Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza – Which is better

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Hand tossed and pan pizza are two of the most popular types of pizza in the world. But which one is better? It depends on your personal preferences.

Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza

Hand tossed pizza has a thinner, crispy crust, while pan pizza has a thicker, chewier crust. Hand tossed pizza is typically topped with fewer toppings, while pan pizza can hold more toppings.

Pan pizza has a thicker crust that is golden brown and crispy. It can hold more toppings than hand tossed pizza, and the toppings tend to be more evenly distributed. This makes it a good choice for people who want a more substantial pizza.

So, which type of pizza is better? It really depends on your personal preferences. If you like a thinner crust with fewer toppings, then hand tossed pizza is a good choice. If you prefer a thicker crust with more toppings, then pan pizza is a good choice.

Table of Contents

What Is a Pan Pizza?

Pan pizzas are exactly what they sound like. Rather than being tossed by hand, this pizza is cooked in a pan. But there are many variants of pan pizza available.

A pan pizza has a thick crust because it is baked in a cast-iron skillet or a cake pan. The broad, tender crust is popular because it is gentle on the teeth and melts quickly in the tongue.

To make a pan pizza, just cook the pizza in a pan instead of an oven. Similar to a sheet pan, a rectangular tray is used to bake Sicilian pizza.

How to Make a Pan Pizza

Pan pizza baking is easy. Simple methods to bake them!

Pan Pizza Step-by-Step

  • Start by making dough. Oil an iron skillet. Preheat your oven to 275 C.
  • Cover the skillet with dough. The thick crust will cook evenly if the edges touch the skillet.
  • Add toppings. Pan pizza toppings include pizza sauce, cheese mixes, vegetables, pepperoni, meat pieces, herbs, and more.
  • Bake the pizza until the cheese bubbles and the dough has brown air bubbles, 20–25 minutes.
Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza
Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza

Types of Handmade Pan Pizza

Handmade pan pizza is a classic that never goes out of style. Whether you’re in the mood for something comforting and cheesy or a unique flavor combination, there are endless possibilities when it comes to making your own pan pizza at home. Here are some ideas for creating delicious handmade pan pizzas:

  1. Classic Margherita: This timeless handmade pan pizza features a fluffy crust topped with a rich tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. It’s a simple yet delicious choice that showcases the perfect balance of flavors.
  2. Meat Lover’s Delight: For the carnivores, the Meat Lover’s pan pizza is a heavenly creation. It boasts a thick and crispy crust loaded with mouthwatering toppings like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and ground beef. Each bite offers a savory explosion of flavors.
  3. Garden Fresh: If you prefer a veggie-packed option, the Garden pan pizza is a fantastic choice. It showcases a variety of colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and olives, generously layered on a perfectly baked pan crust. It’s a refreshing and satisfying option for vegetarian pizza lovers.
  4. BBQ Chicken Bliss: For a unique twist, the BBQ Chicken pan pizza is a winner. It combines tangy barbecue sauce, tender chicken, red onions, and cilantro on a fluffy pan crust. The result is a tantalizing blend of sweet and savory flavors that will leave you craving for more.

Handmade pan pizzas offer a world of culinary possibilities, from the traditional to the inventive. Each type delivers its own distinct taste and texture, ensuring a delightful experience for pizza enthusiasts.


What Is a Hand-Tossed Pizza?

When making a hand-tossed pizza, the dough is tossed and turned in the air. After the crust has been tossed, it takes on a round shape before being cooked. Instead of using a pan, you use a slab or pizza stone to bake the food.

Hand-tossed pizzas often have a very thin crust. New York-style pizza and Brooklyn-style pizza are two excellent instances of hand-tossed pizzas.

How to Make a Hand-Tossed Pizza

Making a hand-tossed pizza properly takes time. It’s normal to feel uneasy about tossing and turning at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.

Instructions for Making Pizza by Hand

  • With the aid of the edge of your fingers, flatten down your prepared pizza dough into a smaller circle. Simply run your fingers around the edges of your hand to make a lovely circle.
  • Make sure to push down hard enough with your fingertips to create a thick crust around the outside of the dough.
  • When the dough for a personal pizza has firmed up, it’s time to discard it. You should start by dusting your workspace and the dough with flour. Make it appear as though you’re holding a platter aloft with your dominant hand. Put some dough in the palm of your hand and toss it around in a counterclockwise motion.
  • Give the dough a little lift after it has begun to spin, and let it toss and fall back into your fingers. It will require some practice until you master it. You can keep going until you have the form you want.
  • After the dough has finished cooking, it should be transferred to a pizza peel where the sauce and toppings may be added.
  • Pizzas are best when baked for 12-15 minutes at 275 C. Watch out that it doesn’t become too hot.

