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January 28, 2014
What's the Best Sauce for Authentic Detroit Style Pizza?

Guest post by Shawn Randazzo

As its name suggests, authenticity is critical to baking an Authentic Detroit Style Pizza. That authenticity comes from a selection of premium ingredients, prescribed preparation processes, and Motor City tradition. Previous posts have covered what makes Authentic Detroit Style Pizza unique and what the best cheeses are for Authentic Detroit Style Pizza. Now, we'll examine what makes the best red sauce for Authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

Authentic Detroit Style Pizza Sauce -

Premium tomatoes

Tomatoes are key ingredients in Authentic Detroit Style Pizza red sauce, just like any other traditional pizza sauce. Authentic Detroit Style Pizza traditionally features a natural-tasting sauce, and the best way to achieve this is by making red sauce from ground tomatoes rather than condensed tomato paste. At Detroit Style Pizza Co., we use ground tomatoes for our red sauce because it enhances the pizza flavor, rather than distracting it like thicker, pastier sauces can. If you want to bake delicious and flavorful Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, you should either buy canned ground tomatoes or grind your own but never buy pre-made sauces or condensed tomato paste.

Red sauce preparation

Allowing your red sauce to simmer in a warmer helps the natural tomato flavor surface. Moreover, simmering lets you craft a custom sauce with herbs and spices such as salt, sugar, basil, oregano, pepper, and garlic. You can get creative and add anything you'd like, play with the sweetness and saltiness, and craft your own signature red sauce flavor. What's important is you simmer your ingredients in an all-natural tomato base to give your pizza Authentic Detroit Style consistency.

When to apply red sauce

Traditionally, red sauce is ladled on top of Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, not under the cheese as is the case with other pizza styles. The sauce can be applied either before baking or after; at Detroit Style Pizza Co., we ladle our signature red sauce on top after baking because it lets the pizza bake more consistently in our deck ovens and eliminates moisture issues that could ruin the crust. I believe this is the best way to bake a flavorful, light and airy on the inside, crispy on the outside Authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

Preparing Authentic Detroit Style Pizza requires you to follow strict practices, such as baking in well-seasoned square steel pans. Your choice of red sauce recipe is one element you're free to get creative with; that is to say, you can craft your own signature red sauce without jeopardizing authenticity. Use all-natural ground tomatoes as your base, and then have fun making your red sauce your own. Simmer your ingredients together and apply after baking, and the true flavor of your red sauce will help define your Authentic Detroit Style Pizza recipe as being uniquely yours.

Photo of Shawn Randazzo, President of Detroit Style Pizza Co.

Shawn Randazzo is president of Detroit Style Pizza Co. and won the title of World Champion Pizza Maker at the 2012 International Pizza Expo. Shawn consults pizzerias to help them start and operate their own successful businesses. His mission is to make sure everyone gets a taste of Authentic Detroit Style Pizza.

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What's the Best Sauce for Authentic Detroit Style Pizza?