The Fresh Loaf

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Pullman pan recommendations

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Bill Pass's picture
Bill Pass

Pullman pan recommendations

 Hi,

I am keen to have a try at some Pullman loaves and so I am looking to buy a Pullman pan but I am not sure which to buy – can anyone recommend a pan?

I have found a number of sources, I’m in the UK, they are:

  • A Chicago Metallic 13” pan for ~£50
  • A cheap pan for ~£7 from Ebay
  • A Invicta strap of 3 800g sandwich pans for ~£50 (invictabakeware.co.uk)

I had first considered buying the Chicago Metallic pan but thought £50 was very expensive for a single pan.

Ebay has cheap pans. One thing that is common about these pans but not seen in the more expensive pans is that they have holes in their bottoms. This puts me off these pans, should it? Has anyone used one of these pans, are they any good?

My last thought was to look at professional pans and came across the Invicta range. The Invicta strap of 3 has a lid but I am unsure if it will work like a Pullman pan, does anyone know if the lid fixes to the strap in such a way as to restrict the expansion of the dough?

Regards,

Bill

bshuval's picture
bshuval

The cheap pans are much flimsier. They are made from a thinner material, and are colored black -- which is not a good color. I saw these at a local bakeware shop and steered straight away. 

I use the chicago metallic pans. I have 2, and they are fabulous. If I were living in the US. I would try the ones from USA pans. King's Arthur Flour sells them, and they also have a smaller pullman pan, if you want to make a smaller loaf. 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Bill,

I'm UK based, I own a Chicago Metallic Pullman Pan bought from Bakery Bits, and I have done business with Invicta before as I work professionally as a baker.

You cannot fault the quality of the Chicago Metallic.

The Invicta strap should be of excellent quality.

I don't know about the ebay pans, and would not want to comment further.

My advice, or caution, if you like, is to think very carefully about the size of loaf/style of bread you want to make.

The Chicago Metallic works fantastically for me for making heavy rye loaves up to 2kg in weight.   It also makes good oblong sandwich loaves.   But if you want to make high crown bread such as the commercial-type loaves, I fear the Chicago Metallic may give you slices which are a bit small.   On the other hand, if you go for the Inicta pans, you may find they are too big and you struggle to achieve full volume in the loaf unless you can lay your hands on the cheating boys secret "improvers".

Look carefully at the dimensions of each pan before you make a decision

Best wishes

Andy

Chuck's picture
Chuck

... thought was to look at professional pans ...

Often the automatic assumption is that "professional" is better for the home kitchen. But I'd suggest that isn't always a good rule of thumb.

Why? In many "professional" kitchens, the biggest problem, the consideration that outweighs everything else, is not wanting to buy new pans all the time even though the (often poorly paid:-) dishwasher frequently scratches them and bangs them up horribly. And the second consideration is the pans shouldn't be so hard they might damage anything else. So "professional" pans are often very heavy, completely un-coated (i.e. nothing like Teflon)aluminum. That might be what you want at home too  ...but it might not.

jannrn's picture
jannrn

I have bought MANY things and plan to buy myself a couple of pullman pans from www.webstaurantstore.com because I have purchased from them before and have found them to stand behind their products, they have excellent customer service and really good shipping prices. You might want to give them a try! Let me know how it works out! Oh and I looked at the pans on eBay too and they were WAY too expensive!!

Janet

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Janet,

the OP is UK-based, so the cost of shipping from the US is likely to be prohibitive

BW

Andy

 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I got this, Amco Food Service Pullman Pan from Amazon. The lid is separate, but still comparable to other pans of good quality. I've been very happy with it.

cheers,

gary

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi,

a couple of years ago  I bought a very heavy pullman pan made in iron (I guess) and coated with a dark blue film. Simply put it's the worst purchase of my life *EVER*: it rusted since the very first wash, it has holes in the lid to permit steam to escape and it leaves a kind of burnt undertone in every bake. For what twisted reason they decided to make it of iron rather than stainless steel (steel pans are  impossible to find! why?) is a mistery.

I noticed that my rye doorstops lose too much water when baked for many hours. Can anyone tell me if for 12-18 hours of baking I need a completely sealed pan to retain as much moisture as possible or if it's a bad idea? Yesterday I started with 1500 gr of dough (50% rye and 50% water) and I ended up with a 1050gr bread that once again crumbles horribly. I guess it's far too dry, simply too dense even though it's equally dense of taste:-)

Bill Pass's picture
Bill Pass

Thank you for all the comments about Pullman pans.

In terms of some of the other sources suggested, since they refer to American companies, it seems likely that they would end up being considerably more expensive than UK sources, once shipping has been taken into account.

I agree with the comments that the eBay pans will likely be very poor quality; I threw them into the list on the off chance
someone replied to say otherwise.

That leaves me with the choice between the Chicago Metallic and Invicta pans. I am still unsure whether the Invicta pans can be used as a Pullman pan – it has a lid but I cannot tell if the lid attaches to the strap or just sits on top, obviously if it just sits on top it is not going to restrict the bread as required. Can anyone confirm this?

Regards,

Bill

Zeb's picture
Zeb

Hi Bill

I have (ahem) one of those ebay ones with the holes, a French pain de mie tin and a Chicago Metallic.  The ebay ones do work but you get a strangely pale loaf of bread, with slightly angled sides.  Edit:  Actually I've just remembered we used it at Rick's baking weekend to make a heavy duty rye bread (a vollkorn type bread) and it worked ok with that. So cost wise it wins I guess..

  I have some pics somewhere I can find if you want to see. The French tin is huge and came from Mora in Paris and is very good,  but the one I like best is the CM tin and it has given consistently good results for pain de mie type breads.  I don't know the Invicta pans I'm afraid but I can vouch for the quality of the Chicago Metallic ones  from Bakery Bits if that helps.

best wishes, Joanna

 

PS Found my pics of the ebay one here's a link to where they are on photobucket http://photobucket.com/pullmanloaf  and here it is again on its outing to Rick's http://s266.photobucket.com/albums/ii263/doginspace/Mairs%20Bakehouse%20Aug%2009/?action=view&current=IMG_0437.jpg 

Pictures of the others in action on my blog.

Bill Pass's picture
Bill Pass

Hi Joanna,
Great pictures. It certainly doesn’t seem like one of the cheaper pans would be a complete waste of money, though I can see what you mean about it being strangely pale loaf of bread.


It seems like the general consensus is for the Chicago Metallic pan, though I’ve not completely given up on the Invicta, I might still do a bit more digging, and I might get one of the cheap pans to begin with to see what they are like.


If anyone can answer my question about the Invicta pan I would be very grateful. The question being, does the lid that fits the strap of 3 800g sandwich pans allow the strap to be used as a Pullmans pan?


Thanks for all the comments,
Bill