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Every time I bake something in a loaf pan, the centre doesn’t cook and the loaf sinks - badly. The edges are well cooked. This happens on more than one recipe: Lemon Loaf, Banana Loaf, etc. But items that I bake in round or rectangular cake pans turn out fine.

The attached image is the worst example.

I’ve checked the following:
-ingredients like eggs, milk, etc are not cold from fridge. -baking powder and baking soda work well in other recipes, so are not expired. -oven temperature is spot on, verified digitally

I’ve tried:

  • reducing oven temp 25 degrees F (eg from 350 F to 325 F) I even tried 300F!
  • adding more flour to make thicker batter
  • putting foil around outside of loaf pan to reflect heat.
  • adding an extra egg yolk.
  • reducing balking powder (or baking soda depending on recipe..)
  • using full fat dairy, (eg sour cream or milk, etc) instead of "lite"
  • baking for a longer time so that centre finally sets. In this case, the outside of the loaf cake overcooks and is hard aenter image description heres a rock.

The loaf pans are from Baker’s Secret, and although the pans are dark, I’m sure thousands of people around the world use these pans. Besides, I did try one experiment in which I lined the outside of the pan with aluminum foil - no difference

Any suggestions appreciated

It seesm to happn on any loaf pan recipe. Here's an example that sunk: Bon Appetit's Best Banana Bread

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  • Hi, welcome to the site. For help when a recipe doesn't turn out, it's best to post/link to a full recipe with as much detail as possible. There are multiple things that could go wrong with ingredients and method--but to be able to find an answer (rather than guessing!), The recipe is key!
    – AMtwo
    Dec 4, 2021 at 23:52

2 Answers 2

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I think you were absolutely on the right path - what you need is a lower temperature for a longer time. Many of your observations in your answer point in that direction - the liquid core, the fact that the crust overbakes when you bake longer, and the fact that the same recipe works well in a flatter shape (in a rectangular pan), where the heat reaches the core quicker.

You wrote that you have already tried it - it just seems that you didn't go far enough. Temperature is just a number, you have to change the temperature until the results are good, not the other way round.

The other thing you can consider is turning off any convection function, if you have one. It will bake slower, but more evenly.

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If food is burning, overcooking or drying out on the outside, but is still raw in the middle as shown in the example, then the oven is too hot and you didn't cook it for long enough.

This could possibly be caused by confusion over oven types (ie. conventional versus fan oven) and the cooking temperature and times given in the recipe. This could be even more crucial since a loaf tin constrains the batter to a thicker/taller shape (a loaf) compared to something more spread out with a larger surface area such as a round cake tin.

Recipes should always mention which type of oven the temperatures and times are intended for, and preferably give conversions for each type. If not, then find a better recipe that does.

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