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Have you ever baked using paper loaf pans?

  • CindyJ Nov 23, 2013 09:15 AM
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I'm going to be baking a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I've always baked them in Pyrex loaf pans and they come out perfectly. I've tried using aluminum and other metal pans in past years, but maybe because of the way the pan conducts the heat, I always find that the edges, especially, do best with Pyrex. That said, we'll be traveling by train and I thought that rather than baking, unmolding and wrapping the loaves, I'd bake them in heavy-duty paper loaf pans (yes, I'd wrap them, too). That would make them a bit easier to transport, and the paper pans are somewhat decorative. But I have no idea how the breads will turn out if they're baked in these pans, and I don't have time to experiment with trial loaves.

Has anyone ever used these pans? What's been your experience? If they're not good for baking, another thought I had was to buy a couple of nicer-than-Pyrex glass loaf pans which I'd "gift" to the hostess. Your thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. I prefer Pyrex the most for baking, but they are quite heavy for taking on a train. I have used paper pans a lot for holiday breads/gifting. I haven't needed to butter them as they have a smooth, slippery interior, but do keep an eye out for the edges turning brown a bit too fast (not a huge problem).

    They are decorative, disposable and lightweight. I believe I got mine from W-S or Sur la Table.

    Highly recommended.

    1. If the main issue is protecting them through transport, and avoiding the extra weight, bake as usual in pyrex, then transfer the loaves to aluminum foil or paper pans for travel.

      1. I think they work just fine and are a tremendous resource for gift giving.

        I've used both the brown paper classics that are sold at restaurant supplies and Sur la Table. Even Michael's craft stores are offering a version now.

        I've also used the thin wood ones that get lined with a decorative parchment. They're attractive and more protected for traveling but expensive. Sur la Table has a version with a printed cardboard sleeve and coordinated parchment. Those might be the ticket for you.

        Place them on baking sheets for transport in and out of the oven. Otherwise they're completely up to the task. If you keep your eyes open you'll see that even commercial bakeries are using them for their seasonal breads and cakes.

        11 Replies
        1. re: rainey

          I just checked the SlT website but don't see the cardboard/parchment pans you referred to. They do have others that would work just fine, but I do like the idea of the parchment.

          1. re: CindyJ

            No? I was just in the local one and saw them in their stock.

            See what King Arthur has.

          2. re: rainey

            http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

            rainey, are these the loaf pans?

            1. re: HillJ

              I've used those. They work just fine. The only thing I can say against them is that when I poured liquor over my fruitcakes some of it leaked out the corners.

              1. re: HillJ

                Those are the traditional ones that commercial bakeries use. I've used them. They're great.

                What I saw in the local SlT was more like this: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO... tho it was a packaged deal that came with similar decorative cardboard sleeves, printed parchment liners, colorful bakers' twine and gift tags. It probably was 6 of each.

                OTOH, the ones in this link could do the job. All you'd have to do is line them with parchment before pouring in the batter, take the baked loaves out, rewrap in a clean piece of parchment, put them back in the decorative sleeve and wrap that whole deal up in some shiny cellophane with a colorful ribbon. They'd be pretty, lightweight, unbreakable and, I would imagine, pretty portable.

                1. re: rainey

                  Those are much smaller than the breads I want to bake.

                  I think the pans that HillJ linked will work nicely, even without parchment. Once they've cooled I'll wrap them with plastic wrap and tie some raffia around them. Done.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    The classic brown ones come in all sorts of sizes including a full loaf size. Call SlT. I know here, in Los Angeles, they carry a variety of sizes in the stores whether they're listed in the catalogue or not.

                    Or check a local restaurant supply. These are pretty standard holiday items.

                    As for parchment, you can just cut off pieces the size you need. And if you want them more decorative you could use holiday paper punches to punch the edges or corners with jingle bells, snowflakes, Christmas trees, what-have-you.

                    1. re: CindyJ

                      Yes, they are sturdy and very attractive.

                    2. re: rainey

                      My daughters would like using the holiday paper version. I tend to like the more traditional brown and I really enjoy using the parchment cups very common for individual egg bakes and muffins today. I like the look and they work great.

                    3. re: HillJ

                      I saw those, too. But I was looking for the ones with the parchment.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        The KA version would work nice for my whole wheat loaves.

                  2. I use these a lot for holiday gift giving, or just baking in quantity, even if I'm not planning to give the baked good in the pan. I do find it necessary to grease the pans, and/or line with parchment for a clean release.

                    1. King Arthur has them in a variety of sizes: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                      I was at the Container Store recently picking up an order for work and noticed they have a bunch of them too now: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/?p...

                      I've also seen them at Michaels and Joann Crafts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nothingswrong

                        I think I like the construction of the KA ones most.

                      2. Here are some more decorative ones for Christmas and other occasions too. https://www.etsy.com/market/disposabl...

                        1. My concern about using these pans was more about how quick breads actually bake in them, rather than where to find them. Thanks to everyone who reported they've used them successfully. That's just what I was hoping to hear.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: CindyJ

                            Yeah, you'll do great. Just watch them and perhaps your baking time will be shorter as the pans tend to be more shallow.

                            1. re: rainey

                              I second that, rainey.

                            2. re: CindyJ

                              Well, for those who are interested in sourching them, here are some more cute ones that come with bags and ties:
                              http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/p...

                            3. I've never used these pans and honestly didn't know about them, but I am now interested.

                              1. Just to follow up -- I did use the large, heavy-duty paper loaf pans for making pumpkin bread and they worked beautifully. I was a little concerned because even though they were large, they were a bit smaller than the Pyrex pans I normally use. The result was that the batter filled the pans a little higher than it would in the Pyrex pans. I could have used a little less batter, but I decided not to.

                                The directions on the package suggested lowering the heat by 10%. Since I used a convection bake setting, which automatically lowers the heat by 25 degrees, I decided that was all the heat adjustment that was necessary..

                                The breads baked faster than I expected, but that was okay since I checked them sooner than I would have if I had used Pyrex. And the shortened baking time might have been more a function of the convection heat than the pan. Regardless, the pumpkin breads baked up beautifully. Even the corners, which sometimes overbake, were perfect. I'll definitely use them again.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Thanks for following up. I just picked up some paper loaf pans last night for pumpkin bread gifting and appreciate the tips.

                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                    One thing I should mention -- not really a big deal -- is that the two loaves, which I had put on a baking sheet per the instructions on the package, should have been rotated midway during the baking. They both rose nicely, but not quite evenly.

                                2. Wow, have 4 in the oven RIGHT NOW with banana bread! My issue is that the paper bread pans seem to be spreading in the middle. That makes me sad because I love a nice, perky, perfectly shaped loaf. I've tied the last two in the middle to see if the extra support will help them keep shape. I'll have to clip the twine before they rise into it, but I think the effort will be worth it. Anybody else have a good idea to help them keep shape? Oh, and I don not have a conventional pan that will fit the paper pan as a liner.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: dejamesk

                                    That happened to mine, too, but it wasn't really a problem. After they cooled, I wrapped them in Saran Wrap and tied some raffia "ribbon" around them, and they made lovely gifts.

                                    The nice thing, too, is that to unmold them, all that needs to be done is to open up the ends of the paper pan.