The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Question About Loaf Pans

Rosalie's picture

A Question About Loaf Pans

This is more of a general baking question than a bread baking question. But then the web site is called "The Fresh Loaf" - and the question is about loaf pans.

A recipe I made the other day - Pear Bread, and boy! is it good! - called for two 8x4 inch loaf pans. I have 8.5x4.5 inch loaf pans. I ended up using one 8x8 inch square pan. Some recipes call for 9x5 inch pans. lists capacities of these three loaf pans at 4 cups, 6 cups, and 8 cups respectively, so fudging is not necessarily inconsequential.

My question is whether other people out there keep all three sizes around or what. Furthermore, while we're at it, do you use Pyrex (like mine) or metal?


yy's picture

Hi Rosalie


I have two 8x4 metal loaf pans and one 8.5 x 4.5 pyrex one. I use the metal ones more often, not because loaves bake better in them, but because the pans have neater, square corners as opposed to the rounded pyrex corners. As for size, I don't think you need all those sizes. It's more an issue of personal preference. Any recipe should be able to work in any sized pan. Just be prepared to adjust baking time and temperature, and not to take what the recipe says as gospel. For example, if you're using a 9x5 loaf pan rather than a 8x8 square pan, you might want to drop the temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for longer to allow the center to set.

PaddyL's picture

I have all sorts of baking pans, from 8" to 9" square and round, to various sizes of loaf pans, plus all those springform pans I seldom use, and steamed pudding molds I've used for fancy bread, and assorted sizes, round and square and ring and Bundt, for anything that takes my fancy.  I think I've made bread in all of them.

MangoChutney's picture

I have a variety of sizes and styles of loaf pan. The only type I use for convection baking is USA steel non-stick pans. I have some Mirro aluminum non-stick pans that I use for combination convection-microwave baking. I doubt that I would bake loaves in Pyrex loaf pans simply because I have childhood memories of scrubbing stuck stuff out of glass baking dishes. Lasagna was the worst, but meatloaf was no picnic either. I realize that bread probably comes out of glass dishes much more cleanly than those entrees, but the memories are lodged firmly and I am happy with my USA pans. The Mirro pans are not as good, but I can't use steel pans in combination microwave-convection baking.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I have ONLY Pyrex loaf pans.  I'm not sure I would ever have a need for anything else.  I have no idea what size they are - different sizes, LOL!  I use whatever fits.  I'd check before making up a recipe and adjust accordingly (comparing the size called for in the recipes to the size(s) I have).

Don't trust JoB's pan volumes - she repeats the same incorrect table that is spread all over the net. I forget which ones are off, but the ones that are off, are off by a LOT.  One of these days I swear I am going to publish a correct pan volume list, but in the meantime, I think the one on the Wilton site is pretty correct.  Don't know if they include loaf pans though.

My pyrex loaf pans are vintage - the new ones are deeply sloped (compared to a much slighter slope on the older ones).  I use the new one I have to store rolled up dishclothes.  It's just too weirdly shaped to try to actually bake anything in it, unless you actually WANT something pretty much Pyramid shaped.

Rosalie's picture

The area in an 8x4 is 32 square inches. In a 9x5 is 45. The middle one is 38.25. I didn't confirm Joy of Baking's volumes and I should have. But still, the largest one is 40% larger than the smallest. The numbers seem so close, but if the recipe calls for the smallest size and I use the largest, it's going to spread out more and be quite a bit shallower. So, yes, I would have to adjust. I just wondered if others worried about this.