprinkle the 7g of salt over the dough, cover, and leave alone for 30 minutes.
    7 g salt
  • After 30 minutes, knead the dough until you get a soft dough. If you’re using a KitchenAid mixer, follow these instructions:
  • Mix on 2 for 5 minutes
  • Mix on 4 for 3 minutes
  • Once your dough is kneaded, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes and then pull a windowpane test. If it doesn’t pass the test, keep kneading until it does.
  • Prep a bowl by greasing with olive oil then move the dough into the prepared bowl and cover.
    1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Rest the dough for 30 minutes and then perform a coil fold.
  • Let the dough rise on your counter until it’s grown about 1/3 of the way. Depending on the heat in your kitchen, this could happen in 2-3 hours or 5-6 hours. Try to catch it before it doubles since it will continue to rise in the fridge over night.

Instructions – Day 2:

  • Remove the chilled dough and set in a warm part of your kitchen 5-6 hours before you plan on baking the pizza.
  • After an hour, grease your Detroit Style Pizza Pan with olive oil and move the dough into the pan.
  • Start to dimple and gently spread out the dough. It will likely spring back, so don’t force it. You’ve got time.
  • Cover the pan.
  • Once an hour for 3-4 hours, dimple and gently spread the dough to the edges of the pan.
  • For the last hour, just let the pizza rise in the pan while you prep your ingredients.
  • 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 500°F. Also rearrange the racks in your oven if possible to have one on the bottom and one on the top.
  • Top your pizza with any sauce or toppings you like. I’m a fan of white sauce, Tillamook mozzarella, and pepperoni.
    1 lb 1 lb mozzarella cheese, 1 cup Sauce of choice, 1 pack Pepperoni
  • Once the oven is heated, place the pizza on the bottom rack for 8 minutes.
  • Then move the pizza to the top rack for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted, toasted, and bubbly.
  • Cool pizza in the pan for a few minutes and then remove it to a cutting board.
  • I like to cut the pizza with a bench scraper or even kitchen scissors since the dough can be pretty thick.

I know this is slightly less traditional than what you’ll find in Detroit, but I hope I was able to capture the spirit of the Detroit Style Pizza. Making this with sourdough starter allows you to really develop a deep flavor and will be a real crowd pleaser.

Try out my Sourdough Detroit Style Pizza for yourself, and let me know how it goes! And be sure to check out my other sourdough recipes. Now I’m off to find some Ezzo Pepperoni so I can get those perfect little pepperoni cups next time.

Leave a Reply