Pan Pizza Vs Deep Dish: Difference, Crust, Dough & Baking Process

When it comes to deep dish vs pan pizza, which is better? The answer is both. Pizza is a food that brings people together around the world.

While some people will go the extra mile to get their pan pizza, others can wait in a queue the whole day for a deep dish pizza.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between pan pizza (which is thicker and more like a breaded flatbread) and deep dish (which is thinner and has more toppings.)

What is pan pizza?

Pan pizza is a popular type of pizza in Italy. It is called pan because it is baked in a round, flat baking pan. The dough can be made with a single type of flour or with several types of flour, but the most common combination is semolina flour and water.

The secret to making good pan pizza is to use high-quality ingredients and to add cheese only after the crust has finished baking. This ensures that the cheese melts into the crust, which helps make it crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle.

The most common topping for pan pizza is pepperoni; however, other toppings include mushrooms, ham, and salami. Toppings can also vary from region to region within Italy.

SEE: Pepperoni Vs Salami: Key Differences And Similarities

What is deep dish pizza?

Deep dish pizza is a special kind of pizza that uses a deep pan or deep dish pan. Deep dish pizza is one of the most popular kinds of pizza in the United States.

The name deep dish comes from the fact that the crust is very thick and chewy. The crust can be made with different types of dough including wheat flour, whole wheat flour, and even corn meal.

This type of pizza is a little different than regular pizza. Deep dish pizza has a thinner bottom crust, therefore it allows for more toppings on top to make up for the thin crust.

SEE: Frozen Pizza Size: How Big Is It?

What are the differences between pan pizza and deep dish?

While some will argue that one is better than the other, I believe the superiority of pan pizza over the deep dish and vice versa depends on individual preferences.

Nevertheless, if you’re still confused about which you should go for, let’s see the difference between these two popular types of pizzas.

To make it easier for you, I will discuss the differences based on the following:

  • Preparation of marinara
  • Their dough and crust
  • Ingredients
  • Baking process

Now, let’s cut to the chase and talk about how exactly the two pizzas differ from each other under the above points.

SEE: Domino’s Hand Tossed Vs Pan: What’s The Difference?

Pan Pizza Vs Deep Dish: Marinara preparation

If you’re familiar with pizza marinara preparation, you will notice that one of the obvious differences between pan pizza and deep dish pizza lies in their preparation of marinara.

Well, you might wonder that after all, they are products made of the same ingredients, below is the difference.

Pan pizza

To prepare pan pizza marinara, you will need a combination of spice, oregano, and sweetness and then finely pureed tomatoes.

While you need to directly spread evenly the marinara on your dough, it has a lower consistency when compared to deep dish pizza marinara.

Deep dish

Unlike pan pizza, deep dish marinara is somehow related to a chunky tomato sauce when you look at it.

While preparing your deep dish pizza marinara, I will advise you not to go for the smoothest puree. Why? Because you will need to add a lot of marinara to your deep dish.

In a deep dish pizza, your sauce (marinara) is added after you’ve put the toppings rather than spreading it directly on the dough. You can also add cheese and some herbs.

SEE: Tomato Sauce Substitute – Superb Alternatives You Can Get Around

Pan Pizza Vs Deep Dish: dough and crust

Now let’s take a look at their dough and crust to further differentiate the two.

Pan pizza

As briefly mentioned in the introduction, pan pizza crust is slightly thicker than traditional pizza and most often, the dough of pan pizzas is prepared with powdered milk.

So, that’s why you will have a light char at the bottom while still maintaining the doughy consistency when cooked.

In addition, the dough of pan pizza is soft, chewy, and fluffy, and the crust is always thicker too. The reason behind this is the fact that pan pizza dough yeast has enough time to rest before baking.

SEE: How Much Yeast Is in a Packet?

Deep dish

Compared to pan pizza dough, deep dish pizza dough is quite thin, about half an inch thick. So when preparing it, you will see it laid on the bottom of the deep metal dish used. Though this cause it to be crunchy moderately.

Unlike pan pizza dough, cornmeal is used in the place of powdered mild and this makes it taste buttery. As a result, there’s no point in allowing the dough to rest for a long time before baking.

Pan Pizza Vs Deep Dish: Ingredients

Let’s see the ingredients required to make each of the pizzas.

Pan pizza

Ingredients for deep pan pizza include;

  • Salt
  • Dry yeast
  • Bread flour
  • Warm water
  • Oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cheese (Mozzarella)
  • Small chops of meat/vegetable

SEE: Can You Substitute Olive Oil For Vegetable Oil In A Cake Or Not?

Deep dish

Ingredients for deep dish pizza include;

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

SEE: Substitutes for Spelt Flour That You Can Totally Bake With

Pan Pizza Vs Deep Dish: Baking process

Lastly, to clarify the differences between pan pizza and deep dish, let’s see the procedures you need to follow when it comes to baking them.

Pan pizza

Once your dough is ready and has risen the way you want, pour 2 ½ tbsp of olive oil into a pizza pan to brush it. Then, you will want to preheat your oven to 520°F (271.1°C).

The next thing is to spread your pan pizza dough onto the pan you’ve brushed with olive oil and then create some ventilation with a fork. Add the sauce, cheese, and topping of your choice. It could be vegetables or meat, or both.

Finally, place it in the oven and heat till its crust turn golden brown. Using a kitchen timer, you can give it 20-25 minutes to avoid burning your pan pizza. However, ensure the cheese melt properly before removing it from the oven.

Slicing it to 6 or 8, you can serve your tasty soft-soft pan pizza with some sprinkling of finely chopped basil and oregano

SEE: A Comprehensive Guide On How To Use Kitchen Timer

Deep dish

After your dough has risen enough, cut it into two and make sure the two are equal in size. Then flatten one of them with a rolling pin. Flatten it in such a way that you have about a 2-inch circle wider than the deep pan you want to use.

Cover the base of the pan with slices of mozzarella cheese, about 10 slices is enough. Ensure you oil your pan before laying the mozzarella cheese.

Now it is time to add your favorite sausage, made of either beef or pork. Then add a layer of your prepared marinara. For about 25 minutes, bake at 420°F (215.6°C) in the oven.

Before serving, try to garnish your pan dish pizza with grated Parmesan cheese.

SEE: Does Parmesan Cheese Go Bad – What You Need to Know


Is deep dish the same as pan pizza?

They are not the same. In pan pizza, the tomato sauce (marinara) is spread directly on the dough while in a deep dish pizza, the dough is covered with cheese first before adding tomato sauce.

Is the original pan pizza deep dish?

No. In general, the crust of a pan pizza is thick and rectangular while that of a deep dish pizza is thinner and round with more toppings and cheese.

Pan Pizza vs Deep Dish Pizza: Which is better?

Well, in my opinion, pan pizza and deep dish pizza are great. You may want to try out both of them before settling for one over another.

However, if you are a lover of traditional pizza looking to try out something new but closer to your usual favorite, I recommend opting for pan pizza. Deep dish pizza on the other hand is perfect for those that enjoy cheese, toppings, and marinara.

In the end, it all comes down to individual preference. So, while pan pizza is different from a deep dish pizza, they are both great options if you’re a fan of pizza.

I hope you found this article helpful. You should also check out the Cheffist comparison category.

There are plenty of helpful comparison articles to help you clear up confusion surrounding many similar cuisines, ingredients, and food items.

Thank you for reading.