Bread Baking Pans
I am a big fan of bread pans. They serve several purposes. They give the bread a defined shape, and make it easier to handle. A big benefit to me is supporting the loaf. I live in outside of Toronto in Canada. Canada is the 7th largest producer of wheat in the world and most of it is hard wheat. This means our all purpose flour has a higher percentage of protein than many other countries. A 5 kg (11 lb) bag of Robin Hood Bread Flour costs about the same as a 10 kg (22 lb) bag of Robin Hood All Purpose Original. Most of my baking is working on recipes so I go through a lot of flour.
When you make bread with all purpose flour the dough does not hold its shape as well. The dough tends to relax and spread more. By using a pan to provide structure I can use all purpose flour to reduce my costs.
Here are a collection of my favourite pans.
Quad Mini Loaf Pan
Quad 5.75x3x2.75 loaf pan - 1.8L - 7.6 cups (total)
Quad mini-loaves are nice for single people. I freeze two mini-loaves in a bag. A quad mini-pan is just over the size of a 9 inch pan so you can use with a 1 1/2 pound (680 g) recipe.
Shorten the baking time as the distance from sides to the centre of the loaf is smaller.
Hearth Bread Pan
USA Pan 12x5.5x2.25 Hearth Bread Pan - 2.4L - 10.1 cups
This hearth pan is for larger artisan style loaves. I like it as the structure helps support the form of a traditional load while using a lower cost flour such as all purpose.
Pullman Loaf Pan
USA Pan 4x4x9 Pullman - 2.2L - 9 ¼ cups
USA Pan 4x4x13 Pullman - 3.2L - 13 ½ cups
The pullman pan was originally invented for baking bread on the pullman car of a train. The pan has a lid which is closed during baking. The resulting loaf has very little crust and when cut is almost square. The proper name is Pain de Mie. "Pain" in French means "bread", and "la mie" refers to the soft part of bread, called the crumb.
The size is just larger than a slice of cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich. The bread was also excellent for French toast. The challenge of designing a recipe for a pullman pan is the volume has to be correct. Too little and you end up with a gap as the top. Too much and the dough oozes out the ends. My grandkids love a loaf of pullman bread.
Wilton - 9x1.25 round pie pan - 1 L - 4 ½ cups
Pie pans are nice as they don't give a pan look to the resulting loaf. The slope of the side is gradual enough to be missed. Pie pans are what got me into using non-bread pans. A one pound loaf fits nicely in one.
Cake pans give a mushroom look to the loaf, a giant muffin.
Fluted Tube Pan
This pan is just plain fun. I was cutting a round loaf for a party into smaller pieces and found it a challenge. I thought, what about using a bundt pan? The volume is larger but this stout beer bread is only a 1.5 pound loaf. I will be releasing the recipe for that bread soon.
And there you have it, some of my loaf pans.