Ever had what you thought would be the perfect loaf of bread to find that it simply won’t come out of the tin? If you’ve been baking for a while, I think we’ve all had this problem! It often ends up with a crushed loaf or worse, one that’s fallen apart so much that you can’t even cut it into slices. But rest assured, if you’re struggling with bread sticking to the tin, this short guide has LOADS of tips that will help you.
If your issue is immediate, here are the steps you should take:
Give the loaf pan a wack on the table to try and unhinge the bread from the pan. Sometimes this is all that is required, if not try step 2.
If your loaves won’t release from your loaf pans the best thing to do is bake them for a few minutes more. If your oven allows you to switch heat settings use the bottom element only.
When baking multiple loaves you might find that only one of them is stuck in the tin. In this case, it was probably baked in a cooler part of the oven so move them to another area to continue baking.
An optional step, but if the tops are almost burnt and the bread is still stuck, you can turn your loaves upside down so the base of the tin is near the top heating element. This is a bit tricky if you are using a baking stone (as they don’t always stand up!) but, works quite well when baking directly on the oven shelf!
If you add too much yeast to your bread it can cause problems in getting the bread to release from the pan. The issue is the bread rises higher and the top of the loaf becomes closer to the top heat element in the oven. The top of the bakes quickly so you reduce the baking time, but this causes the bread to be underbaked at the base.
It’s not advisable that you do this as you might scratch your tins, but it can get you out of a pickle. All you have to do is gently loosen the sides of the bread from the pan with a small palette knife. Be careful to push the blade towards the bread, not the pan to avoid scratching your tin.
NOTE: If you loosen the sides but the loaf still won’t release, it’s stuck to the base of the tin. Only baking longer will help now.
If the bottom of your loaf is sticking to the bottom of the bread tin it’s probably because there’s a lack of heat entering the base of the bread, and potentially too much coming from above. Here are a few tips to avoid this from happening:
A baking stone will make a massive difference in baking the bottom of your loaf. In fact, investing in one if you haven’t already and preheating it properly is probably the most important resolution to bread sticking to the base or sides of the tin. The heat from the stone directly conducts into the bread, causing the base of the bread to harden and also providing extra oven spring gains.
Preheat your oven for an hour before baking to fully preheat your stone.
To maximise heat penetration in the base of your bread and properly heat your baking stone, use only the bottom heat selection on your oven (if you have this). You may find you need to turn the top and bottom elements on right after your bread goes in to regain temperature, or when making soft rolls. Other than this, you’ll notice a difference in bake quality if you just bake with the bottom heat selector.
If you are baking in the centre of your oven, lower the rack position to bake closer to the heat source (bottom element).
If you’ve tried all the previous methods and you’re still struggling to get heat to penetrate into the base of your bread, switching tins is a sensible solution. Using a tin made of more conductive material can be the difference between an underbaked and a crisp base.
It could be the fault of your bread pans that your bread is getting stuck. If it’s a recent issue, inspect your loaf pans. Are they seriously scratched? Are they cracked or rusty? If so, it might be best to replace your loaf tins. But if it is just that the non-stick shiny surface has deteriorated, we can fix this by using either of the following steps.
You can drizzle vegetable oil, butter or baking grease to create a thin non-stick barrier between the bread and the tin. Use a cloth or pastry brush to spread the grease around the tins, not forgetting the tops of the tins. Many bakers prefer quick-release sprays as they are easier to apply.
If your loaf tins are semi-porous or completely lost their non-stick coating you might wish to try seasoning your tins. This method is usually reserved for cast iron equipment such as Dutch ovens or griddles, but works well for baking tins providing their surface isn’t shiny. Simply grease clean tins with olive oil, leave them to stand for 10 minutes, and then buff them with a cloth to remove all the excess oil. Now bake them in the oven for half an hour at 230C (450F). Once cool enough to touch, add more oil, buff and back again for 30 minutes. Repeat a third time and allow to cool completely. The grease will harden and form a non-stick barrier.
The best cure is to prevent it from happening in the first place by using a bread tin with a non-stick liner and ensuring that there is enough heat in the oven penetrating the base of the tin. But if it’s still stuck after giving it a bang and baking for longer, you might have to ply it out with a palette knife!
Let me know how these tips work for you, and if you have any more drop them in the comments!
Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baking coach, head baker and bread-baking fanatic! My aim is to use science, techniques and 15 years of baking experience to help you become a better baker.
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