If your pizza tears when you’re tossing it, add some additional dough to the tear and smooth it out with your fingertips.

Types of Hand Tossed Pizza

Hand-tossed pizza is a classic and beloved style of pizza known for its thin and airy crust that is stretched and shaped by hand. While there are countless variations and toppings that can be added to a hand-tossed pizza, the types primarily differ in their regional influences and flavor profiles.

  1. Neapolitan: Originating from Naples, Italy, Neapolitan hand-tossed pizza is characterized by its thin crust, minimal toppings, and simple, fresh ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and basil.
  2. New York Style: This iconic pizza style features a hand-tossed, larger-than-life, thin, and foldable crust. It is often topped with a generous amount of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a variety of toppings, offering a perfect balance of flavors.
  3. Chicago Deep Dish: In contrast to the thin crust of Neapolitan and New York styles, Chicago deep dish pizza boasts a thick and buttery hand-tossed crust. It is layered with cheese, toppings, and chunky tomato sauce, creating a hearty and indulgent pizza experience.
  4. Sicilian: This rectangular hand-tossed pizza is characterized by its thick, doughy crust and generous toppings. It typically features a crispy bottom and a chewy interior, making it a delightful treat for pizza lovers.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of hand-tossed pizza styles, each with its own unique characteristics, but all offering a delicious experience for pizza enthusiasts.

Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza
Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza

Differences Between Hand Tossed and Handmade Pan Pizza


The dough for both styles of pizza is the same. Flour, yeast, salt, hot water, and olive oil are the main components. Softer and thinner dough is used for hand-tossed pizza. This is because the ideal form can only be achieved by tossing the dough in the air before baking.

The dough must have a slight give to it. Don’t risk injury by throwing too hard. The dough for a hand-tossed pizza has a tendency to expand while baking. The crust of a pan pizza is more substantial. Due to the limited surface area, the pizza puffs up more than usual.


The crust of a hand-tossed pizza is often rather thin, whereas the crust of a pan-cooked pizza is typically thicker and chewier. Because of this, the crust produced by hand doesn’t rise as much as one cooked in a pan and has fewer air bubbles. Like focaccia, the pan pizza crust is light and airy.

The crusts of hand-tossed pizzas and pan pizzas are very different. The crust of a hand-tossed pizza is thinner and flatter than that of a traditional pizza, and there is less cheese on it. Tossing the dough usually causes the air bubbles to burst and the dough to crumble. A thin or medium crust is produced when the dough does not rise during baking.

A thicker, fluffier dough and more cheese distinguish deep-dish pizza, also known as pan pizza. Due of space constraints, the dough can only expand in breadth.

Baking Time:

Hand-tossed pizzas have a shorter baking time since the thinner crust cooks more quickly. Handmade pan pizzas, with their thicker crust, require a longer baking time to ensure that the dough is fully cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly.


The same toppings can be used on both thin and thick crust pizzas. The thin, airy crust of a Neapolitan-style hand-tossed pizza allows for fewer ingredients and a more delicate flavor.

Hand-tossed pizza is eaten without forks or silverware, so you may get as creative as you like with the toppings.

The broader crust of the pan pizza makes it possible to pile on more toppings. Pizzas can be topped with whatever ingredients the customer desires.

Pan pizzas have a thicker crust, so more substantial toppings may be placed on top. Thicker pan pizzas are traditionally eaten with a knife and fork.

Pan pizza and hand-tossed pizza utilize different amounts of cheese for the toppings. On the other hand, pan pizzas often have more cheese. That’s why it comes out as buttery rather than dry.

The crust of a pan pizza is to die for. The ingredients on both pizzas are spread uniformly, and each pizza has a unique flavor profile.

Sauce and Cheese Placement

Hand-tossed pizzas typically have the sauce spread over the dough, followed by the cheese and toppings. This allows for a crispier crust and a more traditional pizza experience.

