Thursday, October 20, 2011

Old Pans

I bake our bread.
It is delicious bread.
With fewer people in the house, I usually make bread only once a week now (four loaves at a time).

I started making bread 27 years ago. It was too hard to find time to go to the grocery store to buy bread. Baby's naps never coincided with Toddler's naps, so I had a booger of a time leaving the house. Talk about being grounded ... that's what happens when it's easier to bake your own bread than buy it from the store that's only a quarter-mile away. (Come to think of it, my parents never grounded me. It was my children that did that.) Anyway, the point is that my pans are old.

About 5-10 years ago I bought new bread pans. The old ones were ugly. I mean seriously ugly, even rusting. But those new bread pans didn't bake the bread nicely. After months of trying, I admitted that I'd wasted the money and relegated those pans to meatloaf or non-bakery type of food.

I hunted online for bread pans that might work. What I found was $20-35 per loaf pan. That's a hunk o' cash even if you know the pans are good. But what if they were no better than my last set of new pans?

Recently my aunt offered me my grandma's pyrex loaf pan. Hunky-dory! But you know what? The bread sticks to that one too, no matter how much I grease it. She also gave me some metal ones that she needed to shoo out of her cupboards. The bread sticks even worse to those.

So now I'm back to my trusty old (old old old) bread pans. A couple of times each year I may have to scrub with steel wool to remove rust spots. The pans may be ugly on the outside too. But the bread bakes evenly and nicely. And I can remove the hot loaves from the pans!!

If any of you have advice about how to find reasonably-priced kitchenware that works properly, I'm all ears. But I suspect I'll be going to my grave with those bread pans still in my kitchen.


  1. The glass ones we registered for have been working nicely- they only stick if I miss a spot. However, because they're glass, they're spotty. No matter how much scrubbing I do, they end up with odd brown speckles.

  2. The metal ones get the brown speckles too. The speckles just don't show as much as they do on the glass.

  3. My aunt always uses juice cans. They work really well and you get cool looking loaves of bread.

  4. My pans are Chefmates from Target, and they work very great and have held up for almost 5 1/2 years now without anything other than looking horribly ugly. They don't stick (even if I miss a little spot with the grease) and the bread cooks evenly and looks beautiful.

    Problem is, I looked and the Chefmate pans they show on Target's website are not what I have.

  5. My juice cans are made of plastic or cardboard and are about 3" in diameter. Julie, are you talking about the 46-oz juice cans?

    Katie, I thought everything at Target was coated with Teflon/Silverstone stuff.

  6. They used to be, but after so many green scrubbie washings later they really don't have too much anymore.

  7. Don't know if they have loaf pans, but I love, love, love my cookie sheets from Sam's Club. They're rated for commercial use, and they're just plain metal, no non-stick stuff.

    My mom's bread pans were ancient, beat up gold-tinted aluminium. Sadly, they were left behind overseas.

  8. Yes, the big cans that tomato juice, or V-8 come in.

  9. I recently bought a jelly roll pan from WalMart. It's made in the US; I think the brand is even American or some such. Anyway, solid, heavy pan. There are also bread pans...

  10. Jenny, I don't have a Sam's Club membership. We could get one through Gary's employer, but it's a 20-minute drive in a direction I almost never go. Costco is opening this week right by my work, but I don't know that it would be worth $50/year.

    Melody, I have to go to Walmart later this week. Thanks for the tip -- I'll look and see what they're like. But I'm not going to make the mistake I made last time. This time I'll buy ONE, not a new set until I know whether they're better than my rusty, ancient loaf pans.