The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using a loaf pan for a lean "artisan" loaf

nasv's picture
nasv

Using a loaf pan for a lean "artisan" loaf

Hi everyone, I was curious for any tips or pointers - I was wondering if anyone has tried making a lean artisan loaf using a bread pan?

I was thinking of making my country loaf or whole wheat variation, but instead of forming into a boule and placing in a pre-heated dutch oven, forming it into a batard-ish shape and into a loaf pan, just to see how it may change things.

I have standard aluminum loaf pans that work well for my enriched sandwich loaves.  Do these pans have any upper limit on temperature, or will they be ok at 450-500F?

Score the loaf?  Other ideas or tips?

-Nico

 

Ford's picture
Ford

I use aluminum loaf pans for my sandwich bread with no problem.  Brush them with solid shortening or butter before adding the dough.  I also score the loaf after it has risen well above the top of the pan.  The dough for a 2 qt size, 9 5/8" x 5 1/2" x 2 3/4", pan weighs about 34 oz.

The melting point of aluminum is 660°C or 1220°F.

Ford

nasv's picture
nasv

Thanks Ford, good to know.  I have used them extensively for sandwich breads, but never for what I'm thinking of attempting as a crusty lean loaf.  Do you get good crumb with these too?

-Nico

Ford's picture
Ford

I guess that is a matter of taste -- it suits me.  I do place a pan of boiling water under the baking shelf for the first 15 minutes, and during this period the oven temperature is 450°F (232°C).   Then, I lower the temperature to 350°F (177°C) for about 40 additional minutes.  My hydration is about 77%.  I have a pizza baking stone on the baking shelf.

Ford

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I periodically use a loaf pan for baking artisan breads; no problem.  Yes, I do score the loaf (about 1/2 - 3/4 inches deep) prior to oven loading.  The baking time may differ; watch the internal temp.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

even if you bake at the higher temperature typically used for freeform (artisan) loaves. The exposed top of the loaf may develop a crust, but, since you're using aluminum bread pans, I suspect the sides will not. Also, the crumb of the dough baked in the loaf pan will probably not be very open.

There's no problem using a recipe for freeform / artisan bread and turning it into a sandwich loaf by baking it in a loaf pan at 350 - 375F (a typical temperature range for pan breads) as long as the hydration isn't really high. You end up with a sandwich/loaf-style bread with the softer crust typical of this kind of baking.

Are you trying to achieve the crisp crust one expects in artisan breads by baking the dough in a loaf pan at high temperature? If this is your aim, please do post back on the result of your experiment.

nasv's picture
nasv

Thanks for the note - it is kind of an experiment, I'm not totally sure what to expect.  I don't want a sandwich type of loaf with the softer crust and the more regular closed crumb, but more of an oblong "crusty" and "irregular" bread.  The idea stemmed from reading about some french whole-wheat breads that are baked in box shaped bread pans with some cheese, so I was curious if anyone else had also tried this.  The hydration of the bread would be around 80% for white flour, 85% for WW.

-Nico

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

throw-away aluminum pan for baking, roasting, etc.  Before the last proof, I sprinkled cornmeal into the bottom and proofed my bread in one of them. I preheated the oven to 465 F with a small pan of water for moisture.  When the bread was proofed, I sprayed it with some water, scored the top about three times and put it into the oven with the second pan on top for moisture protection. After 10 minutes, I removed the top and the water pan and baked an additional 35 minutes at 425F. When it was finished, the crust was thin and crisp and a nice gringe from scoring the dough.  I also have a cloche and a Römertopf and a dutch oven, but as you can see, one can achieve beautiful loaves with the least expensive materials.   Anna

nasv's picture
nasv

Wow that is pretty and inspiring... more ideas!!! :D

How was the crumb for you?  How much dough, about 2000g?

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

but I use the simple 1-2-3 recipe, in this case 200 g biga, 400 g water and 600 g of bread flour. I also use 1 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast and 9 g of salt, along with some spices such as anise and cardamon. 

Anna

sam's picture
sam

That is great!    I like the square shape and great crust.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Lovely bread. Still would like to know if the *sides* are as crusty as one would achieve by baking it freeform on a stone. (Can't quite tell from the photo). Also, do you get an open crumb with this method or is it a more even crumb more typical of bread baked in a loaf pan.

Looking forward to your response - SF

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

During baking, the dough actually pulls away from the aluminum walls, therefore allowing much air to do its job properly.  The crumb is not too open (the way I like it since I love butter and I don't want it to drip through the hot bread).  Try a small loaf. The pans cost pennies.

anna

Here is a crumb shot from a bread made a couple of days later. It is about 3 days old but you get the idea :)

 

kandy's picture
kandy

I've used both alum. and glass loaf pans and have gotten very crusty bread.  I also use my 9 inch spring form pan for artisan bread, very crusty and perfectly shape, slices nicely.