Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Baking is increasingly becoming a trend, not least due to influential TV chefs. Whether banana bread, wholemeal bread or a simple farmer's bread - often home-baked breads are in no way inferior to the products at the bakery, are usually cheaper and can be individually adapted to one's own taste. Apart from the ingredients, all you need is a bread tin.

However, the variety of bread moulds available on the market is immense. However, the products differ in essential criteria, including the material, the shape and the price. Therefore, we present various models, compare them with each other and can thus work out significant aspects and make recommendations.




The most important facts

  • A bread pan can help hobby bakers make homemade bread look and taste like it came from the bakery.
  • There are different materials, sizes and shapes, each with advantages and disadvantages for different types of bread.
  • The material is not only decisive in terms of the type of bread, but also whether it is dishwasher safe and whether it is necessary to grease the mould before use.

The Best Bread Pan: Our Picks

Bread Pan: Buying and evaluation criteria

To help you find the right bread mould, we have put together some buying criteria that you should consider when buying. These should help you to adapt the product to your intention in order to make the right choice. The criteria to consider include:

In order for you to be aware of your preferences with regard to these criteria, we will go into more detail in each case.

Material

The most striking difference between the various bread moulds is the material. The most common are made of steel, silicone, clay or enamel and each has specific advantages and disadvantages.

Bread moulds made of steel are robust, durable and suitable for sourdough, as there is no reaction between the dough and the bread mould.

Bread moulds made of silicone score particularly well with their non-stick effect, but are not suitable for very liquid doughs due to their low dimensional stability. A material that has been tried and tested for decades is clay, which, when used correctly, produces a crispy crust.

However, clay requires some experience in baking and is rather unsuitable for very sticky doughs. More expensive bread moulds are made of enamel. These score particularly well with their scratch resistance and heat conductivity, thus enabling energy-saving baking, but are quite heavy in comparison.

Size and filling volume

Another important criterion is the size of the bread pan, because this is decisive for the size of your bread. Some manufacturers specify the filling volume in grams or kilograms, others in litres.

You should therefore think about your storage space, but above all about your household or the people for whom you are baking. A rather small loaf tin is suitable for a loaf of approx. 500 g, a medium loaf tin for approx. 750 g and a large tin for approx. 1000 g.

Shape

The shape of the bread tin is not only relevant when it comes to the appearance of the bread. In some recipes, a specific shape is explicitly advised, as it leads to the best result. The most common shapes are the loaf tin, the round loaf tin, the toast tin, the oval tin or the baguette tin. There are even bread moulds with motifs, for example a heart, a flower or a star - but then it is really all about the look.

Colour

The colour depends on the material and is usually offered in natural silver or black in steel, for example, but it is offered in greater variety, especially with materials such as silicone. However, this criterion should not be decisive for your purchase decision.

Cleaning

Two criteria are decisive for cleaning: the coating and dishwasher resistance.

A non-stick coating should prevent the bread from sticking to the baking tin and make it easy to remove the finished bread.

Furthermore, coated bread moulds, such as those made of silicone, do not need to be greased. Bread moulds without a non-stick coating, on the other hand, should be greased before use to prevent the dough from sticking.

If you want to put the bread tin in the dishwasher, you should also pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions, as not all are dishwasher safe. Bread moulds made of steel, enamel and silicone are usually dishwasher-safe, but ceramic, tin or clay are not.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about bread pans answered in detail

Now we would like to answer the most important questions about choosing a suitable bread mould. These can help you make the final purchase decision.

For whom is a bread pan suitable?

If you like baking, have already tried your hand at making some bread and plan to do so more often in the future, you should definitely buy a bread mould. This will save you time by not having to shape the bread yourself and you can also try out more unusual shapes.

Brotform

A bread mould makes it easier to bake your own bread and produces a result like this, which looks like it's fresh from the bakery. (Image source: Jørgen Håland/ Unsplash)

The bread mould helps to create an even shape, which makes the bread look like it came from the bakery. You can also use the mould for other dishes, such as casseroles. Because the dough only has to be filled into the mould, you save a lot of moulding time. A mould like the one in the photo is only possible with a loaf tin.

What does a bread pan cost?

The price of a bread tin depends, among other things, on the material and the brand. We have compiled a list in which we have determined the three price categories in relation to the material.

Price class Materials
Low-priced (10 - 20 €) Silicone
Medium-priced (20 - 40 €) steel, silicone or partly also enamel
High-priced (40 - 110 €) enamel, ceramic, clay

Products can of course also be outside their price range defined for the material. This depends in particular on the brand.

Should the bread pan have a lid?

Whether your bread pan should have a lid depends on what type of bread you want to bake. Some recipes recommend a lid, especially for breads with a long baking time at very high temperatures. The lid will then cause the bread to brown evenly and prevent the bread from turning black. We recommend using a lid for breads baked at 200 degrees and above. Otherwise, however, a lid is not absolutely necessary.

What should I use to grease my bread pan?

As already mentioned, uncoated bread moulds should definitely be greased before use to prevent the dough from sticking to the mould. However, greasing coated bread moulds can also help the bread to lift out more easily and should therefore be considered. Butter and oil are suitable for this purpose. However, care should be taken to ensure that the oil is sufficiently heat-resistant so that it does not pose a risk of illness.

How do I clean bread pans that are not dishwasher-safe?

If the bread mould is not dishwasher-safe according to the manufacturer's instructions, it should preferably be cleaned by hand. To do this, use warm water, a little washing-up liquid and a sponge that does not attack or detach the surface of the bread tin. Particular care should be taken with coated moulds, as a detached coating can cause harmful substances to enter the bread. In this case, the bread mould should no longer be used.

What alternatives are there to bread pans?

You do not necessarily need a bread tin to bake your own bread. Especially if the dough is very firm, it is sufficient to shape the dough with your hands and place it on the baking tray. Alternatively, cake tins can also be used, as long as they are sufficiently heat-resistant.

Conclusion

For hobby bakers who like to bake bread themselves frequently, a bread mould is actually indispensable. Even though we have seen that there are alternatives, a good bread mould makes the work much easier, not to mention the improved appearance of the bread. A bread mould therefore leads to faster, easier and improved baking.

Before buying, you should consider which types of bread you primarily want to bake, whether you want to put the bread mould in the dishwasher and whether you also want to use the mould for other purposes - and choose the right bread mould for you accordingly.

(Cover photo: Sophie Dale/ Unsplash)

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