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5 Differences Between Hand-Tossed vs Handmade Pan Pizza

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Differences Between Hand-Tossed vs Handmade Pan Pizza - Pizza Bien


When you see a variety of pizzas on a pizzeria menu, it’s possible to get lost amid so many options. One of the most popularly asked pizza queries is, “what is the difference between hand tossed vs handmade pan pizza?” 

Simply put, most people distinguish it through the crust. Pan pizza has a thicker, softer crust, while hand-tossed pizza has a lighter and crispier crust. Most people like either or both of the pizzas based on their preference. 

However, there are many other differences between the two very different pizzas. Hence, we’ve come to curate an article about the 5 differences between hand-tossed vs handmade pan pizza. Without any further ado, let’s begin!


What Is a Pan Pizza?


A pan pizza's name speaks for itself. It's a pizza baked on a pan, unlike the traditional hand-tossed pizza. However, there are different variations of pan pizza on the market. 

Pan pizza is made by baking it in a cast-iron skillet or a cake pan, which results in a pizza with a thick crust. People enjoy the wide and soft crust since it's easy on the teeth and melts right inside their mouths. 

All you need for a pan pizza is cooking the same pizza, but on a pan. Sicilian pizza, another kind of pan pizza, is cooked on a rectangular sheet tray, similar to a sheet pan.


How to Make a Pan Pizza


Baking a Pan Pizza is very simple and easy-going. Here's how you can bake them in a few simple steps!

Step by Step Pan Pizza Recipe

  • To begin the process, you have to prepare your dough as you normally would. Prepare an iron skillet with any oil of your choice. Make sure to preheat your oven to 275 C. 
  • Spread the dough all around the skillet. Make sure the edges are touching the walls of the skillet, as it's going to cook the thick crust all-around correctly.
  • Add all your desired toppings. Some toppings for pan pizza include pizza sauce, different blends of cheese, different veg toppings, pepperoni, meat chunks, herbs, and more.
  • Bake the pizza for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese starts bubbling and the crust has brown air bubbles.


What Is a Hand-Tossed Pizza?


A hand-tossed pizza is made by tossing and turning the dough mid-air. After the process of tossing is completed, the crust takes a circular form which is then baked in an oven. The baking is done on a slab or a pizza stone instead of a pan. 

The crust that is formed from hand-tossed pizzas is generally thin. Some great examples of hand-tossed pizzas are New York-style pizza, Brooklyn-style pizza, and Pizza Bien's classic Italian Neapolitan pizza. 


How to Make a Hand-Tossed Pizza


To make a hand-tossed pizza, you need time to attain perfection. It's okay to be a little hesitant at first with the tossing and turning, but with time you'll get the hang of it just fine. 


Step by Step Hand-Tossed Pizza Recipe

  • Once you've prepared your traditional pizza dough, round it and spread it into a smaller circle with the help of the edge of your fingers. Let your fingertips glide your hand across the borders, making a beautiful circle. 
  • Make sure to apply enough pressure around the fingertips to form a thick crust at the perimeter of the dough. 
  • Once you have a firm structure of a small-sized pizza crust, prepare to toss it. First, sprinkle some flour on the surface area of your workstation and the dough. Your dominant hand should look like you're holding a dinner plate in the air. Take the dough and place it on your hand, and start tossing it counter-clockwise.  
  • Once the dough starts rotating, give it a gentle lift so it can toss itself around and fall back in your hand. It will take some time to get the hang of it. Repeat the steps until you have your desired shape. 
  • Once the dough is done, place it on a pizza peel and add all your toppings and pizza sauce. 
  • Bake your pizza for 12-15 minutes at 275 C. Keep an eye out so it doesn't burn.

Tip: If your pizza tears a little here and there while being tossed, put some extra dough in the torn area and press gently with your fingers to flatten it out. 


