The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sheet pan versus Cookie Sheet?

vink's picture

Sheet pan versus Cookie Sheet?

I had been using a pizza stone, but after I read several blogs (Susan, dmsnyder) getting great results with baking on a sheet pan with parchment, I decided to bake my bread last night on a sheet pan. I only had cookie sheets, and so I used one of them. To steam, I coverd with a steel bowl. 

About a minute after I put in the pan and covered it with the bowl, I heard a popping sound, and when I looked, the pan looked like it had bent slightly .. the sides looked like they were pointing up, whereas the portion with the bread in the center was still touching the rack. Also, the bowl didn't look completely flat.  No damage, so I left it as is and finished the bake. The crust wasn't as crunchy as I expected, but pretty good results overall. 

I left the pan in the oven, but this morning, everything looks hunky dory and th pan looks flat.


- Should I get something thicker, advertised as a "sheet pan"?

- Anyone have any similar issues?  I would prefer not to waste the time and energy to heat up the pizza stone if I don't need to.  Thanks in advance!


dwcoleman's picture

Sheet pans have rolled edges which help prevent them from warping.  You may still experience some minor warps, but nothing like a cookie sheet.

mrfrost's picture

Get a true (home sized)sheet pan definitely. They are work horses.

At least get one. After having one, I'm sure if you could have only a sheet pan or cookie sheet, you'd choose the sheet pan without a second thought. Before I baked bread, I'm sure I never even heard of one, but I bought a less than $10 Nordic ware 13 x 18" pan, and I use it for just about everything. I bake a lot of rolls and buns though. and I still use a stone(usually), with the pan on top of it.(I think a good stone still helps for a more even and faster bake).

It's never even felt like it wanted to flex or warp, even a little bit in the 2 years I've been using it(about twice per week).

vink's picture

Thanks for clarifying the difference between a sheet pan and a cookie sheet. I had no idea! I took a quick look on Amazon, and it looks like there are two possible sizes: quarter sheet 9 (13x9 approximately) and half sheet (13x18?) If I were to get only one, which one would you recommend that allows me to bake two loafs in parallel? The 13x18 size would fit inside the oven, so I am leaning towards that (even if I get a couple) because it would be more versatile, but I thought I would ask ..

Thanks again!

(PS: I also see the same sheet pans with plastic covers, those seem to make sense for cakes, but not very useful for bread, so I was going to skip that since it would take more room with the covers.)

dablues's picture

I have serveral half sheet pans and use it for foccacia.  Breads, I bake on a stone. 

mrfrost's picture

I'd definitely start out with the half sheet(13 x 18).

Personally, for my habits and had I been wiser at the time, I would have bought one with a cover(hopefully one with a decently high cover). Again, I bake a lot of rolls, and at least one pan with a dedicated cover would be great for proofing/baking them.

BrattyCook's picture

I have all kinds and sizes because w/ 2 ovens that are true convection, I can bake using 4 pans at a time.  It depends on the temperature and the weight of the pan used.  Thinner metal will warp quicker than the thicker etc.  I have 4 very heavy, dark coated pans that give great browning, but at temps of 475 and up, they will flex/warp.  When buying a pan, pay attention to what the thickness of the metal is.