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Pullman Pan vs Loaf Pan: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The main difference between a Pullman pan and a loaf pan lies in their shape and size. A Pullman pan, also known as a pain de mie pan, is rectangular with straight sides and comes with a lid to create perfectly square-shaped loaves of bread. A loaf pan, on the other hand, can come in various shapes such as round, oval, or square and doesn’t typically come with a lid.

In terms of functionality, both pans are used to bake bread and other baked goods. However, the Pullman pan is designed specifically for sandwich bread or “pain de mie” in French, which has a close-grained and square-shaped texture.

Another distinction is their origin. The Pullman pan originated in Europe while loaf pans have been used for centuries in various cultures around the world.

Whether you’re a seasoned bread baker or just starting to experiment, both pans offer unique features that can enhance your baking experience. Just be sure to choose the right pan for the type of bread you want to make and enjoy the delicious results!

Ever found yourself in a kitchen, staring at a Pullman pan and a loaf pan, and wondered what planet they each came from? Oddly enough, they’re not intergalactic travelers but baking staples with distinct personalities.

Pullman pans are the introverts of the baking world; all closed up with a lid to craft the perfect square loaf. In contrast, the loaf pan is the social butterfly, open and ready to party, giving your bread that classic dome shape.

We’ve been there, debating which to use for the perfect bread. It’s like choosing between a cozy night in or an all-night kitchen party.

Guess what? The decision matters more than you’d think. And we’ve got the scoop.

What is a Pullman Pan?

A Pullman Pan is one-of-a-kind.

It has a sliding lid that helps make square, even loaves of bread.

It’s used for making sandwiches and cakes.

The Pullman Pan, also known as a sandwich loaf pan, is usually made of aluminum or steel.

It has a non-stick coating to stop the dough sticking.

It has a sliding lid that covers the top of the pan during baking.

This ensures the bread rises evenly and is perfectly square with sharp corners.

Using a Pullman Pan has a few benefits.

The slices are perfect for sandwiches, as they fit together nicely and have straight edges.

Plus, the design limits the crust formation on top, making softer, more tender bread.

Pullman Pans come in various sizes.

Bakers can pick the one that suits them best.

They can be used to make bread, pound cakes, and other loaf-shaped desserts.

What is a Loaf Pan?

A loaf pan is a special cooking tool used for baking bread or cakes with a rectangular shape.

It’s typically made of metal, glass, or ceramic.

It has a low, wide shape with high sides that contain the rising batter.

Loaf pans come in various sizes and can be non-stick coated or classic metal.

The design of a loaf pan distributes heat evenly, making a uniform bake.

The high sides keep the batter from overflowing in the oven.

Plus, loaf pans often have handles or grip edges for easy handling when hot.

What sets loaf pans apart is their special structure and use.

They’re made for making bread and cakes that need a rectangular shape, not round.

You can also use them for meatloaves, terrines, and ice cream cakes.

All in all, a loaf pan is essential in any baker’s kitchen.

Its shape and features make it perfect for creating homemade breads and cakes easily.

Whether you’re a new or experienced baker, having a good loaf pan will improve your baking greatly.

Differences Between Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan

The Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan are two popular pans used to bake bread.

But they differ in size and shape, giving distinct characteristics.

Shape and Size

Shape and size influence the perfect pan for cooking.

Pullman and loaf pans differ in size, offering different benefits.

Pullman pans (also known as sandwich loaf pans) are unique.

They have straight sides and a lid that slides.

These pans are great for baking bread with a square profile.

The length of Pullman pans is usually 13 – 16 inches, which is perfect for bigger batches and professional bakeries.

Loaf pans have a more traditional look, with slightly sloping sides.

These pans are great for making classic bread loaves with rounded tops.

Loaf pans come in several sizes, like 8×4 inches and 9×5 inches, so they are useful for home bakers.

Although both pans can make bread, Pullman pans are the best for making sandwich slices because of their rectangular shape.

The flat top makes it easy to stack ingredients.

