If you love Domino’s, you’ve probably asked yourself this question: pan or hand-tossed? Of course, there’s no doubt about how delicious each of these is, there are some things that make them apart, and some people might prefer one over the other. While all pizzas use the same dough, the countless toppings, sauces, crust options, and baking temperature give each one a distinct flavor.
Hand-tossed and pan pizza are terms used to refer to the pizza styles or family rather than their individual types. The crust on hand-tossed pizzas is made by stretching and tossing dough into the air by hand, while pan pizzas have a crust formed by pressing dough onto the cooking pan. Both methods result in not just the crust but a different pizza altogether.
If you’re still wondering which is better, hand-tossed or pan pizza? Let us find out together!
Domino’s Hand Tossed Pizza
Hand Tossed pizza dough is thinner than Handmade Pan but thicker than Crunchy Thin. The dough for the crust is stretched by hand to the size you want. A garlic-oil seasoning blend is applied to the pizza crust after being baked on a flat slab of stone in a hot oven. This results in thin-crust pizzas like Domino’s Brooklyn style Domino’s New Yorker.
Domino’s Pan Pizza
The thin-to-thick variety introduced by Pizza Hut in the 1960s is commonly referred to as pan pizza. It’s typically baked in a deep dish that’s been brushed with oil to help the crust bottom and sides to crisp up.
Which is Better Hand Tossed or Pan Pizza Domino?
Let’s analyze each pizza here to see what makes them unique. So at the end of this article, you’ll find out which is better, hand-tossed or pan pizza dominos?
● The Pizza Dough
The terms pan and hand-tossed relate to methods of making pizza dough rather than specific recipes, so there are no significant differences in ingredients between the two dough styles. It is typically made using a combination of flour, water, salt, yeast, and oil. However, the pan style has slightly more hydration to achieve a softer dough and sometimes a little more sugar to achieve the browning effect.
On the other hand, the hand-tossed pizza dough is thinner than a pan pizza, resulting in a softer texture. While it is a soft dough, it doesn’t bend when lifted. The hand-tossed pizza dough also gives more room to rise in the oven. However, the pan pizza doesn’t expand or lose shape during the baking process.
● Preparing the Dough
A typical hand-tossed pizza should be spread out wide. To achieve this, the baker spreads out the thick dough by tossing the hand-tossed pizza dough in the air. They prepare the dough ball first, then flatten and stretch it by hand on a work area before tossing it. After splitting the dough into small portions, the baker throws it into the air and catches it with his hands.
The dough stretches out on the edges as it spins in the air. Due to this, the hand-tossed crust has a rounder shape than Domino’s other hand-shaped pizzas. To ensure that the pizza dough doesn’t rip apart, the baker closes his fist when throwing and catching the dough, which lands on a larger surface area. On the other hand, the pan pizza is baked in a round pan or mold to achieve a more precise circular shape.
The pan pizza follows the same basic procedure, starting with a ball of dough. It is then stretched out into a little thicker crust and placed over a pan until completely covered. The baker shapes the dough into a circular shape by pushing it into the pan’s edges with his hands.
To ensure that the pizza dough does not stick to the pan, the baker brushes it with a thin layer of oil. When the dough is prepared, it is lightly fried to give it a crispy crust. Before they add the toppings to the pan pizza, the dough is allowed to rise slightly.
● Pizza Crust
When it comes to the crust, the hand-tossed and pan pizza have a different texture, taste, and look. On the other hand, the crust on the hand-tossed pizza is flatter and thinner and has less cheese. The air bubbles in the dough break due to the tossing action. Hence, the dough does not rise in the oven, resulting in a thin or medium-sized crust.
The tiny layer of oil beneath the pan pizza dough gives it an oily texture. Despite being fried a little, the crust is nicely browned but not overdone. The pan pizza crust, also known as deep-dish pizza dough, is thicker, fluffier, and has more cheese. Because the dough has very little room to expand, it only grows in breadth rather than height.
Contrarily, the hand-tossed pizzas have a thinner, crispier crust with less cheese. It also doesn’t look greasy because it cooks in the oven without the need for any oil to keep it from sticking.
