It’s easy to buy ready-made bread from the store, but nothing beats homemade, freshly-baked bread. Making the perfect loaf of bread is more than just getting the recipe right. An essential part of the equation is your bread loaf pan. Thankfully, finding the right loaf pan isn't so hard if you pay attention to the amount you want to bake, what type of flour you're using, and the best material for your needs.
To help purchase the right bread loaf pan for you, we’ve put together a versatile list of the 10 best bread loaf pans available online. At the top of our list is USA Pan's Bread Loaf Pan for its sturdy and reliable aluminized steel material, added lid for easier and even baking, and its careful construction. For more details on how to buy the right pan for you, scroll down to our trusty Buying Guide reviewed by a professional chef.
To craft our list of 10 best bread loaf pans, we kept in mind the following criteria:
For more details on why each of these points is important, feel free to take a look at our Buying Guide.
Fit Meal Prep
Small Pullman Loaf Pan With Cover
Good Grips Nonstick Pro Loaf Pan
Seasoned Cast Iron Loaf Pan
Clear Basics Loaf Dish
Anodized Aluminum Bread Pan Set of 2
Ceramic Coated Nonstick Loaf Pan
Structure Loaf Pan Silicone Bakeware
Kraft Paper Bread Loaf Pan
Perfect Results Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan
Best Versatile Aluminized Steel Pan for Easy and Even Baking
Best Nonstick Aluminium Pan for Even Browning
Best Seasoned Cast Iron Loaf Pan That's Easy to Lift
Best Glass Loaf Pan That Can Double as a Serving Dish
Best Aluminum Loaf Pan in Six Sizes
Best Ceramic-Coated Loaf Pan With Fun Color Options
Best Lidded Cast Iron Pan for Easy No-Knead Artisanal Bread Making
Best Lightweight Nonstick Silicone Bread Loaf Pan
Best Disposable Paper Bread Pan for Gifting
Best Bread Pan for Bite-Sized Loaves
|Dimensions||Small: 9 x 4 x 4 in.; large: 13 x 4 x 4 in.||8.5 x 4.5 x 3 in.||8.5 x 4.5 in.||8.25 x 4.5 x 2.5 in.||This set 7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 in. each; 6 sizes available||9 x 5 x 2.75 in.||9 x 6 x 5.5 in.||8.5 x 4.5 x 3.2 in.||8.5 x 4.38 x 2 in.||3.28 x 2.5 in. per cavity|
|Material||Aluminized steel||Aluminized steel, ceramic-reinforced coating||Cast iron||Glass||Aluminum||Ceramic-coated metal||Cast iron, enamel, silicone liner||Silicone, steel frame||Paper||Steel, nonstick coating|
|Features||Cover||Textured bottom||Handles, seasoned with natural vegetable oil||Handles||-||Handles, comes in four different colors||Lid, silicone liner, handles||Handles, microwave-safe, freezer-safe||Recyclable, freezer-safe, microwave-safe||Handles|
Here's our list of the 10 best bread loaf pans with different materials, sizes, and perks. Whether you're making pumpkin bread or sliced toast, we hope you can find a pan that fits your needs.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast.
|Dimensions||Small: 9 x 4 x 4 in.; large: 13 x 4 x 4 in.|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 4.5 x 3 in.|
|Material||Aluminized steel, ceramic-reinforced coating|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 4.5 in.|
|Features||Handles, seasoned with natural vegetable oil|
|Dimensions||8.25 x 4.5 x 2.5 in.|
|Dimensions||This set 7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 in. each; 6 sizes available|
|Dimensions||9 x 5 x 2.75 in.|
|Features||Handles, comes in four different colors|
|Dimensions||9 x 6 x 5.5 in.|
|Material||Cast iron, enamel, silicone liner|
|Features||Lid, silicone liner, handles|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 4.5 x 3.2 in.|
|Material||Silicone, steel frame|
|Features||Handles, microwave-safe, freezer-safe|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 4.38 x 2 in.|
|Features||Recyclable, freezer-safe, microwave-safe|
|Dimensions||3.28 x 2.5 in. per cavity|
|Material||Steel, nonstick coating|
Ready to get baking? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you find the best bread loaf pan for you.
The size of the pan will affect how well your bread bakes and how it will look. To figure out the correct pan size for your baking needs, two useful tips to keep in mind are to think about the cups of flour your recipe calls for and how much space the batter takes up in your pan.
If you're making a yeast loaf bread using up to three cups of flour, an 8.5 by 4.5 inch pan would be just the right size. Typically, this amount can serve approximately four to six people. This pan size is the most common size sold across the US.
For recipes between 3.5 to 3.75 cups of flour, depending on the type of flour you use, a nine by five inch pan would be suitable. This size is the second most common pan size sold, and this amount can serve about eight to 10 people. If you're following a recipe that asks for four or more cups of flour, a 10 by five inch loaf pan is most suitable.
You can also consider purchasing a large pan with multiple cavities or dividers. Mini bread pans can make loaves ranging from five by three inches to three by 2.5 inches. These are great to make bite-size loaves of bread or for baking any leftover batter.
If you use pans that are larger than your flour amount calls for, it's likely that your bread might not rise properly and will fall flat. On the other hand, if you use a pan that's too small, your batter might overflow and burn. That's why it's important to also use the right-sized pan.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that your batter should ideally only fill up to two-thirds of the pan. Anything more, and your batter will likely spill over. If you have extra batter left over after you've filled your pan to the two-thirds limit, bake the rest in a different smaller pan, or even in muffin tins.
