You’ll hear the terms hand-tossed and pan as you place your pizza order. They’re applied to make thin and thick crust pizza. The crust, as you may know, refers to the bottom portion of a pizza. These two styles of pizza are made in various ways.

What Is The History of Pizza?

Pizza is a dish that appeared between the 16th and 19th centuries in Naples, Italy. As they were introduced to the dish back in Italy, World War II veterans returning from the war supplied a ready market. Pizza consumption has soared since then. It is now one of the world’s most popular fast foods.

hand tossed pizza deep dish meat lover's pizza

As a result, pizzerias such as Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Dominos have thrived. Restaurants that specialize in pizza are referred to as pizzerias. Pizza is now sold in stores either freshly made or frozen. Hand-tossed pizza and pan pizza are the two main sub-types of pizza.

What is Hand-Tossed Pizza?

To make pizza using this method, you must toss the pizza dough through the air, as the name suggests. First, knead the dough until it is soft. Then, throw it in the air to aerate it, resulting in a soft finished crust. Toss until the desired thickness is obtained.

hand tossed pizza spinning a dough open

Although the dough should be moist, it should not be too thin. The dough, on the other hand, must be thick enough to contain the toppings. Take note of the process of tossing the dough. After tossing, a thin layer of sauce is applied to the top of the dough, followed by a fairly thin layer of mozzarella.

Because the dough is soft, it may be simply placed on a pan. Once the dough has risen, the toppings are applied. The dough should ideally be cooked for 10 minutes at a temperature of roughly 500 F. As a result, the finished product is a crisp-like pizza that is flatter than pan pizza.

What is Pan Pizza?

Pizza was invented in the 1940s at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. As a result, Chicago-style pizza, often known as deep-dish pizza, was born. Unlike hand-tossed pizza, pan pizza does not need tossing the dough in the air.

To make the shape, roll the dough into balls and spread them straight into the pan. Work the dough evenly in the pan and create an arched crust at the ends. Allow it to continue to proof another 20 minutes and poke holes in the dough with a fork prior to proofing, This allows the dough to cook evenly. Then bake it for a few minutes before adding cheese and other toppings, such as meat. After adding the toppings, return them to the oven to finish roasting.

Typically, pan pizza is baked for 15 minutes. However, the temperature is higher than in the hand-throwing approach. In addition, because there is no room for expansion, pan pizza is thicker and harder than a hand-tossed pizza. As a result, it is eaten with a fork. Coat the pan with olive oil to make the crust crispier and add flavor.

hand tossed pizza deep dish

Hand-Tossed Pizza VS Pan Pizza – Comparison Chart

Comparison ParametersHand Tossed PizzaPan Pizza
TossingTossed in the airNot tossed
DoughSoft Thick
Baking TemperatureAround 500F 500F
CrustThin and flatThick and airy
ToppingsPeperoni, sausage, meatball, olives, green peppers, onion, olive oil, and oreganoA mix of mozzarella, white cheddar, Chicken Marsala, Meat lovers
The taste and textureDry texture and crispy Soft texture with airy. fluffy
OriginItalyChicago

Difference Between Hand-Tossed Pizza and Pan Pizza

Tossing of Hand-Tossed Vs Pan

The dough is continuously tossed through the air in hand-tossed to aerate it and achieve the desired thickness. In the pan approach, on the other hand, the dough is placed directly into the pan without being tossed. Many times in restaurants that are particularly busier then most the crust’s will be premade. A lot like a Sicilian crust. This cuts down on the wait time for most consumers.

13 Fascinating Hand-Tossed Pizza Vs Pan Pizza Facts 1

Crust of Hand-Tossed VS Pan

When it comes to the crust, hand-tossed and pan pizzas differ significantly. The crust on the hand-tossed pizza is flatter and thinner, with little cheese.

Typically, the tossing action causes the air bubbles in the dough to rupture. As a result, the dough will not rise in the oven, yielding a thin or medium-sized crust. Another benefit is the fact that the air bubbles rupturing, prevent bubbles from forming on the pizza as it cooks in the oven.

The pan approach produces a thick and fluffy pizza, whereas the hand-tossed method produces a thin and crisp-like pizza.

It’s worth noting that the hand-tossed pizza is cooked in the oven without the use of any oil. In that situation, the crust will not appear as greasy as on a pan pizza. Instead, it will appear drier and more blistering. This is typical in most of today’s pizzeria’s. However, when I began learning the trade in Brooklyn in 1984 most all the pizzerias where adding a lite drizzle of olive oil to the tops of every pizza going in the oven.

Dough of Hand-Tossed VS Pan

The dough elements for both types of pizza are nearly identical. They are typically made with flour, granulated yeast, salt, warm water, and olive oil.

Hand-tossed pizza, on the other hand, employs softer and thinner dough. This is because, before baking, you must toss the dough in the air to find the proper shape. That is a skill that will take time to master. Properly working the dough to evenly stretch and create a level crust all the way around is key.

