Home » Resources » What Loaf Pan is Best? (Bread test #3)
What Loaf Pan is Best? (Bread test #3)
After years of people asking me what my favorite loaf pan is, and recommending some easy favorites, I began to ask the question…well I’ve always used these, or I love this new one, but is it really the best? Is there a BEST LOAF PAN out there? After testing different brands of bread flour and […]

Home » Resources » What Loaf Pan is Best? (Bread test #3)
What Loaf Pan is Best? (Bread test #3)
After years of people asking me what my favorite loaf pan is, and recommending some easy favorites, I began to ask the question…well I’ve always used these, or I love this new one, but is it really the best? Is there a BEST LOAF PAN out there? After testing different brands of bread flour and […]

stack of loaf pans

After years of people asking me what my favorite loaf pan is, and recommending some easy favorites, I began to ask the question…well I’ve always used these, or I love this new one, but is it really the best? Is there a BEST LOAF PAN out there?

After testing different brands of bread flour and then testing different kinds of mixers, it was time to test loaf pans.

While I couldn’t test them all, I chose 8 popular ones on the market, and tested them using identical variables. I used the exact same recipe, my tried and true classic sandwich bread we’ve been making for years. Of course they were also made at the same time and baked in the same oven. The only variable that was different was the loaf pan. And oh man, we got some results.

Loaf Pans Tested

The 8 loaf pans tested:

  1. GLASS (Anchor hocking)
  2. CERAMIC (Figment)
  3. CAST IRON (Lodge)
  4. SILICONE (Basic Amazon find)
  5. ALUMINUM (Nordicware)
  6. ALUMINUM (Nordicware, taller sides)
  7. ALUMINUM (Fat Daddio’s)
  8. ALUMINUM (USA Bakeware)
loaves of bread lined up
crumb structure of bread

What is the Best LOaf Pan?

This short video has a whole detailed break down showing each loaf close up with the results. Click on that to watch. Below I’ll list out the favorites.

Favorites from worst to best:

#8: Figment Ceramic

Ceramic is a slow heat conductor – slow to heat up and slow to cool down. While this works well for things like casseroles, I stay away from ceramic for my baked goods (breads, brownies, etc.) This loaf was one of the longest to bake. Had decent shape and ok browning consistency.

#7: Nordicware 9×5 Aluminum

Similar to Fat Daddios, it wasn’t the brand or material that bothered me as much as the style. It was also too shallow. So while I love Nordicware and actually swear by their sheet pans, this particular pan is a no for me.

#6: Silicone

Love that this is dishwasher safe, and always am a fan of silicone, and this particular pan had tall enough sides to give it a more classic shape. However, this had the most uneven browning of the loaves.

#5: Lodge Cast Iron

This baked evenly and had great shape. Cast iron will also out live you, but personally I find them bulky and heavy for the purpose of whipping out a bunch of sandwich bread loaves. I am a huge fan for my larger pans that I use for sourdough bread, but I haven’t reached for this one ever again ever since purchasing it.

#4: Anchor Hocking Glass

This is pretty much tied to #5 above and #3 below for the same reasons. All baked longer for about the same amount of time, and similarly, glass is a slow heat conductor. Glass and ceramic are dishwasher safe though, which is always a plus!

#3: Fat Daddio’s 9×5 Aluminum

Due to the pan’s shallow build, it didn’t support the lift of the bread as well, making the bread one of, if not the flattest of the bunch. So while it had even browning, and I love Fat Daddio’s other pans, this particular style is a no for me.

I DO love this smaller size of Fat Daddio’s and use them regularly. They bake up into perfectly medium loaves and I can get 3 loaves instead of 2 from my classic sandwich bread recipe. Nice that it stretches the batch a bit.

Because I love the smaller version of this brand of loaf pan, I let it get the #3 spot, but I can’t recommend this particular size.

#2: Nordicware Aluminum Pan

As we learned from above, we have to be careful of the style of these pans, but I LOVE this shape. They are high quality, but still a pretty modest price, so I own many of them and bake a TON with these pans. Plus I love this style with a handle, making it easy to get in and out of the oven and transfer to cooling racks.

*note, the link above is the newer model of my pan. Here is an almost identical pan with handles, just a different brand at a great price.

#1: USA Bakeware

Coming in at a higher price point, but unmatched in quality. These loaves bake up with perfect shape, have great heat conductivity being aluminum, and had the most even browning. My favorite aspect about this pan is that you don’t have to spray them! They are coated with a safe, long lasting nonstick as well as a corrugated design that makes baked goods slide right out and improves air flow (no surprise by that perfectly even browning!) Click here to purchase this loaf pan.

**In fact, spraying them can ruin the coating, so don’t do it!

I own these pans in different shapes of cake pans, baking sheet, etc. If you can save up or fit it in the budget, you won’t regret the investment of these amazing pans!

(I’m also a huge fan of this pullman style from this brand.)

What Loaf Pan Will You Chose?

The top 3 pans I use the most are the USA Bakeware, Nordicware taller shape, and Fat Daddio’s 8×4 shape.

Whatever pans you have now, if you’re not ready to replace or add any to the collection yet, don’t stop baking. All of these loaves tasted amazing!

Drop a comment below letting me know what your favorite loaf pan is!

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