Pullman loaf pans (aka Pullman bread pans) make a perfectly rectangular loaf of bread that is consistent in width and height for its entire length, so that when sliced it yields consistently-sized, perfectly square slices of bread for sandwiches.
It does this thanks to a cover that slides onto the bread pan, helping to mould what would be a rounded top into a perfectly flat one.
They are usually made of aluminized steel.
They need to be seasoned first before using. You not only have to worry about bread sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan, as you would with another loaf pan, but also to the lid as well, which would mean if it did you’d rip the top of your loaf off trying to get the lid off. To season them, pros advise to brush them very well with melted lard or shortening, making sure to get every last seam in the loaf pan and cover. Then, bake empty in a 120 C (250 F) oven until the fat has dried. Remove, let cool, wipe with a soft rag. Repeat a few times.
Never wash Pullman loaf pans; just wipe clean with a damp cloth if you wish.
Pullman loaf pans are quite expensive but many are very well made and should last a lifetime.
Pullman Pan Sizes
The pans come in various sizes depending on what a manufacturer decides to offer.
- Small: 9 x 4 x 4 inches (23 x 10 x 10 cm). Makes a 1.5 pound / 680 g loaf (a bread recipe calling for approximately 3 cups / 15 oz / 425 g of flour)
- Typical: 13 x 4 x 4 inches (33 x 10 x 10 cm). Makes a 2 pound / 900 g loaf (a bread recipe calling for approximately 3 3/4 to 4 cups / 20 oz / 550 g of flour. You might be able to fit a 5 cup flour bread recipe in here.)
- Long (16 x 4 x 4 inches / 40 x 10 x 10 cm)
- Long and skinny: (16 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches / 40 x 9 x 9 cm)
Don’t fill the pan more than 40% with dough.
As the bread dough rises, it will double in size to almost fill the pan. When it has risen to being just under an inch (2.5 cm) from the top of the pan, grease the bottom of the lid, and slide it on the pan. Don’t let the dough rise much more than that, as you have to allow some room for oven-spring so that you don’t end up with bread dough oozing out the cracks at the top of the pan.
Put in heated 175 C (350 F) oven to bake, or higher, depending on the type of bread you are making.
Some people advise to rotate the pan as follows during baking: after 30 minutes of baking, turn the bread pan on one side for 5 minutes, then on the other side for another 5 minutes, then turn upright. Others say they don’t do this and don’t encounter any issues.
When done, do not leave bread in pan. Turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool. If the lid is hard to retract, let cool for about 5 minutes then attempt again to remove.
Video showing hot bread straight from oven being removed from a Pullman bread pan
Grease a cookie sheet, place greased side down on top of regular loaf pan, and place a brick on top of that (sic).