Make certain that the dough is just soft enough. Softer dough is a bit easier to work for those just beginning. Even so, don’t go overboard to avoid breaking when thrown in the air. The hand-tossed pizza dough frequently rises and spreads on the baking sheet.

The dough for the pan pizza is a lot thicker and stiffer. Because there is little or no area to expand on the pan, the pizza is fluffier.

The pan pizza dough expands in breadth rather than height. As a result, when cooked, the pizza is spongy and full of bubbles.

Tools and Techniques

Consider the variations in tools and procedures required for hand-tossed versus pan pizza-making when preparing your pizza at home.

Pan pizzas are considerably easier to create for an amateur pizza maker, and they don’t require any specific gear, unlike hand-tossed pizzas. Other then the pan to cook the pizza.

Hand-tossing pizza dough, on the other hand, is a difficult skill that takes practice. A hand-tossed pizza base without practice is likely to be lumpy and deformed. Almost always uneven without the aid of a rolling pin.

A hand-tossed pizza is best baked in a home oven on a hot pizza stone (preheat for an hour) or steel, and a pizza peel is required to transport the uncooked pizza to the oven. Make sure you have enough flour or semolina on the peel prior to placing the dough over top of peel. However, instead of using a peel, you can use a baking sheet in place of the stone/steel and prepare the pizza on parchment paper. You can get close to a hand-tossed pizza by stretching the dough without tossing it in the air or even using a rolling pin, but it won’t be hand-tossed.

Baking Temperature

Hand-tossed pizza is normally prepared for 10 to 15 minutes at 500 F, whereas pan pizza is cooked for upwards of 15 minutes depending on how well done you prefer your crust.

Eating Method

Pizza prepared in a pan is eaten with forks, whereas hard tossed pizza can be eaten with your hands. Forks are not required.

Origin

Pan pizza was invented in Chicago since it was first prepared there. Hand-tossed pizza, on the other hand, has its origins in Italy.

Toppings

Toppings for both types of pizza may contain the same components. The typical hand-tossed (Neapolitan) pizza, on the other hand, has a thinner crust.

As a result, it allows for fewer toppings and requires less cheese and sauce. Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, vegetables, olive oil, and oregano are common toppings for hand-tossed pizza.

You can use your imagination here and add other toppings as you see fit. Pineapples, condiments, and spices are examples of useful ingredients. Hand-tossed pizza is meant to be eaten with your hands.

Because of its broader crust, the pan pizza can accommodate a greater variety of toppings. The thick crust is typically topped with a five-cheese combination of mozzarella, white cheddar, fontina, asiago, and provolone. As well as meat lover combinations vegetarian and even chicken marsala.

You may also be creative and create your topping combinations based on how you want your pizza to taste.

The Taste and Texture

Crispiness characterizes both styles of pizza. Nonetheless, the crust of the hand-tossed pizza is drier and blistered. It also has a unique edge due to the lack of toppings and temperature of the oven. Generally wood fired coal oven are 150 to 250 degrees hotter. Some I have worked with where 703 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the oven will dictate the texture and flavor of the crust. The final product.

Hand-tossed pizzas, more often than not, do not come with any elaborate toppings. They are also less oily than their pan pizza rivals.

Hand-tossed pizzas are a preferable option for pizza lovers who dislike a lot of oil. Because they are so dry, they have a crunchy texture to them.

The pan pizza has a fluffy texture similar to bread. Its thick, bready crust can be up to an inch thick.

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FAQS

Which is healthier, hand-tossed or pan pizza?

On the one hand, the thicker pan pizza dough accommodates more meaty toppings. As a result, it contains many more calories than its hand-tossed version and is better suited to people who lead a more active lifestyle.
The thinner crust of the hand-tossed pizza, on the other hand, can accommodate fewer toppings. As a result, it’s the definitive version for folks who don’t do a lot of exercises. If you’re watching your weight, go for hand-tossed options.

Why Do Chefs Hand-Toss Pizza Dough?

Tossing dough by hand is an astonishing trick, but it is more than that. It’s the most effective method for stretching out dough without tearing it or losing its moisture. The spinning motion gives the pie an even, round form, and the wind you create lessens the stickiness of the dough. While this takes a lot of practice, it will result in the perfect crust shape and consistency. It’s also very entertaining to watch.

Is there a difference in taste?

There is a distinct difference in the flavor of pan pizza. As previously stated, the crust is much fluffier. Pan pizza is also baked at a greater temperature. This results in a fantastic combination of crispiness and succulents.
The outside is crispy, while the inside is fluffy. Depending on how long it is baked and the toppings used, a hand-tossed pizza will be either crunchy or soft. As a result, the dough differs in both circumstances.
As a result, the answer is yes.
However, there is no way to tell which one tastes better. Both, in our opinion, taste good and add another dimension to the wonderful thing that is pizza.