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Tips & Tricks

Which Bread Pan is Right For Me

By: Lodge Cast Iron / August 23, 2023

Bread bakers and cast iron go hand in hand! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, we’ll help you find the piece of bakeware that fits your bread-baking style.  

Honey Oat Loaf

Loaf Pan 

The 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan is our go-to for quick bread and it’s a standard piece in any baker’s kitchen. This is the size that most recipes call for, making it great for your favorite cozy bakes like banana bread and pumpkin bread. It also works well for smaller, yeasted loaves like cinnamon raisin bread or chocolate babka. It’s the perfect pan for anyone who’s just getting into a bread-baking hobby: even if you’re just starting out, this loaf pan will bake loaves that make you feel like a pro. Cast iron provides excellent heat retention, which encourages even baking in the oven. Plus, the well-defined sidewalls produce beautiful loaves that look like they came from a bakery. 

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Chocolate Babka Loaves Recipe

Large Loaf Pan 

This pan has a sweet and savory side. The larger size makes it ideal for loaf cakes, but it’s also the king of making high-rise sandwich bread. The 10 x 5 inch and 9 cup capacity provides plenty of room for recipes that yield larger loaves and the tall sidewalls encourage the bread to rise up. The result? Sandwich bread that looks like a loaf that you’d buy in a bakery or grocery store—but tastes even better. Size comes into play when you’re baking loaf cakes, too! These recipes typically call for a cooking vessel that’s larger than the 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan that you might already have in your kitchen for making quick bread. When you fill your pan with dough or batter, you want it to be  ⅔ of the way full. If you overfill the pan, your bread won’t cook evenly. If these types of recipes are in your baking rotation often, a larger loaf pan is a great tool to have in your kitchen. 

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Large and small loaf

Dutch Oven 

An enameled dutch oven or cast iron dutch oven will bake up delicious crusty breads like a roasted garlic loaf or honey oat loaf. Of course, it’s also the star bread baking vessel for anyone who just ordered a sourdough starter (we see you, we love you!). Cast iron provides great heat retention, which creates the perfect environment for getting a crisp and golden crust on your loaf. As the bread bakes, all of the moisture is captured in the dutch oven. This keeps the dough stretchy and flexible as it cooks and prevents the crust from forming too fast. That means picture-perfect loaves every single time.

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Roasted Garlic Loaf

Baker’s Skillet 

If you’re in the habit of sharing batches of homemade biscuits or rolls, the Baker’s Skillet is the perfect partner for the job because it delivers a steady heat for even cooking. And that's what you need to get a nice crust on the outside while maintaining a tender, flaky center. Biscuit expert Erika Council even suggests preheating your skillet in the oven for 10 minutes before adding your biscuits—as you would with cornbread—to enhance the crust. 

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BW10BSK Baker's Skillet

Pizza Pan 

Reach for this pan if you have a knack for baking free-form bread like challah, naan, bagels, and baguettes. Experiment (and perfect!) loaves of bread that are carefully braided, twisted, and formed into beautiful creations. You won't have sidewalls in the way, so you’ll have plenty of room to evenly bake multiple loaves at a time. And when you take your loaves out of the oven, you can slide them right off the pan to cool and get your next batch in the oven. 

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Braided Challah Loaves Recipe

Baking Pan 

This one’s for the focaccia lovers. The large surface area and low sidewalls of the Baking Pan make it the perfect canvas for perfecting your focaccia recipe. We love to top ours with rosemary and red onion, but the sky’s the limit! What’s the key to great focaccia? Olive oil. And lots of it! The short lip around the baking pan keeps the oil in place, while giving your focaccia plenty of room to rise up in the oven. That olive oil, combined with cast iron’s great heat retention, will help you get the delicious, crisp golden-brown crust and chewy center that make us love focaccia. 

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Bake it 'til you make it!

Check out more cast iron baking tips and tricks. 
Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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