Lid or Cover

When it comes to Pullman pans and loaf pans, there’s one key difference: the lid.

Both pans are used for baking bread, but the Pullman Pan has a lid.

This lid is crucial.

It creates a closed environment while baking, so the bread rises evenly and doesn’t become domed.

It’s great for sandwich breads, which need a flat surface.

The lid also helps give Pullman loaves their shape – straight sides and a soft crust.

They’re perfect for sandwiches.

Loaf pans don’t have lids.

But they give you more options – you can make different loaf shapes and get a crisper crust.

Both pans create delicious breads.

But the lid on a Pullman Pan gives you unique qualities.

So it’s important to know the difference between the two if you want to take your bread baking to the next level.

Intended Use and Origin

Pullman Pans are also known as sandwich loaf pans.

They have been used since the 19th century in France, to create uniform slices for sandwiches.

Their lids help to bake straight-sided loaves.

In contrast, Loaf Pans are more versatile.

They’re normally used for baking traditional loaf-shaped breads, but also for pound cakes, meatloaf and other goodies.

No lid here and the sides are slanted.

Each pan can make delicious baked goods.

Pullman Pans are great for square-shaped sandwich loaves.

Perfect for neat sandwich stacks.

Loaf Pans offer more variety, and are suitable for various recipes beyond just bread.

Similarities Between Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan

The Pullman pan and loaf pan have some similarities when it comes to baking bread.

Both are rectangular and their flat bottoms help the dough bake evenly.

Plus, they are available in various materials, like aluminum or steel.

However, the Pullman pan has a special feature: a lid that slides closed during baking.

This ensures the bread has a consistent shape.

It is ideal for making square sandwich loaves.

Loaf pans come in various sizes.

Standard ones are 9×5 inches, but there are mini loaves and larger ones.

This allows people to tailor the size to their preferences or recipe.

In short, the Pullman pan and loaf pan both shape dough while baking.

The Pullman pan gives you perfectly square slices, while the loaf pan has lots of size options.

With these pans, you can make quality, creative bread.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan

Pullman pans and loaf pans.

Which one to choose? Key factors to consider.

Size: Pullman pans are bigger and rectangular, so they can bake more dough than a regular loaf pan.

Type of bread: Pullman pans are best for sandwich bread with straight sides.

Loaf pans are better for artisan loaves and quickbreads.

Design: Pullman pans have a lid for a perfectly square-shaped loaf.

Loaf pans come in various shapes, such as oval or round, with sloping sides and an open top.

Outcome: Uniformity or rustic look? Pick the right pan for your bread-baking success.

Recipes and Baking Techniques

Recipes and baking techniques are essential in the culinary world.

Baking isn’t just about mixing ingredients and following a recipe; it takes skill, precision, and creativity.

To make your baked goods extraordinary, you must understand the unique techniques and methods.

Explore many variations and combinations of recipes.

From classic chocolate chip cookies to French pastries, each recipe requires specific measurements and instructions to get the desired result.

You must also know the science behind baking, like the role of leavening agents like yeast or baking powder.

It’s crucial to understand baking techniques too.

Skills like creaming butter and sugar together for a light and fluffy texture, or folding ingredients gently to avoid deflating batter.

Each technique has its own purpose and effect.

Understand your tools and equipment too.

For instance, Pullman pans and loaf pans are different.

Pullman pans create square loaves with minimal crust, while loaf pans produce bread with a rounded top.

Different pans may need adjustments in cooking time and temperature.

Dark metal pans brown faster than glass or ceramic pans.

Knowing these nuances gives you consistent results.

Desired Bread Texture and Crust

When it comes to bread texture and crust, the Pullman pan and loaf pan are crucial.

The key difference? Their shapes and designs.

This impacts the baked goods’ outcome.

The Pullman pan, also named pain de mie pan, has straight sides and a sliding lid.

It creates loaves with a consistent square shape and a fine, tight crumb structure.

Enclosed baking limits air circulation, resulting in softer texture and thinner, delicate crust.

