Pan Pizza

Hello everybody,
Ive been browsing these forums for years, but have yet to post. I had a pizza place here in my hometown for several years, and the building i was in is being demolished so my lease was not renewed. To make a long story short, I am opening another store about a mile from my old location, and plan on making a few changes. The biggest change in equipment is that I am switching from Blodgett decks to Lincoln Conveyors.
I have always made pan pizza, typical of most of the greek-owned pizzerias here in Massachusetts (somewhat tight-knit crumb structure, only about 49-50% water), Ive had moderate success, but feel like i need to step up my product a little bit in my new location to really make a statement. Ive become really intrigued by reading here and on about the ny style pizza.

Now after that extremely longwinded explanation, onto my even more longwinded question lol.
I am basically just curious if i can use the same process to make a ny style pizza that i used to make the pan pizza (obviously changing the recipe/using different flour).
To make the pan pizza, we would remove the dough from the cooler, slightly flatten it by hand, run it through the sheeter (the dough for a 15" pizza comes out about 10" wide from this). after this, we would stretch it out by hand to the shape of the pan, form the crust, stack the pans up with separators, let them proof for about an hour or two (depending how hot it is in the kitchen). we would then store them in a cooler for use the same day. typically we use the pizzas within 6-8 hours of putting them in the cooler. I like this process and am apprehensive about stretching pizzas by hand to order, mainly because this way we can sauce and cheese pizzas ahead of time, and have plenty of pizzas ready for rushes and big orders. before i had my own place, i worked in a place that did pizzas the same way i do them and we could easily handle 300+ pizzas a day with 2 people doing pizzas and ovens. The pans i have for the new ovens look a lot like the quik-disks, just with a 1" lip.

Thanks for the help, hopefully now that im actually registered i will contribute a bit too

Are you saying that your deep-dish pans are only 1-inch deep? You also say that they are like Q.D’s, do they have the holes too? This is not a good idea for a dough that will be proofed as the dough can, and in all probability, will proof into the holes, expand during baking, effectively locking the baked crust onto the pan.
It would also be a good idea to very lightly oil the dough surface before you prsauce the dough skins as this will help to prevent moisture from the sauce soaking into the dough and thus setting the stage for the development of that dreaded gum line in the baked crust.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for the reply Tom.
The pizza isnt really a deep dish pizza. Yes, the pans do have holes, in a pattern similar to the qd’s, roughly the same number of holes also. Most people i know around here are using these pans now with the impingement ovens, as it helps the pizzas cook more from the bottom. when we all used deck ovens we used the regular pans (with no holes). The only person i know that kept the regular pans for use in a conveyor, used the QMatic oven, which worked well for him because of how it cooked differently (disregarding all the other problems the qmatic had, lol)
Using these pans with the dough i currently use, i have never had the dough go into the holes and lock the pizza in, nor have i ever experienced a gumline from saucing and cheesing the pizzas ahead of time. I think this may be due to how much less water we use in the dough. (only about 49-50%, as opposed to the ~60% your ny style recipe i was interested by calls for). We also typically only use a 15 ounce dough ball for a 15 inch pizza. or a 7 ounce for a 10 inch pizza, which is much less than what ive seen on these forums for a ny style pizza.
I’m just really hesitant to change the processes too drastically for the store i am opening now, because we have the operations down very well, and this is kidna just moving the store i already have down the street. Once i am done with the move and have my new ovens up and running i will experiment a bit, i was just curious for now,

I’m sure you’re right about the low dough absorption preventing the dough from flowing into the holes in the pan, with regard to the potential for moisture migration into the dough, we have found that the number one cause of this is due to the addition of too much water to the sauce. We normally like to see the sauce at around 12% solids. Some might call this a thick, or heavy sauce, but it doesn’t exhibit a propensity to seperate and allow moisture to migrate into the dough. You can actually get a very good bake from a solid bottom pan but you need to use a little oil in the pan. The oil improves the heat transfer between the pan and the dough and you end up with something of a crispy fried crust, rather than a baked crust. The deeper pans also help to cool the top of the pizza allowing for a longer baking time without fear of scorching the toppings. When I use a 2-inch deep pan I need to watch the bottom of the pizza more than the top as the bottom of the pizza will burn before the toppings get over done.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor