Detroit-style Hawaiian Pizza with Banana Peppers
To celebrate International Hawaiian Pizza Day, we created this Detroit-style spin on the classic. Its origins? Generally attributed to a Greek immigrant to Canada named Sam Panopoulos who dreamed up the original in 1962. It was topped with sliced, chopped ham, canned pineapple, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Since it was born out of mid century North American Tiki culture, it’s not truly Hawaiian in origin, but regardless, its sweet-and-salty flavour combination has found a huge following over the last 60 years.
While Sam may have been making thin, circular Hawaiians, for our celebrations this year, we went with a rectangular ‘za. Ours is a Detroit-style pizza — a pan pizza with sauce on top rather than under the toppings and a caramelised cheese crust — a thick style that can handle a lot of toppings, making it great for those who love to pile on the pineapple.
Here, the dough first gets covered in cubes of low-moisture mozzarella. Strategically placing cheese near the place where the pan and dough intersect will make for a crispy cheese crown, or frico, so make sure to stack those edges!. Next comes two stripes of sauce, ladled on lengthwise in classic Detroit style. Then comes fresh, thinly sliced pineapple and squares of ham. We used thick cut Black Forest ham , which has a bit of a smoky flavour, but your favorite brand or style of sliced ham will work just as well.
If we left it there, things would be pretty close to traditional. But we threw in one final flavour swerve: In a nod to a combination our culinary advisor Kelsey Small discovered in college and has loved ever since, we finished off our pizza with a healthy heap of banana peppers. These spicy peppers are similar to pepperoncini and provide a little heat to offset the sweet. Coupled with a final shower of grated Parm, it’s the perfect ending to each bite.
Notes: This recipe calls for Detroit-style pizza dough and our classic pizza sauce. Find our Detroit-style pizza dough recipe here, or use sourdough in your crust with our recipe from Rosehill Sourdough, here. Looking for other pineapple inspiration? Try our Caramelized Pineapple, Pepperoni and Jalapeño Pizza, Pickled Pineapple and Chorizo Pizza and other pineapple recipes.
one 8x10” Detroit-style pizza
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Cutter Wheel or Pizza Cutter Rocker Blade
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
Detroit-style pizza pan (similar to this one from Lloyd’s)
1 x 650-gram Detroit-style dough ball
7 ounces (200 grams) low- moisture mozzarella, cut into small cubes
4 ounces (110 grams) classic pizza sauce
3½ ounces (100 grams) sliced ham, cut into squares
2 ounces (60 grams) fresh pineapple, sliced into ¼-inch slices
2½ ounces (30 grams) banana peppers
½ ounce (15 grams) Parmesan, grated
Tip: If you don’t know how to break down and slice a fresh pineapple, watch our recipe video above for a how-to.
Preheat your oven to 750°F (400°C). Cover your pizza dough with the mozzarella cubes, distributing evenly all the way to the edge of the crust. (This will guarantee you have bites of caramelised cheese around the pizza.)
Top the pizza with two stripes of tomato sauce running, lengthwise across the dough.
Sprinkle on the sliced ham, pineapple, and banana peppers, then top with the of Parmesan cheese.
Place the pizza pan in the oven, then turn the flames to low. Cook for 9 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure the corners of the pizza don’t burn. If you notice the pizza is taking on too much colour too quickly, turn the flame off and cook with the residual heat.
Remove the pizza from the oven, then carefully take the pizza out of the pan and rest on a cooling rack. (This will keep the bottom crispy.)
Slice and enjoy.