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Bread-Baking 101: Choosing the Right Pan

Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on July 27, 2010
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Bread-Baking 101: Choosing the Right Pan

One of the most common questions I hear is, “How do you get such high loaves?” Here’s the answer!

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Difficulty: Easy


yeast bread dough


Metal pans, glass pans, stoneware, big ones, little ones, miniature ones, I’ve got it all in a bread pan. Which is my favorite? Glass bread pans. I like the way bread bakes in a glass pan–the crust is just a bit crustier. I also like being able to look at the bread all over when I’m deciding if it’s done.

But not all glass bread pans are created equal. Bread pans come in all sizes. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some are wider, some are narrower.

And of course, when it bakes up, the loaf in a smaller, narrower pan is higher. This is a seemingly obvious secret, but if you only have one or two bread pans, nothing to compare them to, you might not have thought about it.

On a related note, even with a narrower pan, your bread might not turn out high and lovely if the recipe is too small. Some bread recipes aren’t crafted to create high loaves–-they simply don’t turn out enough dough. If you’re already using narrow pans and have a bread recipe that isn’t making high loaves for you, consider increasing the recipe (and subsequent baking time) by a quarter or a third to build a bigger loaf.

My Grandmother Bread recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of water to start the dough (per loaf), which guarantees high loaves.

One more note, use homemade dough enhancer for higher, lighter loaves (particularly when using whole grains).

Categories: Breads, Tips & Tricks, Yeast Breads

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