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I have seasoned the bread pan, and generously apply oil before putting the dough in (note: I use no-knead method and let my bread rise in the pan, then put it straight into oven). The bread itself turns out great, and white bread does not stick. However my whole wheat honey bread sticks no matter what I do. I suspect this is due to sugar in the honey, but am not sure. Is there anything else I can do to prevent sticking?

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Your question title indicates cast iron, but in the body, you simply indicate bread pan. What are you using? If it is cast iron, is it fully and properly seasoned? –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 28 '13 at 18:01
    
Yes, cast iron. I was pre-seasoned when I bought it, and I re-seasoned it once myself. –  rootkit007 Mar 28 '13 at 18:16
    
Maybe your recipe is bad? Sugar interferes with gluten formation. The upper limit of sugar you can expect to work with reasonable results is 16-18 g sugar per 100 g flour. (I don't know if the number is reduced for no-knead). If you are using more honey, try reducing it, or maybe adding gluten. –  rumtscho Mar 29 '13 at 8:08
    
I use half cup of honey for 7 cups of flour. The bread tastes great. It does not stick to parchment, but I cant use parchment for oven temps exceeding 220C –  rootkit007 Mar 29 '13 at 14:04
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I don't see what the baking temperature has to do with (not) using parchment: if your bread dough isn't turning to cinders from the heat, neither will the parchment. As an added measure, if you trim the parchment to exactly match the bottom of your pan, then the parchment will never be exposed directly to the oven heat. –  Marti Apr 2 '13 at 16:54
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2 Answers 2

If you are having trouble with honey-wheat bread sticking in your cast iron pan, there are several things worth trying:

  • Make sure the pan is well seasoned. There should be a smooth, continuously black surface over the entire food contact area of the pan.

  • Spray the pan with oil before adding the bread. This may or may not work but is probably worth a try.

  • Do not add the loaf directly to the cast iron pan. Put it in on a parchment sheet, so that it is not in direct contact with the oven. You will have to peel off the parchment afterwards, but it should reduce sticking.

    In fact, in some versions of no-knead bread, this is the recommended method until the loaf is well set, then you remove the parchment for the latter part of the baking to facilitate bottom crust development.

Honey-wheat breads are going to be inherently more sticky than a pure white bread, especially because of the sugar, and because the whole wheat bran in the loaf tends to cut the gluten strands, making it hard to get a tightly stretched gluten network on the outside of your loaf, which is one of the things that makes it less likely to stick.

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Good tips, thanks! I dont think I can use parchment as my initial bake is at 290C/550F. Does it matter what oil I use? –  rootkit007 Mar 28 '13 at 18:28
    
I would use a neutral oil, such as grapeseed, canola or similar. –  SAJ14SAJ Mar 28 '13 at 18:34
    
I guess I'll try to re-season the pan, and use flaxseed oil this time. Also, I wonder if shortening instead of oil (for baking, not seasoning) would work better? –  rootkit007 Mar 29 '13 at 14:06
    
I reseasoned the pan with 6 coats of flaxseed, and greased with safflower oil before baking. Still sticks. I guess I'm out of options –  rootkit007 Apr 4 '13 at 17:33
    
@rootkit007 Sorry, I wish I had another solution for you. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 4 '13 at 17:54
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Another thought would be to try removing the dough from the pan, preheating the pan, and then tossing the dough back in. Adding food to a hot pan will reduce sticking, as will ensuring the food you're adding to the hot pan isn't cold.

It may sound a little weird, but it's pretty standard to get cast iron nice and hot before adding food, for that purpose. Haven't tried it with bread, but it'd be worth a shot.

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I have done that with cast iron dutch oven, and it would still stick (although not as much). I am almost done re-seasoning all my cast iron with flaxseed oil, and will try it again to see if it made any difference... –  rootkit007 Apr 2 '13 at 17:06
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The downside here is that you can't let the bread rise in the pan, so you'll have to be careful not to degas it too much when you transfer it into the pan, and you'll also have to go to some trouble to get it the right shape before you transfer so it actually fills the pan. (It might still not get down into the corners, though.) –  Jefromi Apr 2 '13 at 17:13
    
Good point on degasing. My most airy bread so far has been the one rising in the pan. –  rootkit007 Apr 2 '13 at 19:02
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