The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Should I get a pullman loaf pan?

adelie's picture

Should I get a pullman loaf pan?

So I'm really obsessed with baking sandwich loaves, and I've noticed it seems like every bread baker has a pullman loaf pan. I use a regular, open-top 9x5 loaf pan for most of my sandwich loaf baking, and it works out great. But there are just so many bakers that swear by the pullman loaf pan. How come they are so popular? Other than shape, does the pullman loaf pan result in a loaf that's any different?

I've been debating whether a pullman loaf pan is worth getting, because the square shape that pullman loaves are really growing on me. However, it also seems that they are relatively pricey in comparison to a regular loaf pan (generally $30+). Right now, I’m unsure whether it is something worth investing in. If anyone has any thoughts or advice, I would greatly appreciate it! Also, if anyone can recommend any good brands, that would also be very helpful. 

love's picture

I'm also curious about that. 

Generally I tend to avoid buying stuff if I can work with what I have. But then after a long resistance I usually end up giving in and buy the thing. But it's probably a good practice, because I usually only want one thing at a time.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I ran into a Pullman with the right price tag, low.  

Because it's shiny  (and I prefer a tasty dark crust) tend to use it more for sweet doughs and fruitcakes.  Think of it more as a narrow shaped pan with a lid.  Can get similar effects with a double layer of foil tightly sealed to a normal sized pan or invert a twin pan over the top (if possible) to trap in steam.   My Pullman pan is lurking somewhere in the attic in a box of kitchen extras that get used once a year.  Like the mini springform pans & cherry pitter.

clazar123's picture

I find most of my pans at thrift stores and estate sales. Buying new pans is always costly and I won't do it unless it will be used really often.

For sandwich loaves I like a wide pan slice. I use a rectangular corning casserole dish as I couldn't find a wide pan loaf in metal. Easy to find and cheap. I have 2 other sandwich pans I like to use-one is a round, unlined/uncoated can; the other is a long, rectangular angelfood cake pan with taller sides. The can I found perusing the canned goods aisle in the grocery store. You do need to make sure it is not coated inside with anything that will be transferred to your baked product with the oven heat-more difficult to find these days.

So before you spend beaucoup bucks on an expensive pan, open your cupboard and use your imagination.

gillpugh's picture

Mini - you have just made up my mind for me. I've been looking at some on Amazon and have it in my saved box, but it's quite expensive and I only want it to make some rye bread.  I've never made it and I love the look of the bread the Pullman gives me.  Now I know I'm not going to make lots of rye bread, so I'm going to do what you suggest, and improvise.....  until,I see that discounted tin !!

dabrownman's picture

baking stuff at Goodwill.  But my Prized Pullman came from a Fresh Lofian as a gift and it is a prized possession for sure and I use it often mainly for Rye Beads without the lid and Pan De Mie / Hokkaido Milk Bread with it on.  It is prized because I think of her every time I use it - she is the best!  I suggest dropping hints that it would make a nice special gift and, while you wait, look out for one at Goodwill:-)  

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I put one on my Christmas list one year, and my hubby bought it for me. I have used it two or three times (great for Pain de Mie, of course) and it does make wonderful square loaves. However, I am just as likely to use my Fat Daddios pans (they have quite straight sides too) with a steam table pan upended over the top to keep the steam in. As Mini says, the Pullman pan is on a high shelf in the basement along with the cannelle molds (and I also have mini cake pans and such too). :)

Put it on your gift wish list, and keep an eye out for used ones that people like Mini and I are donating to thrift stores. :)

Justanoldguy's picture

I have a 4x4x9 Pullman pan and it works out well for my abbreviated household (two old folks). It will easily bake almost a week's worth of bread for the two of us. I much prefer it to the other pans we've used in the past. Yeah, it was more expensive than the stamped out aluminum pans that you encounter everywhere but so what? If I only pay for it once and use it all the time then it's cheap in the long run. If I want a domed loaf I leave the top off. If I want a Pullman loaf I'll lid it. In that sense it's more versatile than most alternatives.