First of all, please read my earlier post regarding Silicone Muffin Tins for background.
Today was the first time I had a chance to really use my silicone loaf pan. I needed an extra pan for a double batch of Cheese Bread I was making for the holiday. And since I wanted to do another test anyway, this seemed like the perfect recipe.
There were several things I was severely worried about. The first was how to get the thing into the oven. Heavy with batter, it definately needed two hands. But since I wasn’t sure how even my oven was front to back, I needed to put my pans in side by side. That’s tough to do when you need two hands in order to keep the pan full of batter from flopping onto the ground. The solution is to pull the rack out all the way and set the pans down as best you can. THis can let a lot of heat out of your oven, but since cooking time was pretty long for this one, it was acceptable.
Things seemed to be going pretty well until I peeked into the oven twenty minutes into the bake. Already, I could see that the silicone pan was starting to bulge at the long sides. Bread expands during baking after all, and usually this forms the nice round top of the bread. My loaf was going outward fast.
By the end of my bake time the difference in the shape of my loaves was pretty extreme. But I only needed one loaf to look nice, so all was not lost so long as it baked properly and would come out of the pan. It turned out that the glassware pan needed an extra 16 minutes in the oven to fully cook (not surprisingly), and was perfect. The silicone loaf came out of the pan fine (whew!) and was also cooked through just fine (albeit in a shape I hadn’t expected).
Sure, the silicone pan works, but no better than my regular pan, and it has the added problem of shape. I suppose you could drop the thing inside a regular pan to hold the shape, but what’s the point? Especially when you really need to spray the things anyway. Hmmm… See the photos below for a comparison of the loaves.
and Silicone. Oy…