11 Best Loaf Pans Every Baker Needs



SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to making homemade bread, every baker pictures high-rising, beautiful loaves with smooth, flaky crusts and a sweet, inviting aroma.

But with the wrong loaf pan, you may end up with flat, dry bread. Your loved ones will come into your kitchen drawn by the aroma of freshly baked bread only to find a disappointing, rubbery loaf. And worse? Some of them will pretend to like it to spare your feelings.

To avoid all that, let’s make sure you have a great bread pan in your kitchen for every need. In this post is a list of the best loaf pans that will ensure your bread is evenly baked, scrumptious, and beautiful. 

Let’s dive in.

About Loaf Pans

What is a Loaf Pan?

A loaf pan is a deep metallic, silicone, or glass container used for baking bread. Loaf pans shape bread as it rises. Most are rectangular in shape to enable smooth and even slicing of bread. You can find bread pans in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your baking needs. They are essential for delicious quick bread, yummy pound cakes, brioche, and foods such as lasagna.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Loaf Pan

Size

You want your homemade bread to have a lovely dome-shape and be easy to slice when it’s done. Generally, smaller pans will give a higher rise. There are two standard pan sizes: 8.5-inches by 4.5-inches and 9-inches by 5-inches. Which one should you choose? Well, most recipes do specify pan sizes. A general rule is that for a full rise, a pan should have batter at 2/3 of its capacity.

Material

Metal pans, made of aluminum or steel, are a great choice for bread pans. Metal pans will absorb heat quickly, but they also cool down fast. They are great for bread as they result in even browning and crispier edges. Most chefs prefer light-colored, metallic bread pans as they retain more heat and prevent over-browning.

Silicone pans are flexible and can endure a range of temperatures. They heat up fast, bake evenly, and cool down quickly. On the downside, when compared to other bread pans, silicone pans may not brown well and will not give baked goods that beautiful golden crust.

Glass pans are heavier and take longer to heat compared to metal bakeware. They retain heat, cook at an even rate, and keep food warm outside the oven. Also, you need to adjust the temperature when using glass pans.

Ceramic pans are great for those looking for beautiful pans that go from the oven straight to the table. They distribute heat evenly and produce loaves with gorgeous crispy brown edges.

Durability

Glass pans tend to last longer and are safe in the dishwasher, freezer, or microwave. Silicone pans are easier to mold, clean, and store. Plus, they are non-stick, scratch-resistant, and won’t rust. Moreover, a silicone bread pan won’t crack or shatter if you accidentally drop it. When it comes to metal pans, you can choose between those with or without nonstick coating. You must hand wash metallic pans. Apart from that, the nonstick coating can fade over time. 

Corners

Many chefs prefer bread pans with right-angled corners because they give a professional look to baked loaves. Rounded corners on a loaf pan make it easy to pop out the loaf after it’s done.

What Kinds of Breads Can You Bake in a Loaf Pan?

Bread loaf pans are great for quick breads such as cornbread, zucchini, banana, and pumpkin bread. Apart from quick bread, you can use a loaf pan to bake brioche, challah, yeasted bread, pound cake, babkas, and sandwich loaf like pain de mie.

Why Choose to Bake in a Loaf Pan?

With a great loaf pan, your bread will cook evenly and take a firm shape as it rises. Plus, you’ll bake your loaves and easily release them from the pan with little fuss and minimal mess.

Best Loaf Pans

1. Overall: Standard Bread Loaf Pan

by King Arthur

Standard Bread Loaf Pan

If you want to consistently pop out beautiful loaves of bread, try King Arthur’s standard bread loaf pan. It’s a solid heavy-duty bread pan that is a great choice for those who are tired of flimsy cheap pans.

The loaves from this pan come out evenly browned and well done. Moreover, its angles and ridges make it easy to release your freshly baked loaf from the pan.

But I found it takes slightly longer to clean because of the ridges. Other than that, you’re sure to use this reliable pan for many years because of its excellent quality.

2. Nonstick: Le Creuset Loaf Pan

by Le Creuset

Le Creuset Loaf Pan

Have you ever been frustrated as you tried to release bread that’s stuck to the bottom and sides of a loaf pan? We all have. You try tapping on the sides of the pan. Then, you try using a knife. And finally, you end up with a crumbled-up baked good on your counter.

