Carnival Squash and Honey Ricotta [Mini Detroit Pizza]

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Squash Pizza
Squash Pizza

Carnival Squash and Honey Ricotta Mini Detroit

Cold weather comfort, Detroit-Style. This personal-sized Detroit pizza hits all the Fall season notes including roasted squash, pecans, and sage. The addition of a whipped honey ricotta and pecans really takes this into comfort-food territory, while pairing wonderfully with the nutty and sweet squash. Of course, as with most Detroit pizzas, you'll get a fair share of gooey cheese goodness as well.
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Pizza Style: Detroit
Oven Type: Home Oven, Outdoor Pizza Oven
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Proof Time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
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  • 1 6”x6” Detroit Style Pan We used a Lloyd's Pan, often considered one of the best out there for commercial or home use. Other types of pans can be used, but will lack the proper crust-forming characteristics of Detroit style pizza.
  • 1 Outdoor pizza oven (Optional). I like to cook this in my outdoor pizza ovens, frequently rotating the pan every couple minutes. However home ovens work just as well for this style of pizza.


Dough (makes four doughballs. Use one ball per 6×6 Detroit pan)

  • 350 g Bread Flour
  • 255 g Water (warmed to 90°F)
  • 10 g Kosher Salt
  • 3.5 g Instant Dried Yeast


  • 1 Carnival Squash (sub with Acorn or Butternut)
  • 3 oz Whole Milk Low Moisture Mozzarella (freshly shredded, or if you use bagged just make sure to rinse the starch off first). 75% of your total cheese.
  • 1 oz Monterey Jack or white cheddar, 25% of your total cheese.
  • 2 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
  • 1 tbsp Honey (Plus extra for drizzling)
  • 5 Pecans, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Herbs (Preferably Sage, Rosemary, and/or Thyme), chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
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Make the dough.

  • Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Stir to combine.
  • Heat water in microwavable safe bowl for 30 seconds. Temperature should be between 85F and 95F. Add yeast to water and let sit for 5 minutes. We're not looking for a full activation, just a bit of a jumpstart.
  • Slowly add water/yeast mixture to the stand mixer, mixing on low until it forms a smooth consistency, about 10 minutes. Note: dough will be very wet and sticky, and the bottom will stick to the bowl. You may need to scrape the bottom up with a spatula.
    Detroit dough
  • Turn mixer off. Scrape the dough out onto the counter. With wet or lightly oiled hands to reduce sticking, continue kneading for 3 minutes to build the gluten. Flip the mixer bowl over top of the dough to keep it moist, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Grease your 6×6 pans with a stick of butter or olive oil.
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  • After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 4 equal 145-150g balls. Knead them back into a ball and place them into the greased pans. Cover, and let rest for an hour at room temperature.
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Stretch and cold ferment.

  • Gently stretch the dough to fit the edges of the pan. The dough will shrink up a bit, which is fine at this stage.
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  • Cover again and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days to cold ferment.
  • On bake day, let dough come to room temperature on the counter for 3-6 hours. If you do a longer 6 hour ferment, gently press the dough down with your fingers halfway through. This prevents bubbles from expelling air and gives a better final crumb.
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Prep Ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 425f. Slice the squash width-wise into 1/2" slices. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt to taste, and roast the squash for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, honey, and half of the fresh herbs. Whip the ricotta for 2 minutes, salt to taste, and place in the refrigerator.


  • Preheat the oven to 550°F with a pizza steel/stone. If using an outdoor pizza oven, preheat until 700-750 degrees, about 20 minutes.
  • Place the pan onto the pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes (3 minutes for pizza oven). If you do not own a pizza stone, place the pan on the bottom of your oven (not a rack) and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the hot pan from oven. Remove the dough from the pan and place onto a wire rack, allowing it to briefly cool, about 5 minutes.
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Toppings, in order; then bake.

  • Put the dough back into the pan and add the shredded mozzarella, ensuring most of it touches the edge of the pan. Then add the Monterey Jack cheese.
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  • For home ovens: place pizza in oven for another 7 minutes on the stone. (toss the broiler on for the final minute or two if the cheese is not browning fast enough).
    For outdoor pizza ovens: bake for 4-5 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, and covering with tinfoil if browning too quickly.
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  • Remove from oven and use a thin metal spatula along the edges to separate the pizza from the pan. Slide onto a wire rack to rest for 3 minutes. Top with the honey ricotta, followed by slices of roasted squash. Add chopped pecans and any additional fresh herbs. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and additional honey.
    Slice, and enjoy.
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Written by Derek Gaughan

Derek Gaughan is the Founder and Content Lead for Pala Pizza. He's been featured in PMQ Magazine, The Washington Post, and Home & Gardens. Derek holds an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and is a trained pizzaiolo, specializing in New York style, Neapolitan, and Detroit pizzas.

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