Go small or go home


Chicago is deep and round. New York, wide and leathery. Naples, bubbly and scantly dressed. But Detroit is a city of red tops. An ear-deafening crunch. Sharp edges and sharp cheddar. Oreganoed and oiled with garlic. This pizza bakes in a 500 degree oven not far from where iron was smelted, steel stamped and vehicles rolled off the factory line.

Mini-sized, Detroit-style Red Top

Mini-sized, Detroit-style Red Top

This is the hidden treasure of the Motor city just behind the auto-industry, soulful blues and Greek-town.  Done right it empties desire for much of anything else.

11 time World Pizza Champ, Tony Gemignano, brings this pizza to life in his San Francisco restaurant, Tony’s. It’s a pillowy dough edged by singed cheddar and painted with tomato sauce only when the finished pie floats out of the oven.

Detroit-style, by the master himself, Tony Gemignano

Detroit-style, by the master himself, Tony Gemignano

Tony shares the recipe for the Detroit red-top in his book, The Pizza Bible.  It’s also found here at Bustle.com

Aficionados of Detroit style fix their eyes on the corner pieces. For these rectangles carry two crispy edges. Matched with the spongy dough and heady sauce, a chomp into this architecture yields a flavor palace in the mind.

Fat Daddio's muffin / cupcake pan

Fat Daddio’s muffin / cupcake pan

It is with this inspiration that we turn to democratizing this transcendence. No longer do brothers need to tug for the corners, when every pizza is a miniature with 4 solid cheese walls.

All that is required is a square muffin pan and a sharp knife.

First add the dough...

First add the dough…

Follow the directions up to the point where the dough should make the final rise. Instead of spreading dough into one large pan, spread the dough then cut into smaller squares.

...then toppings with cheese...

…then toppings with cheese…

All other steps remain the same. The first, naked bake on the top stone. The second bake with toppings and cheese. Then the third and final between the upper and lower stones.

...final stage: scooped from the nest, mini-sized Detroit red tops

…final stage: scooped from the nest, mini-sized Detroit red tops

The spooned red top. Herb dusting.  Garlic oil and shaved Pecorino. All according to design.

What’s novel is the dimension. It’s a principle out of TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). In fact, number 13: the other way around. Instead of a minority of 12 crispy edges out of 32. Crunchify all 32.

Change the pan and change the outcome.  That’s today’s message.

Because sometimes small delivers the biggest effect.

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