Hand-tossed and Pan Pizza are two of the most popular pizza styles in the United States. Both are delicious and have their unique characteristics, but which one is better? In this article we’ll delve deeper into the differences between hand-tossed and pan pizza, discussing their crusts, toppings, and overall taste. So, whether you’re a die-hard hand-tossed fan or a lover of a crispy, crunchy pan pizza, read on to discover everything you need to know about these two popular pizza styles.
What is Hand-tossed Pizza?
Hand-tossed pizza is a classic pizza style that has been around for centuries. It is made by taking a ball of pizza dough and stretching it out by hand into a round shape. The dough is then topped with sauce, cheese, and toppings before baking in a pizza oven.
The crust of a hand-tossed pizza is thin and crispy, with a slightly chewy texture. The edges of the crust are usually slightly raised and crispy, giving the pizza a distinctive look and texture. The pizza is cooked at a high temperature in a pizza oven, which helps to create a crispy crust.
How to Make a Hand-tossed Pizza
Making a hand-tossed pizza involves several steps, from preparing the dough to assembling and baking the pizza. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make a delicious hand-tossed pizza:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Pizza sauce
- Cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, or a combination)
- Toppings of your choice (e.g., pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, etc.)
- Olive oil (for brushing)
- Prepare the dough:
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Create a well in the center.
- Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the well.
- Gradually mix the flour into the liquid, incorporating it until a dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1-2 hours until it doubles in size.
- Preheat the oven:
- Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting, typically around 500°F (260°C). If you have a pizza stone or baking steel, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
- Shape the dough:
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions for medium-sized pizzas, or leave it as one for a larger pizza.
- Take one portion of the dough and shape it into a round ball.
- Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface and gently press it down with your fingertips to form a small disc.
- Working from the center, stretch the dough outwards with your fingertips, rotating it as you go, to form a circular shape. Continue stretching until you achieve the desired size and thickness.
- Repeat the process with the other dough portion, or you can freeze it for future use.
- Assemble the pizza:
- Transfer the stretched dough onto a pizza peel or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spoon a generous amount of pizza sauce onto the dough and spread it evenly, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over the sauce.
- Add your desired toppings evenly over the cheese.
- Bake the pizza:
- If using a pizza stone or baking steel, carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated stone/steel in the oven. If using a baking sheet, place the sheet directly in the oven.
- Bake the pizza for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Once done, remove the pizza from the oven using a pizza peel or oven mitts.
- Brush the crust edges with olive oil for a glossy finish.
- Slice and serve:
- Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes, then slice it into wedges or squares.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Make sure to check if pizza dough is bad
What is Pan Pizza?
Pan pizza is a newer style introduced by a major pizza chain in the United States. This style of pizza is made by pressing the dough into a deep-dish pan, which is then filled with sauce, cheese, and toppings before being baked in the oven.
The crust of a handmade pan pizza is thicker and denser than a hand-tossed pizza. The texture is more similar to bread or focaccia than a traditional pizza crust. The pizza is also cooked at a lower temperature for a more extended period, which helps to create the fluffy texture of the crust.
How to Make a Pan Pizza
Making a pan pizza involves a few key steps to achieve a delicious, crispy crust and flavorful toppings. Here’s a basic recipe to guide you through the process:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 ¼ cups warm water (around 110°F or 43°C)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- Toppings of your choice (e.g., pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions)
Key Differences between Hand-tossed and Pan Pizza
There are a few key differences between hand-tossed and pan pizza that can affect the overall taste and experience of each type of pizza.
hand-tossed and pan pizza: Which Pizza Style is Better?
A. Pros and cons of each crust type
When it comes to the pros and cons of each crust type, hand-tossed pizza has a crispy texture and light feel that is easy to eat and delicious. The crust is thin, which means that toppings take centre stage, and the pizza is less filling than pan pizza. However, the downside of hand-tossed pizza is that it can become soggy if you overload it with too many toppings. On the other hand, pan pizza has a thicker crust that is perfect for holding up a lot of toppings and cheese. However, the extra dough can be heavy and overwhelming, and the crust may not always be crispy.
B. Factors that affect pizza preference
Factors that affect pizza preference include personal taste such as texture and flavor, as well as dietary restrictions and cultural background. People who prefer a light and airy crust with minimal toppings may enjoy hand-tossed pizza, while those who like a more filling pizza with lots of toppings may find that pan pizza is the way to go.
C. Personal preference
The choice between hand-tossed and pan pizza ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a thin and crispy crust with lighter toppings, then hand-tossed pizza is the way to go. Handmade pan pizza is better if you prefer a thicker and fluffier crust that can handle heavier toppings.
It’s important to note that both styles of pizza can be delicious when made with high-quality ingredients and cooked properly. It’s all a matter of personal taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
In conclusion, hand-tossed and pan pizza are two popular styles with distinct differences. Hand-tossed pizza has a thin and crispy crust, while handmade pan pizza has a thick and fluffy crust. The choice between the two styles ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both styles can be delicious when made with high-quality ingredients and cooked properly.
We hope this guide has helped you understand the differences between hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza. If you’re looking for a delicious pizza, try both styles and decide which one you prefer.