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Thread: What pan do you recommend for baking bread loaves?

  1. #1

    What pan do you recommend for baking bread loaves?

    I have glass loaf pans and I think maybe one thin metal loaf pan. I really like the feel of the Calphalon professional baking pans (I have the sheetcake pan - it's wonderful).

    Looking for the BEST pan for baking bread. Do I want glass? Metal? Heavy or thin? Shiny or Dark?

    Please help!

    d
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #2
    I think any of them can be fine, as long as you adjust the temperature and baking times accordingly (a glass dish will require longer baking time than a thin, metal one, for example). From what I've read, each cook has their own favorite.

    Me (mind you - far from being a professional baker), I prefer a thick, dark pan. I feel that the thick pans better protect the bread and keep the crust from getting too dark. I like the dark pans because they are nonstick and release the bread more easily.

    It might also help if you get your hands on a good bread book - I've seen many cookbooks that will go through the pros and cons of the different kinds of pans.

    Good luck.
    Alysha

  3. #3
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    I think cook's illustrated did a review of this and they suggested metal. Their reason being that you want brown/crisp crust and metal (aluminum specifically) heats up faster.
    Glass takes longer to heat up but retains the heat longer.

    My friend bakes tons of bread and she uses either or and never mentioned a preference.

    Here is the short article from www.americastestkitchen.com

    Loaf Pans
    $4 loaf pan tops our tests.
    We tested 10 loaf pans made from a variety of materials, including metal, glass, and stoneware. Some of the pans were nonstick-coated and others were not. Several pans were "professional grade" and quite heavy, others were light. Prices ranged from $3 to $16. We baked two quick breads and one yeasted white bread in each pan and focused on browning, release of the loaf, and ease of handling the pan.

    We found that dark-colored metal loaf pans browned breads more evenly than light-colored metal pans. Most of the dark metal pans were lined with a nonstick coating that also made the release of baked breads especially easy. Pans with handles at either end were easier to work with because they kept us from sticking an oven mitt into the edge of a baked loaf. We recommend that you buy a metal loaf pan with a nonstick coating. Although there's no harm in spending more money on heavier pans, one of the cheapest, lightest pans in our testing (Ecko Baker's Secret, $3.99) was the favorite.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  4. #4
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    Has anyone tried the flexible non stick loaf pans yet? I am curious how well they brown the bread.

  5. #5
    Lindrusso, do you have a book (or two) to recommend for a BEGINNER? Keep in mind I don't even know what to DO with a package of yeast....so I need the basic instruction.

    Wallycat, thanks a million for posting the review. Isn't it great news that the Ecko pan worked best? I was all set to buy the heavier Calphalon pans!

    I do have several Ecko pans, including one that has eight mini-loaves. I have used it in the past for quick breads and it bakes beautifully.

    Thanks again for taking the time to post this review/recommendation.

    d
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
    I don't really have a bread book per se to recommend.

    Believe it or not, I learned to bake bread using The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. She breaks it all down, step by step and has decent illustrations. For a book that's not specifically about bread, she goes into nice detail.

    If I were you, I'd visit my local library and see what cookbooks they have to offer. That way you wouldn't need to invest any money - at least until you find something you like. Any basic cookbook, such as Joy of Cooking, will give you at least some information.

    When I'm learning something new, I like to read several different sources to "study up", that's why I recommend trying the library first. It seems that everyone has something different to offer when it comes to things like baking or cooking. I'll bet there are decent online resources as well.

    I'm making CL's Garlic Rosemary Cloverleaf Rolls today - the garlic is roasting and smells sooooo good!

    Happy Baking!

    Alysha

  7. #7
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    Deanna, I have metal baking pans for bread -- I think most or all of them are Ecko Baker's Secret too. Not that I'm smarter, just started cheap and have never replaced them and they've been goot for 10-12 years now. I think it's good to have at least 2 in a size since many recipes will make 2 or even 3 loaves at a time. If you buy basics, you can afford to get 2 or 3 without feeling the pinch.

    I have a number of bread books, and the one I have recommended as a first book the most is Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Bread. It has such complete directions (hand, mixer and processor) and such a wide range of breads that is is a really good one to start with. Some great bread books are really not for starting to work with yeast, at least not in my book.

    Two others among my early books were The Wooden Spoon Bread Book and The Book of Bread by Judith and Evan Jones. I had both of those before the Clayton book, and I'd say if you can find one of those three at Half.com or a used bookstore, I'd give it a try. If you go to a regular bookstore, flip through the books you find and look for some introductory information in the beginning to help you learn about the process of using yeast, developing gluten, proofing your dough (rising) and baking it. I think a discussion or chart of problems and solutions is also helpful so you have an idea of what to work on. That isn't essential -- especially with the wide range of support you can find here.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Wow thanks both of you for the suggestions --

    Lindrusso, I just happen to have EBF on my bookshelf but never thought to check it for bread baking information...will definitely check it out!

    And Beth, I've seen Bernard Clayton's books mentioned numerous times on threads here on the BB. I have a gift certificate for Borders and I think I'll see if I can find it there.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply!

    d
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #9
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    You're welcome, as always.

    You can find bread info and recipes in a lot of places you might not think to look. I remember reading Joy of Cooking when I first started to make yeast breads, and one of my earliest efforts was Julia Child's classic French Bread from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (I think that may be the only recipe I've used from that book -- I kind of got turned off when I saw the recipe that called for lacing a roast with lard or suet). If you ever want to make classic French Bread, I recommend that recipe. She gives such detailed instructions, it is amazing. I think a version is also in Baking with Julia.

    Have fun. It is such a feeling of accomplishment to transform what could have been a hockey puck or brick into something you can't wait to break into!

  10. #10
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    Deanna, another option to consider: I have a stoneware loaf pan from Pampered Chef that I really like (I imagine there are other makers than PC out there too). In my experience it browns loaves very evenly. I wish I had more than one.
    Linda

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the endorsement, Linda. I am going to my 2nd Pampered Chef party within the past month tonight-specifically to get the stoneware loaf pan.
    Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.

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  12. #12
    thanks for the suggestion, Sunkat. I never knew PC made stoneware bread pans. However, I think I should wait and see if this is something I'm going to stick with before I invest money with PC. As I recall, some of their stoneware items are a bit pricey.

    When I fall in love with bread baking, I'll search out the stoneware!

    d
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
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    Deanna, I second the reccomendation of the Wooden Spoon Bread Book by Marilyn Moore . I have checked this book out of my local library 5 times. I need to see if I can get a copy somewhere!!

    Patti

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Deanna


    And Beth, I've seen Bernard Clayton's books mentioned numerous times on threads here on the BB. I have a gift certificate for Borders and I think I'll see if I can find it there.


    FYI...per Maureen (kima) there is going to be a new version of this book coming out in the near future (not sure when!). My plan is to wait for that one!
    Erin

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  15. #15
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    I think there is a new one already out -- at least in the US. I remember a thread talking about a recipe and asking which one it was in. Apparetnly some but not all of the recipes are in both.

  16. #16
    Oh my, now there are two bread baking books I need!

    Will look for the NEW and improved Bernard Clayton book AND the Wooden Spoon book.

    thank you, thank you, everyone, for the responses.

    d
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

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