Buddy’s Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza | Wine Enthusiast
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Buddy’s Detroit-Style Pepperoni Pizza

Courtesy Buddy’s Pizza, Detroit

Buddy’s Pizza, a family-owned chain in Michigan, is said to be the home of Detroit-style pizza. Originally baked in square, steel pans used to hold spare parts at a local manufacturing plant, Buddy’s pie is shaped like Sicilian, but there’s a twist: pepperoni goes directly on the dough before it rises, so it absorbs the meat’s spicy oils. Cheese goes on next, and it’s all topped by sauce. Vegetarians can forget the pepperoni, but make sure to layer the cheese on before adding sauce.


1 teaspoon fresh or active dry yeast
2½ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable or soybean oil
35 slices spicy Margherita-style pepperoni
12 ounces Wisconsin Brick cheese or mild Cheddar, shredded
1-1¼ cup pizza sauce


In bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine yeast and 1 cup warm water (85˚–90˚F) until fully incorporated, then add flour and salt. Mix on low until fully combined. Knead on medium speed for 6–8 minutes, or until dough starts to pull away from bowl. It should be firm, but still tacky.

Place dough ball in a 9 x 13 dark metal baking pan. Dip fingers from both hands in oil up to first knuckle. Coat dough ball with oil and press flat. Flip ball over and stretch out in rounded football shape toward edges, making sure it’s flat and even. Let dough rest 10–15 minutes. Push dough to pan edges, making sure it’s flat without raised sides. Using thumb, press dough into corners.

Place pepperoni slices in rows atop dough. Move topped dough to warm area and cover with dry towel for 1½–2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Heat oven to 450˚F.

Add cheese evenly to reach sides and corners. Add any additional toppings, if desired. Top with three even stripes of sauce. Keep sauce approximately ½ inch from edges.

Bake approximately 15–17 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Cooking time can vary depending upon your oven. Serves 4–6.

Optional Toppings

Meat Deluxe: spicy Italian sausage, ground beef, bacon and ham
Artichokes, capers, roasted tomatoes and spinach cream sauce
Red onion, bacon and blue cheese
Kalamata olives and roasted red peppers

Wine Pairing

Wes Pikula, chief brand officer of Buddy’s Pizza, recommends Louis M. Martini 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, especially with the Meat Deluxe pizza. This firm red has currant, blackberry and cherry flavors that will stand up well to the meat and cheese. Its rich fruitiness and acidity work well with the bold tomato sauce.

For something more luxurious, try Tenuta La Fuga 2014 Brunello di Montalcino. Its lush cherry and spice flavors will not be overpowered by rich meat toppings. Supple tannins and bold acidity will hold their own against the fattiness of the Meat Deluxe pie.

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