How to Prepare a Bread Pan

Fresh baked bread

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Are you tired of your bread getting stuck in the pan? There's a simple solution and it requires a well-greased pan.

Once you learn the basic technique for greasing your pan, your loaf of bread will fall right out after it's baked. The good news is that it's easy and you probably have everything you need right there in the kitchen.

How to Grease a Bread Pan

Properly greasing the bread pan is essential to getting the baked loaf of bread out after you pull it from the oven. There are a number of items you can use, including shortening, butter, or cooking oil

To make it even easier, you can coat the pan with a layer of coarse cornmeal. This won't adhere to the bread because it's not part of the dough, so there's no need to worry that it will alter your recipe.

  1. Grease the loaf pan thoroughly using shortening, cooking oil, or butter.
  2. Spread it evenly on the bottom and all sides of the pan using your fingers or a folded paper towel. If you are baking a sweet dessert bread, stop here; the pan is ready to be used.
  3. For white or whole wheat bread, use coarse cornmeal to prevent sticking. Put a handful of cornmeal into the loaf pan and turn the pan so that the bottom and sides are covered.
  4. After the bread is baked, getting it out of the pan is as simple as turning the pan over. The bread will fall right out.

Skip the Pan

If you get frustrated with your bread pans, you can skip them entirely. They're not required for most white, wheat, and quick bread recipes that have a thick dough and you will have a perfectly delicious loaf of bread without the pan.

Your bread will not have that signature sandwich-style loaf shape. Instead, it will have more of a rounded artisanal look like the bakery offers. The slices make perfect sandwiches and many people actually prefer the shape over the traditional sandwich loaf.

Rather than a loaf pan, shape your bread dough. After pinching close the seams, place the loaf onto a greased cookie sheet, then let it rise and bake it as you normally would. For this purpose, spray oil works perfectly and there's no need to include cornmeal because it can't get stuck in the pan.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you are using butter, do not leave clumps of butter in the pan.
  • Save your butter wrappers and use them to grease the loaf pan.
  • Spray oils will work as well, though you'll want to ensure that you get even coverage. Use a paper towel to spread it out into a thin layer rather than spraying more than needed.
  • If you're using oil, be sure to sop up any puddles that form in the pan. They tend to build up slowly over the first few minutes—especially in the corners and along the edges—as the oil slides down the sides.