## Bread tin frustration

Hi

I'm increasingly frustrated by bread tin sizes so much so that I've done a mini study of (supposed) 2lb loaf tins.

You've probably noticed that manufacturers usually show the external dimensions of tins. While these are obviously easier to measure they are of little use since many tins have lips or handles which increases the dimensions. However, many do state that their tins are either 1lb, 2lb or 3lb.

So I've looked at 2lb bread tins and where available I've used internal dimensions or otherwise measured them myself.

Measurements are in centimeters, volumes in litres.

My main Tin:

L: 24.5

W: 12

H: 7.5

Volume: 2

My new non-stick tin:

L: 21.5

W: 11.25

H: 6.5

V: 1.4

Hollywood's recommended tin size:

L: 24

W: 14

H: 7.5

V: 2.5 (my calculation)

Prestige Create:

L:22

W: 11

H: 6

V: 1.5 (my calculation)

Prestige Inspire:

L: 23

W:13

H:7

V: 2.1 (my calculation)

The Prestige tins were particularly puzzling since they are both listed as 2lb tins but with a significant size difference.

I contacted them about this and they apologized, saying that the website sizes were incorrect and should be:

Prestige Create:

L:30

W: 14

H: 8

V: 3.4 (my calculation)

Prestige Inspire:

L: 24

W: 14.5

H: 7

V: 2.4 (my calculation)

Now of course I realise that most tins are not straight sided and usually have a smaller bottom area than top.

With my tins I've taken this into account and adjusted the calculations accordingly.

However, as the above shows, the volume of a 2lb loaf varies widely.

In my experience this results in a less than perfect loaf.

Discuss...

Recently, I have been looking for an (almost) straight sided deep bread pan and I know your frustration. I have found that the best way to measure volume is to fill the tin/pan with water and then weigh it - then subtract the weight of the empty tin. Then I compare that result with a known tin of mine (in my case my ancient standard 1lb loaf pan) and that gives me a factor (eg say 1.3 times) which I use to calculate the required amount of dough for the tin - it works.

Trying to calculate the volume of a sloping sided tin accurately is difficult

Measure the bottom and the top, add and Divide by 2 to get the average mean. Use the mean to calculate volume. (Or measure the length and the width half way up the pan to avoid adding and dividing. The height stays the same unless you're into mushroom top loaves.)

Example: I don't have the tin but say the above Prestige Create tin is actually...

Lets say width is 14cm at the top and 11cm at the bottom. 14 + 11= 25 25/2= 12.5cm width

Length is 30cm at top and 28cm at the bottom 30 + 28 = 58 58/2 = 29cm length

Height is 8 cm

volume is 12.5 x 29 x 8 = 2900 cubic centimetres (divide by 1000) gives 2.9 kg water (instead of V = 3.4 kg)

The tricky part is bread dough does not weigh the same as water. Bread dough is lighter when it contains gas bubbles. This needs another step to determine the amount of dough.

I tend to just put my tin on a scales, set scale to 0 and fill with water to get the volume. For basic wheat breads, I tend to take half of the water volume for the bread dough for a first test run and then decide whether to tweak more dough or less after seeing the loaf. Heavier flours use more dough as they tend to rise less. This gives me more freedom to experiment with different pots, pans, tins, bowls, boxes, tubes, globes, trays, big, little, long, skinny, ceramic, glass, cans, etc. :)

I can never figure out how to interpret the sales description, "2 lb. pan." Does that means it holds two pounds of dough, two pounds of water or after baking roughly a two pound loaf? (same with kilos)

A one pound tin should hold 1 lb of water or half a pound of bread dough.

A 2 kg pan should hold 2 kilograms of water or around 1kg of bread dough.

Yes, I've used both methods to calculate volume and I do recalculate the ingredients to fit. For example my standard loaf uses 500 gm flour, 10 gm salt, 7 gm yeast and 320 ml water. When recalculated to fit one of my tins I end up with 236.8 gm water, 7.4 gm salt and 5.2 gm yeast! How silly is that? OK, so it's probably not absolutely necessary to measure to 10ths of a gram but even so...

But my point is this:

The examples I've listed are all volumes for supposed 2lb tins. Take the Prestige tins - how can they both be 2lb tins when the volumes are so different? What exactly do manufacturers mean when they state that their tin is a 2 pounder?

A 2lb tin I recently bought had a volume of 1.4 litres but included a recipe that called for 700 gm of flour. That's almost twice the amount the tin would take. How can they be so wrong?

For the next part of my mini study I'll be contacting a variety of tin manufacturers to ask for an explanation. I'll post the results here.

