The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Non-browning crust in cast iron

brshoemak's picture

Non-browning crust in cast iron

Just recently switched to cast iron loaf pans, which are terrific compared to cheapo metal loaf pans IMO. The problem I am having is that while the top of the loaves are nice and brown, the sides touching the cast iron are soft, white, and bordering on soggy.  I'm wondering if it has to do with the prepping of the the pans (not talking about seasoning cast iron, because that's fine).

The cast iron is sprayed with canola oil, not sure if using butter would make a difference.  Also, the final rise is done in the loaf pans - they sit on the top of the oven with the oven heated to around 250 degrees to help with the rise, but the pans are not preheated when they go into the oven.

The recipe is a slight variation of this recipe in case that helps.  It's not meant to be an incredible crusty bread, but some color would be nice.  

This is my first post on the forum, so please let me know if there is any additional information that should be included in any thread.  TIA for any insights.


Shai's picture

If I understand correctly, you are saying that you insert the dough in a not pre-heate d cast iron pan.

If so your problem is due to the higher mass and lower heat coconduction of the iron compared to the thin, light and highly conductive aluminum. 

The iron pan simply takes to long to heat up, and this heat is mostly stored in the metal instead of being transferred to the bread. 

Pre heat the pan before placing the loaf in it and the bread will rise like mad and crisp up much more. 

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

I'm curious why you feel the cast iron pans are "terrific", and so much better than thin pans?

dabrownman's picture

tin pans are far and away the better choice.  It's not like ypu are heating a DO to scorching hot before loading the dough it and covering.  It would work if your oaf pan came with a cover or you use two of them one turned over the other like a DO.

You can use your CI loaf pan to make corn bread though