Well, with this nonstick pan, each loaf of bread you bake will pop out without any fuss. It’s designed with a silicone coating that ensures uniform browning and easy release of baked products.

Additionally, it’s easy to clean and has heat-resistant grips so that you can safely take it out of the oven.

3. Glass: OXO Good Grips Glass Loaf Pan With Lid

by OXO

Good Grips Glass Loaf Pan With Lid

If you prefer to use glass bakeware, then you can’t go wrong with this versatile glass loaf pan that goes from your fridge to the oven to the dinner table. Its thermal shock-resistant glass prevents any cracks as it’s used in different temperatures.

It bakes great pound cake, bread, meatloaf, and casseroles. Additionally, it’s presentable and will look great on your dinner table if you choose to serve your casserole straight from the baking dish.

It comes with a lid so that you can store leftovers. Better still, it’s easy to clean and is microwave-safe.

4. Ceramic: Emile Henry French Ceramic Ruffled Loaf Pan

by Emile Henry

Modern Classic Loaf Pan

For soft, scrumptious bakes, try this gorgeous ruffled ceramic loaf pan that spreads heat evenly to cook your meal to yummy perfection. It retains heat well and will keep your food warm at the dinner table.

Plus, its attractive anti-scratch exterior makes it a great addition to your table especially when you’re hosting a party.

Also, it does not absorb flavors and is safe for the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

5. Stoneware: Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Loaf Pan

by Williams Sonoma

Stoneware Loaf Pan

Picture your homemade bread with smooth, crisp crusts and soft, moist interiors. That’s what you’ll get with this stoneware loaf pan with a glossy enamel glaze.

This durable loaf pan with a vintage, solid design ensures even cooking with no burnt spots. Its stunning look makes it a great centerpiece for brunch and dinner parties. Plus, it has flared handles that offer a steady grip as you carry it from the oven to the table to the fridge.

We love that it resists scratches even when you use a knife. We recommend pre-heating the oven before putting the pan in the oven. This will prevent over-browning the edges before the inside is fully cooked. But if you’re using the pan straight from the freezer, allow the dish and the oven to heat together.

6. Silicone: SILIVO Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mold

by SILIVO

Silicone Bread and Loaf Pans

This top-rated silicone bread pan pops out delicious crispy treats and desserts. It’s versatile and can be used for a wide variety of meals such as quiche, lasagna, cobbler cake, meatloaf, bread, and pot pie.

This impressive non-stick loaf pan is especially great for Keto breads which have a tendency to stick to other pans. And it gives each loaf of bread a flawless baked finish.

7. Mini: Silpat Mini Loaf Mold

by Sur La Table

Silpat Mini Loaf Mold

Mini loaves and cakes are great for gifting, bake sales, and for those moments that you need snacks to take on the go. This durable and lightweight Silpat mini loaf pan is perfect for tasty individual snacks. The mini bakes slide out of the pan with minimal residue.

This dishwasher-safe mini loaf pan is flexible and has food-grade silicone layers for easy release and shape definition. Your mini bakes will cook much faster than a full loaf and will have a professional look.

Compared to other pans, this loaf pan may take up quite some space in your dishwasher. It’s safe for use in the microwave and fridge.

And it comes with a list of delicious recipes for you to try out.

8. Budget: Amazon Basics Nonstick Baking Bread Loaf Pan, Set of 2

by Amazon Basics

Nonstick Baking Bread Loaf Pan

Grab this set of affordable and versatile bread pans if you are on a budget. Made of heavyweight steel, this loaf pan will heat up fast to deliver bakes with crisp edges.

It has a nonstick coating that ensures that your banana bread and other loaves slip right off the pan with little to no crumbs left behind. After use, the manufacturer recommends hand washing the bread pan.

9. Splurge: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Loaf Pan

by Williams Sonoma

Staub Enameled cast Iron Loaf Pan

This superb versatile cast iron pan is great for a range of sweet and savory bakes. It evenly absorbs, retains, and distributes heat for efficient browning, roasting, and braising. Baked treats come out with delightfully crisp crusts and soft interiors.

And if you’ve had trouble making the perfect cornbread, then this is the pan for you. Its non-stick enamel coating requires no seasoning and is easy to clean.

