Friday, February 03, 2012

Detroit-Style Blue Steel Pizza Pans

After suffering through a few weeks of trial and error with my Detroit-style pizza recipe, I finally decided to get serious and order *REAL* Detroit-style Blue Steel pans - directly from Michigan.  Actually...turns out they're made in Mexico, but sold from a restaurant supply shop *in* Michigan!

So, why special pans?  Well, the lore around Detroit-style pizza is that these pans were originally intended for the automotive world:  they're pans that auto repair/assembly works put the various pieces/parts that they're working on.  Detroit being an Auto-Town, the transition to using them in a pizza joint seems quite fitting.  They have a higher lip than standard pans and are even a bit taller than my deep-dish pans.

They are Blue Steel 10" x 14" pans and come with a weird grease on them - that I'm assuming is food grade?  I seasoned them as best as I could by coating them with corn oil (olive oil won't work for this because it has too low of a burning/smoking point), then putting them in the oven upside down at 450 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remember to put some pans or foil on the lower rack to catch the oil dripping or else you'll have a smoky mess on your hands.  I did this process of rubbing them with oil, baking them for 40 minutes, then letting them cool back down five times.  I probably could have done it 20 times, but I was too impatient.  With the workout I gave them, they started to turn a bit brown and a coating was starting to build up.  According to what I read on the web, the real key here will be that we can't cut in them (no knives) and that we shouldn't scrub them down after using them either.  Just a quick cleaning - maybe even just a wipe out - and certainly no time in the dishwasher.

I was up this morning VERY early to put together the dough and because these pans come with plastic lids, you do the proofing right in the lubed pans.

I'll give the dough a 24+ hour cold rise in the fridge and by Saturday night, we'll know if the pans have made a difference.
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