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Feb 15, 2012 10:54 AM

Using loaf pans with Artisan Bread in 5

I asked this question of the authors but didn't really get a helpful answer. I like to bake bread in a loaf pan because we eat a lot of sandwiches, but I haven't been very good at managing the wet dough from ABin5 when it's more than 1 lb. I would LOVE to use a Pullman loaf pan but am afraid I could never manage the 13 inch one because of my difficulty handling the dough. But here's the question: can I just dump the wet dough in a larger pan or is it really necessary to shape the dough into a ball and then stretch it out? What would happen if I just plopped the dough in the pan without a "gluten cloak"?

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  1. I understand that a Gluten Cloak is to keep a free formed loaf in shape. I do not think it is necessary when using a loaf pan.
    If there is no "loaf" formed before you put the dough in the pan I think that you may end up with some textural or thickness variations thru out the loaf. But the last rising seems to even a lot of that out.
    What ever the out come it will be perfectly edible and it is worth a try, I imagine the results will be fine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      Thanks for this--had no idea what the "cloak" was for so that's good to know. I'm going to try this out with a regular loaf pan before I invest in the Pullman.

      1. re: Thanks4Food

        It also, makes it easier to handle and adds some resistance to expansion which is why you need to slash your loves for a stronger rise.

    2. I believe some of the recipes in that book are supposed to be baked in a loaf pan. I'm going by memory here, but I believe you cloak the ball of dough, then pat it out into a rectangle and roll it up to shape it for the pan. THat's how loaf breads are supposed to be shaped for the pan for proper rising no matter what recipe you're using. It's a good opportunity to do add-ins to the bread, like raisins with cinnamon or sun-dried tomates.

      1. I'm not positive, but I also think it would work. The thing is, I'd want to cover it for the first part of cooking. A wet dough unshaped won't rise much on the counter, and being covered it will rise better during the first part of cooking. I'd invert a pot over it, or something. I'd also make sure the dough is at least 2 days old. Young dough has a smaller, weaker yeast population and doesn't rise much in the oven.

        1. I make the breads in a loafpan all the time. However I do'nt use the whole batch I divide it into two equal parts and keep the second in the refrigerator until needed. I use 2 plastic containers for storage, The loaf is shaped, put into the loafpan, left to rise, slashed baked 30 minutes in 450 oven, removed from pan and given another 10 minutes in the oven. I use the same methods for White bread as for the 10 grain. Perfect Sandwich bread every day.

          1. All good advice, but why don't you just give it a try any which way and see how you like it? The ingredients are fairly inexpensive and there's not that much time involved in preparation. Even if you're not happy with the results you haven't lost much.

            Oddly enough, I was just thinking about this issue because, although my daughter likes the Master Recipe boule, she prefers sandwiches on supermarket bread and I just can't deal with the prices anymore. I was going to try the book's recipe for sandwich bread first, though.

            4 Replies
            1. re: rockycat

              I"m happy to see this thread...I agree with rockycat that, while my kids prefer a toaster/ziploc -friendly shaped bread for sandwiches, I cannot handle the cost of supermarket bread anymore. I just tried the no-knead trick of baking my bread in a dutch oven and am very very pleased with the crust that there such a thing as a 'covered' loaf pan? Has anybody tried to cover a loaf pan? Does it work?

              1. re: tonifi

                Are we talking the 5 minute no knead bread? That does not get covered and has a terrific crust in an uncovered loafpan.

                1. re: Nywoman


                  The authors sometimes cover and sometimes don't. The OP was interested in baking a large loaf, and said that it is difficult to handle that much dough. I've found that unshaped dough works fine, but it helps to take some steps to maximize ovenspring.

                2. re: tonifi

                  It sounds like you're looking for a Pullman or pan de mie pan.

                  I don't doubt you can find a less expensive version, but I'm a big fan of KA in general.