The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pulman Loaf Pans

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Pulman Loaf Pans

I have been reading and some of you are baking your bread under pots and such.  I ran across these loaf pans at Fante's and wondered if the Pulman loaf pans do the same thing and keep the moisture in for the first part of the bake.  Does anyone have experience with these and what do you think of them?

proth5's picture

a pullman pan is used exactly as Fante's describes - for a particular style of bread (usually soft, sandwich style bread or pain de mie) that needs a softer crust and a square shape.  It can also be used for some styles of rye breads.

The pan needs to be coated with shortening (or something) to prevent loaves from sticking. The dough is placed in the pan and partially proofed.  The the lid is placed on the pan and (optionally) some additional proofing takes place.  The pan is placed in a heated oven and nearly fully baked.  The lid is then removed and the pan is returned to the oven to fully bake (this is so that the top crust browns fully.  If the amount of dough is correct the lid holds the dough in the pan to create the square shape.  (If you put too much dough in the pan, the lid can pop off...)

I use pullman pans to bake pain de mie.  They work well for their stated purpose and if you want bread shaped in this way are indespensible. I have never placed a loaf inside to use the pan as many people use bowls or pans as a substitute for steaming.  It seems to me that the expense of the pan is not justified for this purpose (substitution for steaming, that is) and its relatively narrow, deep shape would limit the shape of loaves that could use it to advantage.

Hope this helps.

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Yes that is a big help, thank you.

The one pan is 16"x4"x4" if you filled that pan with bread...that is a lot of bread.

Thanks again, that's my learned something new for the day.

qahtan's picture

I bought my Pullman pan at King Arthur a while back, it was some thing like $39.99,

The tricky part of a pullman pan is the right amount of dough, not enough and it has rounded sides,

It has nothing to do with steam

tabasco's picture

I bought my pullman pan from King Arthur and they also have five or six recipes especially for their pans (I think their pans are a bit shorter than the one you mention from Fantes).  We love it for classic sandwich bread.

FYI After considerable shopping around for myself when I wanted to make the no-knead bread recipe, this is what I've found out about pots for bread baking (sorry, it's kind of long):

While the most well known dutch oven is probably the very expensive Le Creuset, (or Straub or Chasseur), there is a pretty good inexpensive knock off by Tramontina that gets brilliant reviews from Cook's Illustrated. And it is about 20% of the Le Creuset cost.  These knock-offs are usually available at Walmart, Target or e-bay. If it isn't in stock you can call the store or go to the website and have the pot sent in from another store for pick up locally. 

Right now Aldi's is selling another version of dutch oven (by Heuck) for around $30. but this one is not so well reviewed as the Tramontina.  But at $30 it might be worth a try. (I bought one but have yet to try it.)

With any of these brands, if you heat up the lids over 350 degrees, you have to remove or protect the knob from melting with aluminium foil.  It is also possible to buy a stainless steel replacement knob from Le Creuset or other places.  (If you purchase a Le Creuset pot, then just call customer service and they will probably send you a stainless steel knob at no cost).

And then there are the black cast iron 'Dutch Ovens' offered from Lodge which are very reasonable, too, and many people are using them.

Sorry if this is too much information! And Good luck with your baking!  

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

Great information! thanks Faith