The loaf pan has curved sides and no sliding lid.

This design increases air circulation.

The bread has a coarser, open crumb and a thicker, chewier crust.

Choose according to your preferences.

Pullman pan for soft texture and delicate crust, e.


for sandwiches or toast.

Use a loaf pan for an open crumb and substantial crust.

Enjoy the added depth.

Availability and Personal Preference

Availability and personal preference are key when picking between a pullman pan and a loaf pan.

They determine which pan fits your baking needs and tastes.

Both pans are easy to find in stores and online, with various sizes and materials.

Personal preference is important in deciding the right pan.

Some bakers prefer the square shape of a pullman pan for symmetrical slices.

Others opt for loaf pans for classic-looking loaves.

Preference also includes texture and crust of bread.

Pullman pans make dense breads with softer crusts, while loaf pans create lighter breads with crispier crusts.

Recipes can also influence choice.

Pullman pans are for recipes needing taller loaves.

Loaf pans are for shorter loaves and cakes.

Ultimately, the decision is up to individual tastes and the specific recipes.

Notable Uses and Popular Recipes for Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan

The Pullman Pan and Loaf Pan both have their unique uses and tasty recipes.

The Pullman Pan, also known as a bread tin or sandwich tin, is ideal for making perfectly rectangular sandwiches with a squared-off top.

This type of pan is perfect for lunchbox slices.

The Loaf Pan is versatile and can be used for breads, cakes, meatloaf, and desserts like banana bread and pound cake.

The Pullman Pan also has specialized uses.

You can use it to make pâtés, terrines, and layered desserts like tiramisu or icebox cake.

Its shape makes it great for slicing and presentation.

The Loaf Pan is very versatile.

With it, you can make classic bread recipes like white or whole wheat loaves, as well as sweet options like chocolate zucchini bread or cranberry orange bread.

It’s also great for savory dishes like meatloaf or lasagna.

To get the best results with either pan, follow recipes tailored to them.

This will give you optimal texture and appearance.

So, whether you choose the Pullman or Loaf Pan, you can explore baking with confidence knowing that they both offer delicious possibilities.


Pullman pans represent a newer addition to the world of baking pans, but this doesn’t mean you have to throw out your faithful loaf pan.

Pullman pans offer superior loaf shape results with an amazing crust, making it ideal for baking sandwich breads and other denser pastries.

However, due to their open-top build and single removable lid, they may not be the best choice for delicate cakes that require extra stability in the oven.

Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of baked good items you prefer cooking: if you’re looking for a classic loaf shape with a crunchy exterior- go with a Pullman Pan.

Otherwise, your trusty old loaf pan will do just fine.

So there you have it: Pullman vs Loaf Pan – now you can make an informed decision.

Pullman Pan vs Loaf Pan: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Curious about whether to use a pullman pan or a loaf pan for your baking endeavors? Our comprehensive analysis will outline the distinctive features and purposes of these baking pans, helping you achieve optimal results in the kitchen.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Pullman Pan
  • Loaf Pan


  • Choose between a Pullman pan and a loaf pan based on your preference and desired shape for your baked goods.
  • Follow the baking instructions for your chosen pan, adjusting the recipe if necessary to accommodate the pan’s size and shape.
  • Prepare your dough or batter according to your recipe, ensuring it is well mixed and ready for baking.
  • Grease or line the selected pan as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Transfer the dough or batter into the pan, spreading it evenly.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake according to the recommended time and temperature.
  • Monitor the baking process and adjust the time if needed, ensuring your baked goods are cooked through and golden brown.
  • Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  • Gently remove the baked goods from the pan, either by sliding the Pullman pan’s lid or carefully turning the loaf pan upside down and tapping it to release the bread or cake.
  • Transfer the baked goods to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing or serving.
  • Enjoy your delicious creations and explore various recipes to make the most of your chosen pan, whether it’s the distinctive shape of the Pullman pan or the traditional loaf shape of the loaf pan.
Keyword Pullman Pan vs Loaf Pan
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