However, both hand-tossed and pan pizzas are usually crispy. Hence, whether you choose the former or the latter, you’ll get that satisfying crunchiness. Although, for people who prefer the classics, you should get a hand-tossed pizza. A pan pizza, on the other hand, is ideal if you want to try something that tastes like fried bread.
● The Sauce
The sauce is another key difference between the two styles of pizza. Hand-tossed pizza sauce usually includes tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs. While the pan pizza sauce has tomatoes, tomato sauce, and herbs that enhance the flavor. Also, the sauce in the pan pizza is a tad sweeter than the one on the hand-tossed pizza.
Toppings for both sorts of pizzas could be the same. In contrast, the classic hand-tossed pizza has a slightly thinner crust. This allows for fewer toppings and the use of less cheese and sauce. Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, vegetables, olive oil, and oregano are some of the preferred toppings for hand-tossed pizza.
However, the toppings on the pan pizza are heavily laden with cheese. It gives the pizza a buttery texture, with the crust blending in well with the toppings to prevent the pizza from looking too dry. Because of its thinner crust, hand-tossed pizza can hold fewer toppings than pan pizza. It also had less cheese and sauce, resulting in a dry but crunchy texture.
And since it has a thicker crust, the pan pizza can hold a lot more toppings. In most cases, a five-cheese blend of mozzarella, white cheddar, fontina, asiago, and provolone is used in the thick crust.
The hand-tossed pizza does not have a dry texture, but it does have a different texture. It goes nicely with the sauce and cheese, but it lacks the buttery flavor of the pan pizza. You can adjust the toppings on each pizza if you think they don’t go well with the crust. You have the choice of pepperoni or vegetables for your pizza.
● Taste and Texture
The thickness of hand-tossed and pan pizzas is the most visible difference in both. Because the tossing action destroys air bubbles in the dough, it rises less in the oven. For this reason, hand-tossed pizzas tend to have a thin or medium crust. Pan pizzas feature a thick, bready crust that is usually 1 inch thick.
Although both are crispy, pan pizzas have a fried and golden crust because of the oil in the pan, while hand-tossed pizzas have a drier, crispier crust. Another difference is that without toppings, hand-tossed pizzas have a defined dough edge, while the cheese, sauce, and toppings are smeared all the way to the edges of pan pizzas.
Also, the thicker crust of a pan pizza allows for a generous serving of sauce, cheeses, and toppings than a hand-tossed pizza.
● Baking Temperature
There’s also a difference in the temperature at which these two pizzas are cooked. The hand-tossed pizza cooks in about five minutes at roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the larger crust and the heavy toppings on top of the pan pizza, it cooks typically at a higher temperature of approximately 700-800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baking a pan pizza takes longer to ensure that the toppings cook evenly and the thick crust. For the insides of the pan pizza to cook thoroughly, they must be left in the oven for longer.
Types of Hand Tossed and Pan Pizza
Hand-tossed pizzas are the most common type of thin-crust or wood-fired pizza. Neapolitan pizza is a pizza purist’s top pick for a hand-tossed pizza with a very thin crust cooked in a blazing hot, wood-fired oven, while the somewhat similar New York-style pizza has a thicker crust than the Neapolitan.
Conversely, the pan pizza family is diverse, and many of its most famous members are named after the places in the United States where they were invented. They have a deep Chicago dish, which resembles an actual pie with its extra-thick crust stuffed with cheese and sauce, and the Detroit-style pizza has a thick dough loaded with cheese under the sauce.
The Sicilian pizza, baked on a rectangular pan and sliced in squares, is popular in Italy, though perhaps more so on the East Coast.
While these pizzas have their unique texture and flavor, which is better hand-tossed or pan pizza Domino’s for you comes down to a few things.
That said, Domino’s hand-tossed pizza is ideal for pizza lovers who want to enjoy a crunchy bite without too much oil or like a slightly thick crust but thinner than the pan pizza. Also, because it has a thinner crust, it has more toppings and can be enjoyed on the move, hanging out with friends, or people wanting to grab a quick bite.