Pan pizza definition is simple. It’s a pizza cooked in a pan — you don’t even need an oven, let alone a pizza stone. A regular stove can be enough.
There are various variations of toppings for this Italian pie type. Basically, they imitate the classic, loved-by-all toppings, so you can add whatever ingredients you love: salami, pineapple, chicken, tofu, and so on.
This type of pizza is popular because:
- It’s easy. It takes less time, about 25 minutes, to cook one due to its smaller size and dough thickness.
- It’s substantial. You won’t feel hungry for hours.
- It’s cheap. You will need 5-6 ingredients max.
So, let’s learn more about this wonderful pie!
The Essence of Pan
The main idea behind pan-made pizza is that you bake it in a special, relatively deep pan. While you can easily bake such one using a stove, I still recommend you put it inside the oven if you can.
This will make the cheese melt much better, making it a gluing component, while the dough will get an extra degree of crispiness due to the effect of the uniform heat reflection.
So, here’s what to know before baking a pan crust:
You will need a higher temperature as there will be an extra layer of metal — the pan itself. The gold standard here is 500-550F or 260C. If your oven can’t “afford” this kind of thermal capacity — crank it up to the max, then.
A hand-tossed pie should have an elastic/resilient dough that won’t break during the tossing phase. Pan pizza dough must be the same, only a tad harder. And here’s why.
You will need to spread the dough in the pan manually. Elasticity will let the pizza occupy the pan proportionately in height/width. And the hardness will prevent it from being unchewable.
Another plus of making a pan pizza is that it can have any shape: square, circular, rectangular — whatever shape your cooking surface has.
Meanwhile, a hand-tossed pizza is doomed to be circular due to
- Baking stone round shape
It’s a pretty interesting nuance in hand-tossed vs. pan controversy.
Now, the most important part of your pie-making odyssey — the pan. It affects the quality of your tasty masterpiece dramatically. And it would be best if you were wise about its size, primary material, shape, coating, and so forth.
First of all, I recommend a deep-dish aluminum pan. For starters, it’s much lighter than a cast-iron one. It costs way cheaper than a copper pan. And it’s more durable than a ceramic one.
Second, aluminum has a reflecting surface. This causes a better heat reflection, which makes your pizza a few degrees crispier. For comparison, stainless steel can’t provide such an effect.
But what about the pan pizza size? Well, it depends on your kitchen capability. As well as an individual recipe, of course.
There are compact 10-inch models and more “advanced” pans with 15 inches to have an Italian-style feast. So, I guess, large vs pan pizza controversy can be solved by your convenience preferences only.
You can even find a 6-inch pizza pan. That is in case you want to have a quick meal and flip a pie or two in under thirty minutes. But then, also note its thickness — the thicker the thing, the more time cooking takes.
Here are some popular pan-pizza questions.
What is the difference between pan pizza and regular pizza?
Mostly, you don’t need to toss it. Plus, it’s quicker and easier to make, which is ideal for an improvised home “pizzeria”.
Which is better hand-tossed or pan pizza?
Both have their advantages. Like, the hand-tossed pizza is more delicate — due to dough tossing, pizza loses tiny air bubbles. It makes the crust texture thin and crispy.
At the same time, pan-made crust is easier to chew. It may not feel as authentic as Neapolitan pizza, but who cares?
What is the difference between pan pizza and thin crust?
It’s all about dough again. The thin crust has some time to “settle” before you bake it — the yeast loses its strength. Hence, it’s thinner.
Pan-made pie is “fatter”, mostly because you can bake it right away after preparing the dough. Plus, a thicker dough layer helps to prevent the dish from getting “scorched” due to a high temperature.
Hopefully, you got your answers to What is pan crust? If you want a more detailed look at how to cook pizza from home, I’ve made a all-inclusive guide on homemade pizza. Be sure to check it out. So, what is your favorite type of pizza? Would you prefer an authentic Sicilian oven or do you think that a simple pan would do? Let us know in the comments!