Handmade pan pizzas, however, often have the cheese placed directly on top of the dough, followed by the sauce. This layering helps create a barrier between the sauce and the crust, preventing it from becoming too soggy.

The Feel

When comparing hand-tossed pizza to pan pizza, the most noticeable difference is that the latter is softer.

Pan pizza crusts are typically crunchier and more golden since they are essentially baked in oil in the oven. Crispy and dry, hand-tossed pizza is also softer than its pan-style counterpart.

Because of its broader crust, a pan pizza can accommodate more toppings. For instance, most hand-tossed pizzas use only one cheese (often mozzarella).

Cheeses like mozzarella, white cheddar, and fontina could help a pan pizza hold its own. The bread’s texture changes with the addition of each cheese.


Homemade pan pizza has the flavor of a loaf of pizza bread. However, the dough of a Neapolitan pizza is similar in flavor to dry flatbreads. Keep in mind that the taste will be determined by the toppings you choose.

The perimeters of both kinds of pizza are very crisp. However, the absence of toppings causes the hand-tossed pizza dough to be dry and blistered around the edges.

When making pizza by hand, toppings are frequently required. In addition, they are healthier than pan pizzas. Hand-tossed pizzas are the favorite of oil-averse pizza lovers. Because of the drying process, eating them results in a satisfying crunch.

The pan pizza, on the other hand, is light and bready. The bread crust is an inch in thickness. Spraying oil into the baking dish helps brown the crust to perfection. The crust edges will be irregular, much like a hand-tossed pizza.

Pan pizzas include more cheese, sauce, and toppings because of the thicker, more durable crust. Typically, the toppings extend to the edge of the crust.

Pan pizza dough is softer because of the additional cheese. The pizza has a crunchy, delicious dough that has been baked to a golden brown.

Which is better: Handmade Pan Pizza or Hand Tossed Pizza?

Two of the most popular varieties of pizza are hand-tossed and pan pizza. The greatest option for you will rely on your own tastes because they each have their own distinctive pros and disadvantages.

The crust on homemade pan pizza is thicker, chewier, golden brown, and crispy. Compared to hand-tossed pizza, it may accommodate more toppings, and the toppings are often spread more uniformly. This makes it a wonderful option for those who want a pizza that is heavier.

The crust of hand-tossed pizza is thinner and has a crisp outside and chewy interior. There are often only cheese and a simple sauce added as toppings. It is therefore a suitable option for those seeking a lighter pizza.

The easiest approach to choose between the two types of pizza is to sample them both and see which one you like more in the end.

Table summarizing the key differences between handmade pan pizza and hand tossed pizza:

Feature Handmade Pan Pizza Hand Tossed Pizza
Crust thickness Thicker Thinner
Crust texture Chewy Crispy
Toppings Can hold more Fewer toppings
Taste More substantial Lighter

When to Choose Hand Tossed Pizza and When to Opt for Pan Pizza

Hand Tossed Pizza:

  • If you are looking for a lighter pizza: Hand tossed pizza has a thinner crust, which makes it a lighter option than pan pizza. This is a good choice if you are watching your weight or if you want a pizza that is easier to digest.
  • If you are on a budget: Hand tossed pizza is typically less expensive than pan pizza. This is because it uses less dough and toppings.
  • If you are looking for a pizza that is easy to eat: Hand tossed pizza is easier to eat than pan pizza because it is thinner and has a less chewy crust. This is a good choice if you are eating pizza with your hands or if you have small children.

Pan Pizza:

  • If you are looking for a more substantial pizza: Pan pizza has a thicker crust, which makes it a more substantial option than hand tossed pizza. This is a good choice if you are hungry or if you want a pizza that is filling.
  • If you like a crispy crust: Pan pizza has a golden brown and crispy crust, which is a popular choice for people who like a crispy crust.
  • If you are having a party or gathering: Pan pizza is a good choice for parties or gatherings because it can feed more people than hand tossed pizza.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of pizza is right for you is to try both and see which one you prefer.

How to Achieve the Perfect Crust: Secrets of Hand Tossed and Pan Pizza

Achieving the ideal crust for hand-tossed and pan pizza requires attention to detail and a few well-kept secrets. Here’s a concise breakdown:

Hand-Tossed Pizza:

  1. Start with high-quality pizza dough and ensure proper proofing for a light and airy texture.
  2. Gently handle the dough while stretching to preserve air bubbles.
  3. Utilize a hot pizza stone or preheated baking sheet for a crispy crust.