Hi Rupert,

Cut out the frustration - you/no amateur needs it - Baking bread is meant to be fun at home.

a) With your existing tins, trial and error will get you there pretty quickly. If you don't put sufficient dough in then use more next time, if you have too much dough for the tin then make some rolls as there will likely be plenty of room in the oven for them with just one tin in there at the same time. Obviously the weight of dough will depend on the type of flour in the dough, as white wheat loaves rise more than wholewheat, all other things being equal.

b) If you are going to buy new tins then go to a supermarket and measure the sizes of loaves you wish to bake then buy the same size (Internal dimensions) tins and revert to a) above to determine dough weight. Just over half full before final proofing is a good place to start for white wheat loaves.

I teach at many different locations with their own (Various size) tins and I feel sure that you will soon learn how much dough is appropriate for each tin - Lets face it, unless you are a professional baker selling your product it doesn't matter exactly how much the finished loaf weighs.

Happy baking,

Brian

Sounds like a study in frustration. Yours! Let it go, most of those recipes are part of the advertising and are picked out by the layout people not the baking people and many are double recipes. Trying to sell two tins!

If I take half of 700g with a 60% hydration dough comes out roughly to 570g. Which is roughly 1.25 lbs of dough for each pan and that would be a nice starting amount in a 2 lb tin. Anywhere from 50 to 65% of the water weight in the tin plus a little to rise above it. That doesn't apply to my heavy ryes though, they are heavier.

I have gotten into the habit of writing with permanent ink, the dry and the water weight, on the bottom of my pans. Some bowls too.

None of the sizes you mention are really loaf tins, in my opinion. At least, they're not suitable for baking what we know as a sandwich loaf here in the UK because they're far too shallow. I think the problem is that they're made as part of a baking set in countries where bread looks very different from ours and were never originally intended for baking bread at all. When they're imported into this country they're the closest tin in the set to a loaf tin, so that's what they're called by the people marketing them. People who, I'm certain, can never have made a loaf of bread in their lives.

I spent ages trying to get normal looking loaves out of those trough-like things until I found these: https://www.kitchenscookshop.co.uk/bakeware/bread-making/loaf-tins/heavy-gauge-loaf-pan-2lb which I highly recommend. I keep the troughs for making sticky toffee pudding, for which they're ideal.

There's a 4lb tin in the same range. When I first ordered I bought one of each size but I've never used the larger one, as the slices from the loaves the smaller one produces are plenty big enough for us. If you're a trencherman, however, then you might find the larger tin useful for producing your trenchers. ;-)

Disclaimer: I have no connection with either the manufacturer or the retailer of the loaf pans. I'm just a very satisfied customer.

[Later]

And here's one in use, with a cut loaf (spelt and emmer) to show the slice proportions.

This is a bit distorted, due to the use of a very wide-angle lens. I'm a landscape photographer, not a food photographer!

I see what you're talking about.

http://www.breadmatters.com/bread-tins

and

https://creedsdirect.co.uk/category/8560/bread-tins1

but note on the 2nd site they have several variants of the same size tin - probably to fit into various (commercial) ovens, racks, etc.

-Gordon

Somewhere that sells loaf-shaped tins. How did I miss that site?

Furthermore, on many of their tins they state the capacity. I just ordered one of the steel 2lb Heavy Gauge Loaf Pans. Thanks for that.

Strange that wherever one looks almost all '2lb' tins have a different size/capacity ranging from 1.6 to 2.5 so I guess it's just a case of recalculating your ingredients most of the time.

Hey Ho.

Easily done. It took me a long time, and several wasted purchases, before I found it.

Jon, I can no longer find the tin on the site you mentioned. DO you know anywhere else I can get it? Can I use recipes that call for a 2lb loaf tin with one of these larger tins?

...neither could I when I wanted to buy some more, despite extensive searching. I assume they're no longer in production.

I did, eventually, find some tins of a very similar size and shape, but non-stick coated, which have proven to be pretty good. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I ordered them from and, despite a thorough search of my computer, can't find an invoice or even an order confirmation.

Whether you can use a larger tin to bake your recipe would depend on how much bigger the tin is and what shape loaf you'd be willing to accept, I suppose. There's no practical reason I can think of to prevent you doing so.

what recipe do you use to get your tall loaf?

...it's the quantity of dough and the shape of the tin which dictates the shape.

Yes, and just wondering what kind of flour measurement would roughly get the quantity of dough for a farmhouse tin. I'm guessing more than 500g?

... it was around 900g of dough.

For those in the UK,

https://www.bakerybits.co.uk/bakery-equipment/tins-trays-and-cases/bread-tins.html#rec_products

is a brilliant site for loaf tins like the one above, and pretty much everything else.