The Fresh Loaf

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Cooking to make round loaves of bread's picture

Cooking to make round loaves of bread

I have been reviewing options on Amazon for making bread in round loaves (as many of the pictures).  I can't find what I a looking for, but then realized I don't know what is recommended.  I'd like not to spend a fortune with high-end items but what are good items for a 2-pound whole wheat (100%)  loaf of bread?  There are hundreds of options for 9 X 5 rectangles, but I don't see deep enough baking bowls that I think I would need.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

You probably need a proofing basket, aka banneton, aka brotform. There should be dozens of options on Amazon, they should indicate for what amount of dough they are appropriate.'s picture

Then I would proof and then bake in the banneton itself?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

No, you can't bake in the bannetons, you need to get the bread out and bake on a tray, stone, or in a dutch oven.'s picture

What is the advantage of a banneton over, say, a mixing bowl I cover with a towel?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

You can use a bowl, no problem. The banneton would work a little better since it allows moisture to escape from the outside of the loaf and this forms a tighter skin that is easier to score and forms a nice crust. Also I'd say the bannetons tend to be less sticky than just a towel, so you need much less flour when proofing. Not a huge difference in general. IMO the nicest thing about a banneton is that it can be non-round, actually, and allows you to shape bread as a batard. I prefer that shape to round boules.'s picture

You have been kind to answer my Newbie questions.  Thank you. 

Is there a 9-inch Banneton from Amazon you would recommend?  Some comments said there is a concern for lead leaching from cheaper ones, possibly an over-reaction.

Once the bread has completed its rise, what do you recommend as a round baking pan to bake it in?  I see every possible style of rectangle baking pans (and I use a high-quality one that releases the loaves perfectly), but don't see deeper round baking pans on Amazon?  For a 1 1/2- 2 pound bread loaf, what would you recommend (on Amazon)?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Can't recommend any particular products from Amazon, sorry. Don't see how there could be lead to be honest, they are made from plant material of some sort normally (rattan most often, sometimes would pulp).

I don't think round baking pans exist, certainly not a common thing - the beautiful artisanal (often sourdough) loaves you might see around are baked in a dutch oven, or on a baking stone (or steel) with addition of steam. If that's what you are looking for... Otherwise please share a picture of what kind of bread you are looking to bake.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The kind of round loaf you want to make?  That might save a lot of questions and get better answers.

If you're  looking for a round loaf pan about 4 inches deep, try a sauce pan, deep cake pan or small dutch oven or a small deep frying pan, removing any handles that might burn or melt in the oven.  Many of the round loaves pictured are free standing loaves, that is, they are shaped and baked without forms but on a flat surface or inside a large baking vessel. Thare are a lot of variations.  

Many round and oval loaves are proofed in bannetons but not all, the idea behind the banneton is to remove some of the moisture of the outside "skin" of the loaf.  This compacting of the surface helps hold the loaf somewhat while baking.  Scoring or cutting this skin (most often on top) before baking helps direct the expansion of the loaf up during oven "spring" when the loaf often increases in size.  

Several layers of cloth in a deep bowl would work as a substitute and some colanders are about the right size to let the dough rise and dry just a bit.  The dough is allowed to proof or rise supported then removed or tipped out onto baking parchment paper or a floured tray, placed onto the baking surface and scored before going into the oven.

clazar123's picture

Baking bread does not require a lot of extra "stuff", esp when it is as costly as some of these items are. Take a look in your cupboard and re-purpose what you have. Casseroles (metal or Corningware) can be great  bread pans, if the shape can work for you. My favorite bread pan is a 1 1/2 qt rectangular corningware casserole.

If you want a long rectangle-try a rectangular angel food cake pan like this:

You can make one large loaf or ad large balls of dough to make 2-4 smaller loaves in the same pan.

Hit the thrift stores and estate sales. The only caveat being you need to be able to wash the item and know it wasn't used to store garden chemicals or other nasty things.

Also hot the local cheap goods stores (we have $1 stores here). Get a large plastic bowl for mixing and raising dough. If you want to get fancy, get a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Often available at thrift stores or estate sales. If you have a stand mixer, get an extra mixing bowl for it. I saw one at a flea market and that has been indispensible in recent years. I don't know why I didn't do t earlier in life-a Kitchenad 5 qt stainless steel  bowl.

Bannetons are something that seem "extra" to me but the people that use them regularly do like them. However, make sure they are WELL dusted with rice flour or your dough will stick and it is quite a mess and the loaf is often ruined. Same with a tea towel. I like using a well floured canvas for long loafs and just a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or oatmeal for boules. My pans are the rect.corning pan for a wide sandwich loaf and sometimes re-purpose cans for cylindrical loaves.

Look around your kitchen with a new eye. You already have a lot of what you need.

mariana's picture


there are two kinds of round breads. One is a free form round bread. It doesn't need a baking tin, a 'form". It rises on the flat surface or in a basket and then baked on a flat surface, free form. 


Some 'round' whole wheat breads are cylindrical in shape, they are baked in round or tubular baking tins. 

happycat's picture

First, shape the dough properly. You can use a bread roll shaping technique.

ie. flatten dough into a square and fold the corners into the centre

Turn dough over with folds against the counter

With hands on either side, turn and drag the dough against the counter while using the edges of your hands to tense the dough a bit under the bottom

Keep it up to seal the bottom and create a tense skin across the top

Lots of shaping videos on youtube.Then you can help things along by proofing it in a round pie dish with parchment paper to protect from sticking.

I made lots of boules that way.