For many of us, one of the bright spots of social isolation has been all the extra time we have to spend in our kitchens. From exploring new ways to use pantry staples to mastering difficult recipes, all this from-scratch cooking has been good for our bodies and our souls.
One of the most popular dishes home cooks have taken on is the humble loaf of bread. From Instagram-worthy focaccia to crusty, crackling boules, it seems that bakers everywhere have decided to jump aboard the homemade bread bandwagon.
If you, too, have found yourself adding bags of bread flour to your grocery pickup order or getting into debates about how often you really need to feed your sourdough starter during virtual happy hours, listen up. We found the perfect—yes, perfect—pan for baking bread. Here’s what you need to know.
Wait…What Happened to the Loaf Pan?
Now, you might be asking yourself why you need a special pan for baking bread. And the short answer is, you don’t. You can whip up tasty loaves in bakeware you already have in your kitchen.
But just like pasta enthusiasts invest in countertop pasta presses and coffee addicts wouldn’t dream of giving up their professional-grade espresso machines, there’s a top-of-the-line pan for bread bakers, too. It’s called the Challenger Bread Pan—and it’s here to change the way you bake.
Introducing the Challenger Bread Pan
Courtesy Challenger Breadware
Designed by bakers, for bakers, this pan creates the perfect bread environment. It’s made out of heat-retaining cast iron to ensure your loaves get that crisp, golden crust, while a domed top keeps the ideal amount of steam inside. And, just like other cast-iron cookware, this pan was designed to last for pretty much ever. (Seriously, you could pass this baby down to your grandkids.)
Other features keep the Challenger Pan highly functional. A shallow base makes transferring your wet dough a breeze. And a variety of handles—including two on the top—ensure you’ll have easy access to your bread through every step of its bake.
Still not convinced? Whether you’re baking batards or big round boules, this pan can handle loaves of almost any size thanks to its wide base and tall, domed lid. It’s a great choice for cooks who are looking to downsize their collection of bakeware, too. This one pan can replace your bread machine, Dutch oven, baking stone and clay baker. We’ll toast to that extra storage space!