Plus, it works well with both hot and cold temperatures.

10. Design: Nordic Ware Nonstick Cast Aluminum Jubilee Loaf Pan

by Williams Sonoma

Nordic Ware Nonstick Cast Aluminum Jubilee Loaf Pan

For elegance and style in the outcome of your bakes, get this Nordic Ware cast aluminum loaf pan. This USA pan creates bakes with pocketed patterns that are sure to impress family and friends.

You can add a drizzle of syrup, sauce, or lemon to the resulting little wells at the top of your baked product.

Though this versatile loaf pan is non-stick, many reviewers recommend using cooking spraying to ensure the smooth release of cakes from the patterned mold.

11. Specialty: Emile Henry Italian Bread Baker

by Sur La Table

Emile Henry Burgundy Italian Bread Baker

Skillfully designed by French artisans, this attractive bread baker will pop out bread that is fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. It bakes delicious yeasted, wholegrain, sandwich, and quick bread.

This ceramic baker releases excess moisture through vent holes to maintain ideal humidity for baking bread. It has a scratch-resistant, almost non-stick, smooth cooking surface.

If there’s some residue at the bottom, soak the pan in a mixture of white vinegar and hot water before putting it in the dishwasher. Furthermore, the base sits on the lid for easy storage.

Loaf Pan FAQ

What material is best for a loaf pan?

Many professional chefs favor aluminized steel loaf pans. A non-stick heavyweight loaf pan that combines both steel and aluminum will almost always guarantee evenly baked goods. Look out for pans that use even thick sheets of metal that prevent burnt spots in your baked product.  

With that said, there are top-quality pans made of materials such as silicone and ceramic. Food-grade silicone pans are also gaining popularity because of their flexibility and non-stick capabilities. Ceramic bread pans have attractive designs, retain heat, and can go from the oven to the table. You can always experiment and find the best material for your kitchen.

What is the best size loaf pan?

When it comes to size we recommend simply following the recipe instructions. To check the size of a pan, fill it with water then determine the volume of the water using a measuring cup. Always consult a pan chart size to find out the best pan for your recipe.

The most common standard pan is the 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf Pan. Bread from this pan has a lovely mushroom-top shape. It holds approximately 6 cups of batter.

The 9″ by 5″ bread pan translates to about 8 cups of batter.

And the 8″ by 4″ pan holds about 4 cups of batter and is great for meatloaf and smaller bakes such as coffee cake.

The 5¾” by 3¼” pan is great for individual baked treats.

What is the main difference between a loaf pan and a bread pan?

Generally, loaf pans are also known as bread pans. But you may come across pans specifically designed for bread like the Emile Henry Italian Bread Baker. On the other hand, you can make a variety of dishes in a loaf pan.

Can you use a loaf pan for cake?

Even though loaf pans are deep and aren’t wide enough, by comparing volumes in your recipe to that of the pan, you can use a loaf pan to bake cakes. For example, you can bake a 9-inch round cake in an 8-inch square pan. But all in all, it’s best to follow recipe instructions.

How high should you fill a loaf pan?

As every new baker can confirm, overfilling your pan will lead to messy results. The general rule is to fill your loaf pan to half or 2/3 of its capacity. Do not exceed the ¾ mark.

How to adjust time for different sized pans?

You’ve made the perfect batter only to realize you’ve got the wrong sized pan. Don’t panic. If your pan is bigger than that in the recipe, increase the temperature and reduce the baking time.

And if your pan is smaller, decrease the temperature and increase the baking time. Time adjustments depend on the depth of the batter.

For example, in a wider pan, the batter will be deeper and will dry out faster so you should decrease baking time. There is no hard rule. If you’re using a different sized pan, you should check your cake regularly to find out if it’s done.

Piece of Cake

No baker should miss a loaf pan in their collection of essential bakeware. And being stuck at home for weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic transformed many of us into amateur bakers.

Up your baking game by grabbing one of these loaf pans and you’ll soon be enjoying soft slices of freshly baked yummy bread. Besides that, any of the pans on this list will make a great gift for that baking enthusiast in your life.

With these selections of the best bread loaf pans, you’ll always be ready for every moment that you need to whip up some delicious banana bread.

Last update on 2022-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.