People think of artisan-style loaves as being free-form, but my high-moisture, stored-dough method also works beautifully in loaf pans. Read on to hear more about getting great results with traditional un-coated loaf pans.
In the books, I’ve tended to be on the careful side about loaf pans. Since this dough is so wet, I recommended non-stick pans and even so, to grease them well. Yet a very heavyweight aluminum pan works beautifully too– all you have to do is grease it well (I like olive oil even for American-style breads but you can use any liquid or solid shortening you like):
… and be sure the formed dough is well dusted with flour before putting it into the pan— it shouldn’t feel all sticky as it goes in. If it does stick a bit, just let it sit for 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven and it will “steam” itself out. I love this pan, and when I say it’s heavyweight, I mean it. The pan weighs a full pound…
This was a big loaf 2 pounds, 5 ounces of dough, using my Master Recipe. Loaves this large need to rest for 90 minutes after shaping, and they tend to need extra time in the oven. For this size, a lean dough needs 45 to 60 minutes at 450 degrees F, and enriched doughs will need about an hour at 350. Or more. If you’re finding that there’s over-browning or scorching in your oven at this temp, try again 25 degrees lower (Fahrenheit) and increase the bake-time by 10 or 15%. Go by the loaf color and the firmness of the crust:
A reader recently asked about REALLY big loaves, in a 16-inch long pan (but still 4 inches by 4 inches h*w), in a pan like this one. That’ll work too, but you need a lot of dough: 54 ounces / 1530 grams, almost a full batch of my Master recipe. Have a great fall, and follow on Twitter, and on Facebook too…
Red Star Yeast (Lesaffre Corp) sponsored this post, and supplied yeast for recipe testing.
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