Perforated Pizza Pan and Pizza Screen

Continuing my posts on tools used to make pizza, another type of pan used is a perforated pizza pan. I picked one up on Amazon and gave it a try. Supposedly it allows more heat to reach the pizza than a typical solid pan, but not as much as a pizza stone which allows for great heat conduction and moisture loss due to its porous nature. Many small holes or fewer larger holes in the pan will allow more moisture to escape. This means that the bottom of the crust will become crispy. Depending on whether you like crispy crust, this may or may not appeal to you. I can be wary about thin crispy crusts; I don’t like ones that are so thin they have no taste or are too tough or chewy. I can imagine that it’s easy to overcook the crust if you have too many holes in the pan.

Pizza Screens

Another type of pan is a pizza screen (left). While the perforated pan has larger holes, the pizza screen will have tons of smaller holes without much space between them. I believe the larger holes allow more moisture to leave, resulting in a crisper crust than the screen (even though the screen has more holes). I haven’t used a screen yet to find out. I believe you can also use special screens directly on a grill to cook your pizza. We have one but haven’t tried it out yet either.

Anti-stick Agent

I used shortening on the perforated pan to make sure the pizza did not stick. Just used a paper towel to spread it around. I was afraid using olive oil would be messy and wasteful as it flows out of the holes! Of course a spray can with olive oil would be the next logical idea. Shortening was also messy — you’ll definitely need to clean up afterwards! I like the taste of oil-cooked pizzas from restaurants, but I haven’t mastered the technique yet. I tried it in my deep-dish or regular pan, and it adds a little too much moisture rather than adding to the flavor.


I cooked with my perforated pan a few months ago and here is a picture. The crust wasn’t too bad, and you can see I don’t usually go for thin crust pizzas 🙂 Click the picture to see more on my Flickr account.

pizza from perforated pan

Deep Dish Pizza Pan

I tried out my new deep dish pizza pan last week. I use shortening on the pan to prevent sticking. An alternative to that is olive oil, but I haven’t been very successful using it. Check out for a deep dish or other type of pizza pans. Pictured here is the one I used.

Deep Dish Results

My deep dish pizzas turn out pretty well. The key is using just the right amount of dough and spreading it out equally so you don’t have too much dough around the outside edge (cornicone). The first one I made had too much dough and got kind of tough. The second one I tried stuffing with some shredded provolone in the cornicone. But I don’t yet have the technique needed for stuffing the crust. I didn’t add enough cheese, but I don’t think there was enough dough to wrap around any more cheese. In fact my cornicone is uneven because I didn’t have quite enough dough.

Deep dish1

1st Deep dish pizza
Deep dish stuffed crust

Stuffed crust

Chicago Style

Do you like Chicago or Uno Deep dish pizzas? I do, although it can be hard to wait so long for it to cook properly, and only one or two slices are filling. I last had one at the Uno’s in Dublin, Ohio. I saw how they made them in Chicago on a pizza show on the cooking channel. They place a layer of uncooked sausage on the bottom which must be why it takes more that 45 minutes to cook.

Stuffed Crust

I love the stuffed crust from Pizza Hut, so I will keep trying on my own pizzas. There’s gotta be an easy way to recreate it! I remember having a sauce stuffed and cheese stuffed crust from somewhere. The sauce sounds harder to recreate but I should try that sometime too!

Do you like deep dish and stuffed crusts?

Pizza Techniques from High Gluten Flour

Several months ago I got some high gluten flour from GFS Marketplace. It isn’t the same brand as the one pictured, but I’m not sure if brand matters? I finally got a chance to try it out a week ago. Since I got a 25 pound bag, I have plenty to experiment with, but I haven’t deviated from my original recipe yet. I’m just trying to get a consistent crust.

Cooking Methods

With basic bread flour I’ve tried pizzas on a pizza stone with cornmeal, a deep dish pan with shortening or extra virgin olive oil, and a perforated pan. I can’t seem to get the ones in an oiled pan to be as crispy as I’ve liked, almost like it’s not cooked in the same amount of time. Perhaps the temperature needs to be higher. The texture of the ones cooked in cornmeal seem like the most professional.

High Gluten

The high gluten flour wasn’t much harder to knead than I was used to (I was warned it would be tougher since the gluten strands develop more). It also wasn’t much harder to roll out. I’ve learned to be more patient and let it rest and get up to room temperature after its retardation time in the fridge. I’m now trying to spin the dough to help spread it out, but for some reason it gets oblong shaped and I’m not sure how to correct that except with hand pressing and a rolling pin. I have a nice 2 sided rolling pin that seems to work really well. I’ll blog about that one and my other utensils in a future post.