One of the best reasons to have a bread machine is for its ability to make bread dough. With bread dough the possibilities for different kinds of breads go from a few hundred to several thousand. You can make dinner rolls, bagels, baguettes, hamburger buns, hot dog buns and more…much more.
With few exceptions most of these items requires some sort of container to bake them in or on. So, what do you get? Well, if you’re like me you want the best because you don’t want to worry about having to buy another pan again in your lifetime. At least I don’t. One of the very best maker’s of bakeware is Chicago Metallic. They have been making quality professional bakeware for many years. They also make top quality bakeware for the home baker as well.
Recently Chicago Metallic sent me a selection of their bakeware to test out. Since I also had two of their loaf pans I was expecting a lot from the samples they sent. I wasn’t disappointed. Even though my loaf pans were made many years ago I was very pleased to see that the quality of today’s Chicago Metallic bakeware hasn’t done what so many other things have and that is gotten cheaper and flimsier. Today’s pans are just as high a quality as the pans they made 5 years ago.
Pullman Pan with Lid:
The Pullman pan is a long rectangular pan with a tight fitting lid. It makes loaves of bread that when sliced have a fine compact crumb and a shape that is almost perfectly square. In general this type of bread is used for sandwiches as it tends to have a light thin crust and because it is almost perfectly square cutting the crust off is easy and prevents waste. This is good news for people with kids that don’t like the crust on their sandwiches. I also find that this bread because of its fine compact crumb makes really nice French toast too.
This pans works best with a 1-1/2 pound loaf and it works well with just about any bread recipe. However, a white bread is most traditional and during testing of this pan I used the Bread Machine Digest White Bread recipe located in the recipes section.
Hamburger Bun Pan:
I just love this pan. Once you have had a homemade hamburger on a homemade hamburger bun you will never go back to those store-bought things. Not only do homemade buns hold up better they don’t get soggy from the condiments like the store-bought buns do. This pan makes 6 perfect size buns. You can use any type of bread dough you like and don’t think you’re limited to making hamburgers out of the buns either. These buns make great sandwiches of any kind.
During testing of this pan I used the Hamburger Bun recipe located in the recipes section.
Hot Dog Bun Pan:
I have never been a big fan of hot dogs on hot dog buns. Most of the time you get more bun than hot dog or condiments and the store-bought buns leave much to be desired. However, that all changed after making homemade hot dog buns for the first time. Not only do these buns match the hot dogs, they taste good and allow for the addition of many condiments and like the hamburger buns they don’t get soggy easily. I found for the perfect size buns that 2-1/4 ounces of dough rolled out and then rolled up jelly roll style works best. If you are going to shape them this way it helps to brush the rolled out dough with water and then sprinkle with flour to make a kind of paste. This keeps the rolls from unrolling once they are baked.
Perforated Pizza Pan
This dark colored non-stick pan is loaded with holes. In this case holes are good. They allow the hot oven air to come in to direct contact with the pizza crust making it crisper. Also, because of the dark color of the pan it retains heat more and so it makes the parts of the crust that are covered by the pan crisp as well.
This is one of the nicest pizza pans I have used. If you don’t want to use a pizza stone then this is definitely the pan you want. It is heavy quality steel that will last you and your family for a lifetime.
Since I love pizza I ended up testing this pan with just about every crust recipe in the recipes section. I suggest you pick your favorite and go to town. Any good pizza crust recipe should work fine. You want at least a 1-1/2 pound recipe for this pan when you want a thin crust. A 2 pound recipe will make a nice medium/thick crust pizza.
Hearth Bread Pan
This is a rather large and oddly shaped pan. It is actually designed for making the semi-rounded loaves of rye bread like you get in the store. This pan can easily handle a 2 pound recipe of dough and because it is extra wide makes a very nice sandwich bread. I don’t recommend it for bread you plan to toast in a toaster because the slices won’t fit in the toaster without turning them over and toasting a second time. But, it would make fine grilled sandwiches either frying them in a skillet or greaseless on a George Foreman Grill.
During testing of this pan I used my most favorite rye bread recipe of all and that is the Dill Pickle Rye recipe in the recipes sections.
No matter what Chicago Metallic pan you choose you can count on getting a quality pan with a quality non-stick coating that is going to last a life-time, sure they are a tad more expensive but they include life-time warranties and have some of the best non-stick coating around, you can go wrong with Chicago Metallic bakeware.