If you're using all-purpose or bread flour, it's best to go with a larger pan than you think you need, because the dough can balloon. However, if you're using a denser flour like whole-grain, it's alright to use a smaller pan.
Now that you've got the right loaf pan size, let’s talk about materials. There are a few materials to choose from, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Aluminum is a material that is often used for cookware since it's a good conductor of heat. It has a smooth and even surface and allows the bread to cook evenly with a perfectly brown crust. It's also very durable, straightforward to clean, and lightweight.
Some things to note are that these pans can easily stain and might give your bread a metallic taste when it's exposed to acidic ingredients like lemon, lime, and orange. In terms of cleaning, handwashing is the best for these pans, since the dishwasher and hard water deposits can sometimes cause the pan to discolor.
However, even if your pan discolors from washing or dents from normal wear and tear, it doesn't degrade the quality of the material or make it unsafe to use. If you prefer a similar pan without these problems, you can opt for steel pans like stainless steel or alloy steel, as they are less likely to discolor. However, these don't transfer heat as well, so your bread is likely to lack browning.
Cast iron is another durable material for bread loaf pans as it's sturdy and provides a reliably good crust on baked goods. These loaf pans often come in two different options, enameled or non-enameled.
Enameled cast iron pans visually have a more smooth exterior while a non-enameled version will look more like your traditional, gritty cast iron. Enameled cast iron pans are said to conduct heat less than non-enameled pans, but this also means they heat up slowly and more evenly. As a result, people who have less experience cooking with cast iron may prefer to purchase enameled cast iron pans.
Regardless of whether it's enameled or not, cast iron is the heaviest material on this list. This is both a pro and con. It's a pro because it helps with sturdiness, but it could be hard to handle, especially with large capacities of dough. These pans are also not dishwasher- or microwave-safe, which can be a drawback for some.
Although not a go-to for many bakers, glass bread loaf pans have their advantages. The transparency of glass pans comes in handy because you can check the doneness of all your sides anytime. Glass pans are also versatile because they can be used in the refrigerator, freezer, oven, or microwave. Moreover, since many consider them aesthetically pleasing, you can use glass pans to serve or store your bread.
Glass can take a longer time to heat up than metal materials. However, this also means these pans facilitate more even browning. Because of the slow heating process, you may have to tweak your cooking time when baking with glass pans. Do this by checking on the loaf earlier than you would normally and using the trusty toothpick method.
If not appropriately greased, food tends to stick to glass. So, make sure to grease your pan correctly if you opt for a glass pan. Glass pans can also be fragile and might chip, crack, or shatter when dropped or mishandled. These pans are typically dishwasher-safe, but it's advised not to use abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the material.
Ceramic bread pans are also gaining popularity, and for a good reason. Ceramic bread pans are great conductors. They heat up evenly and transfer that heat to your bread. This will give you perfectly cooked and browned bread.
They also have an excellent slick surface that prevents your bread from adhering to the pan. Plus, they are convenient to use since most ceramic pans are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
If properly taken care of, ceramic pans can last for years. However, it is essential to be careful in handling ceramic pans because they can easily chip, crack, and shatter just like glass pans.
Although silicone bread pans are relatively new, they are gaining popularity. This is mainly because of silicone's durability and versatility. Unlike other bread pans, silicone pans are scratch-proof and do not break, dent, and oxidize as quickly as other materials.
They also do not break and shatter like glass pans. This kind of pan is safe to use in the microwave, freezer, and oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a disadvantage is that they are not as dependable as stainless steel or aluminum. Silicone, as a material, doesn't conduct heat well.
A silicone bread pan might not give you the browning that a metal pan can provide. Keep in mind that silicone is very easy to bend as well, so the shape of your loaves might come out differently.
If you like to give baked goods as gifts, disposable paper loaf pans might be for you. They're easily transportable since they're much lighter than metal or glass, and there's no clean-up required. They're also freezer-, oven-, and microwave-safe.
It's important to note that some runnier batters may have trouble staying contained in paper pans. Also, cooking with these pans may require adjusting the baking temperature a bit lower since heat isn't conducted very evenly. This allows for more equal browning.
If you want a disposable loaf pan that conducts heat more evenly, you can consider aluminum disposable pans.
We all know that baking isn’t exactly the most effortless skill to master, which is why it’s good to look for features that will make it easier and will help give you great results.
Some bread loaf pans come with handles that make them easier to take in and out of the oven. These are most common for larger pans, as they have to hold more volume. Look for large, easy-to-grip handles, especially if you have big or bulky oven mitts. Some others also come with lids to help shape the bread as it's baking and expedite cooking.
Pans with grips or texture on the bottom are also helpful, as these features aid in air circulation. This circulation assists in browning your bread. However, these pans can be harder to clean because food can get stuck in the crevices.
Whether you're a baking fanatic or just like to make cookies once in a while, having some quality bakeware in your kitchen doesn't hurt. Check out more bakeware that can make the process easier and more enjoyable.
If you're still looking for a bit more input on the best bread loaf pan for you, feel free to browse Amazon's best selling bread loaf pans. You'll see a few of our choices in the list alongside some other great options.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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