The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pullman Pans: Will they steam bread?

cor's picture

Pullman Pans: Will they steam bread?

I want to make some loaves like we do in my bakery's massive wood-fired oven, but in a home oven.  It's a 100% whole wheat/whole rye with hydration at 100% or more.  So it needs a high temperature and steam to get the crust and color.  We bake these in uncovered pullman pans and COMPELTELY fill the oven up and seal it closed, producing a massive amount of steam. 


I've only seen pullman pans with lids used for white sandwich bread.  Does a lidded pullman pan hold in the steam created by the bread, the way in which a Dutch oven will?  Don't want to mess around with throwing icecubes in a hot pan/misting the inside/other nonsense that can ruin my oven.  The bread does not rise up to and above the tops of the pans, so a lid would not impair the bread in that respect.  Any help you might have.  Plan on placing the pans onto preheated fibrament stone to bake.


Otherwise, I'm looking to get a huge Dutch oven that can accomodate an uncovered loaf pan.

maojn's picture

I used pullman with lids all the time. They are just fine without problem. The dough is usually 70-75% hydration for mine. See the end of this post for pictures. It's in chinese but just look at the picture. This video has picture too.

The thing is you need to understand the oven spring of your dough and don't put too much dough in it. Otherwise the dough will invade intot the seam and you will have hard time open the lid.

sunyfun's picture

I have had great success using the Pullman Loaf Pan with a lid to create the same crust that a dutch oven produces.  Recently, I have allowed the shaped loaf in the pan to sit out from the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking. I also place the pan on a preheated pizza stone with the lid on for 20 minutes and another 15 minutes without (I remove it from the pan after 10 and place it directly on the stone to even out the browning.)

I posted a picture of my first loaf using the Pullman pan instead of a dutch oven on the following posting:

I have found using the loaf pan to bake the Tartine Country Loaf makes it easier to slice to make sandwiches.

I have also discovered that you can use almost anything to create the closed environment of a dutch oven--a pizza stone with just a disposable tin pan (taller ones) serving as a cover works or a turned over stainless steel bowl on top of the round loaves on a baking stone.


loafgeek's picture

Can I have a link to your Country Tartine Loaf?  Btw, I do the same thing you do with Pullman.. bake with it on a pizza stone with the lid on part of the time--to trap in the steam--and it works well.