Pan Pizza:

  1. Generously oil the pan to create a crispy bottom layer.
  2. Press the dough evenly into the pan to form a deep-dish crust.
  3. Slightly precook the dough before adding toppings to prevent sogginess.

Remember, mastering the art of pizza crust requires experimentation, practice, and patience. Armed with these secrets, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the perfect hand-tossed or pan pizza.

Does the Dough Really Make a Difference?

Yes, the dough really makes a difference in pizza. The dough is the foundation of the pizza, and it affects the taste, texture, and overall experience of eating pizza.

Here are some of the ways that the dough can make a difference in pizza:

  • Taste: The flavor of the pizza is influenced by the type of flour used, the quantity of water, and how long the dough is allowed to rise. High-quality flour will result in a dough with a deeper flavor, and dough that is given more time to rise will have a more nuanced flavor.
  • Texture: The amount of gluten in the dough has an impact on how the pizza turns out. While a dough with less gluten will have a softer crust, one with more gluten will have a chewier crust.
  • Overall experience: The complete pizza-eating experience is impacted by the dough as well. It’s more delightful to eat a pizza with a crispy crust and a soft inside than one with a soggy or rough crust.

So, if you are looking for a delicious and satisfying pizza, the dough is definitely something to consider.



What is the difference between hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza?

Hand-tossed pizza has a thin and crispy crust, while handmade pan pizza has a thicker, doughier crust that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Are the ingredients used in hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza the same?

The ingredients used in both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza are typically the same. The main difference lies in the crust preparation and texture.

Can I customize the toppings on both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza?

Yes, you can customize the toppings on both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza according to your preferences.

Is the cooking time different for hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza?

The cooking time may vary slightly between hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza due to the differences in crust thickness. Handmade pan pizza generally takes a bit longer to cook.

Which pizza style is more popular, hand-tossed or handmade pan?

The popularity of hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza can vary depending on personal preferences and regional preferences. Both styles have their dedicated fan base.

Can I request a specific crust style when ordering from a pizza restaurant?

Yes, most pizza restaurants allow you to choose between hand-tossed and handmade pan crust styles when placing your order.

Are hand-tossed and handmade pan pizzas available in different sizes?

Hand-tossed and handmade pan pizzas are typically available in various sizes, ranging from personal to large, depending on the pizza restaurant.

Does the price of hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza differ?

The price of hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza may vary slightly, with handmade pan pizza often being slightly more expensive due to the thicker crust and additional preparation.

Which crust style is better for toppings like cheese and sauce?

Both hand-tossed and handmade pan crust styles work well with toppings like cheese and sauce. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Is the texture of hand-tossed pizza more chewy compared to handmade pan pizza?

Hand-tossed pizza generally has a lighter and chewier texture, while handmade pan pizza has a denser and more substantial texture.

Can I request a specific level of crispiness for the crust in both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza?

Yes, you can request a specific level of crispiness for the crust in both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza. Pizza restaurants will try to accommodate your preference.

Can I order hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza for delivery?

Yes, most pizza restaurants offer delivery options for both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza. However, availability may vary depending on the specific restaurant and location.

Which crust style is recommended for those who prefer a thinner crust?

If you prefer a thinner crust, hand-tossed pizza would be a better choice as it has a thinner and crispier crust compared to the thicker crust of handmade pan pizza.

Are hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza available with gluten-free crust options?

Some pizza restaurants offer gluten-free crust options for both hand-tossed and handmade pan pizza. It’s best to check with the specific restaurant for availability.

Can I get a combination of hand-tossed and handmade pan pizzas in one order?

Yes, you can order a combination of hand-tossed and handmade pan pizzas in one order, allowing you to enjoy different crust styles in a single meal.


In conclusion, hand-tossed and handmade pan pizzas are both delicious options that offer unique textures and flavors. The hand-tossed pizza boasts a thin and crispy crust with a wide variety of toppings, providing a traditional and classic experience. On the other hand, the handmade pan pizza delivers a thick, fluffy crust with a slightly buttery taste, perfect for those seeking a hearty and indulgent treat. Whether you prefer the simplicity of the hand-tossed or the comforting depth of the handmade pan, both styles offer a delightful pizza experience that can satisfy any pizza lover’s cravings.

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