5 Differences Between Hand-Tossed vs Handmade Pan Pizza

hand tossed vs handmade pan - Pizza Bien


1. The Dough

Both types of pizza utilize the same dough. Ingredients include flour, yeast, salt, warm water, and olive oil. The hand-tossed pizza uses a softer, thinner dough. This is because, before baking, you must toss the dough into the air to get the perfect shape.

The dough must be just flexible enough. To be safe, don't overdo it with your toss. A hand-tossed pizza's dough often rises and spreads during baking. A pan pizza's crust is thicker and more firm. The pizza is fluffier due to the lack of expansion room on the pan.


2. The Crust

The main difference between hand-tossed and pan pizza is, the hand-tossed crust is thin, while the pan-cooked crust is thicker and chewier. As a result, the hand-tossed crust has fewer air bubbles and doesn't rise as much as a pan-made crust. The pan pizza crust is fluffy like focaccia.

Hand-tossed and pan pizza has drastically distinct crusts. Hand-tossed pizza has a thinner, flatter crust and less cheese than a conventional pizza. Tossing the dough typically ruptures the air bubbles and causes crumbling. Because the dough won't rise in the oven, the result is a thin or medium crust.

Deep-dish pizza, or pan pizza, has a thicker, fluffier crust and more cheese. Because the dough has little room to grow, it only increases in width.


3. The Toppings

Both thin and thick crust pizzas may utilize the same toppings. A Neapolitan-style hand-tossed pizza's crust is considerably lighter and has fewer toppings than a pan pizza.

Although you can be as creative as you want with your toppings, hand-tossed pizza is eaten without forks or cutlery.

The pan pizza's wider crust allows for additional toppings. You can customize the toppings on your pizza to suit your tastes.

Since pan pizzas are a bit on the thicker side, heavier toppings are added over the top. It's tradition to cut the thick pan pizza with a knife and fork.


The quantity of cheese used on the toppings varies between the pan and hand-tossed pizza. However, there's more cheese used on the pan pizza in general. As a consequence, it seems buttery rather than dry.

Crust lovers will adore a pan pizza. Both pizzas' toppings are evenly distributed, and there's a different taste between both of the intricately baked pizzas. 


4. The Texture

The main difference in the texture between hand-tossed vs handmade pan pizza is that pan pizza is softer than a hand-tossed pizza. 

Because the crust is basically cooked in oil in the oven, pan pizza crusts tend to be crunchier and more golden. In addition to being crispy, hand-tossed pizza is drier and softer than a pan-styled pizza.

A pan pizza has a thicker crust that can hold more toppings than a traditional pizza. For example, a hand-tossed pizza is often made with just one kind of cheese, generally mozzarella. 

A pan pizza may stand up to the test when topped with various cheeses such as mozzarella, white cheddar, and fontina. All of the cheeses mentioned affect the texture of the bread. 


5. Taste

The taste of handmade pan pizza is more like a loaf of pizza bread. On the other hand, you can compare the crust taste of a Neapolitan pizza to dry flatbreads. Remember, the flavor will entirely depend on the type of topping combinations you pick. 

Both types of pizza are crisp around the edges. Despite this, the hand-tossed pizza dough is on the dry and blistered side because it has a distinct edge because of the lack of toppings.

Toppings on hand-tossed pizzas are usually essential. They're also less greasy than pan pizzas. Oil-averse pizza aficionados prefer Hand-tossed pizzas. Because they are dehydrated, they are crunchy when consumed.

On the contrary, the pan pizza here is fluffy and bread-like. It has an inch-thick bread crust. The spritz of oil at the bottom of the baking pan cooks the crust to a beautiful brown. Like hand-tossed pizza, the crust edges will be unique.

The thicker, more durable dough allows for more cheese, sauce, and toppings on a pan pizza. In most instances, the toppings reach the crust's margins.

The extra cheese on a pan pizza makes the dough softer. With the golden-brown crust, the pizza is crisp and flavorful




Therefore, we hope by now you know all there is to know about the difference between pan pizza and hand tossed pizza. Which one is better amid the two may forever remain a debate, but your taste buds won’t be disappointed with either of them! Till the next time, happy feasting! 


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