I am looking for a bread mold (or is it a pan?) that can be removed prior to baking. The reason is that it will lose the shape if I rest it before baking too long, but longer resting time in my experience makes bread more airy. I do not want to bake the bread in the mold itself - there are too many chemicals that can be released during baking cycle, and I like free-form loaves anyway. I know the loaf will keep it's shape better if it's drier but I dont like how the bread turns out in this case.

This is about yeast bread, and I am referring to resting (not rising) time, immediately prior to baking. Regular round/oval shapes will work. My bread is adapted version from 'Artisan Bread in 5 minutes'.

Any suggestions how to do this?

  • Are you talking about yeast raised breads? By resting, do you mean proofing or rising time? What kind of mold or pan are you thinking of? Fanciful shapes?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:03
  • 1
    i think i get what your asking about but unless the bread is baked in a particular shaped pan it's going to turn out round or oblong like a boule or baguette since there won't be any supporting structure. The part that confuses me is that you say you like free form loaves but you are asking about a mold.
    – Brendan
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:06
  • Added clarifications to the question. I want to remove the mold before baking - this will let me to rest the bread longer without losing it's shape. The mold would be removed immediately prior to baking
    – rootkit007
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:07
  • I still don't understand this "resting". There are only three reasons I know of to hold yeast raised doughs: 1) to allow the gluten to develop slowly over time (as per "no knead" bread); 2) to ferment, slow or fast, depending on temperature; 3) to relax the gluten network that exists to make it easier to handle. None of these seem to apply to your description.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:10
  • 3
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned brotforms, baskets designed to shape loaves during the final rise. sourdoughbreads.com/Brotform.htm
    – Emily Anne
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


You don't need a pan or mold at all to create round or oval loaves or rolls. Properly formed loaves/rolls can be baked directly on a sheet pan or stone. They will not loose their shape if the gluten network on the outside is stretched tight. This is part of the craft of bread making. Almost all books on bread making describe this, and there are many videos easily found by googling.

The height you can achieve (along with many other factors) is partially determined by the hydration of your dough. Typically, for a formless loaf, you would have a moderately low hydration--you don't want a dough that will flow under its own weight.

One trick that may help, although not terribly traditional is this: form your loaf on a sheet of cooking parchment. This will make it easier to slide into your oven without disturbing or deflating the loaf. Once the loaf sets, you can remove the parchment if you wish, to allow the remainder of the baking to occur directly on your stone (assuming you have one).

  • I can do that with low/moderate hydration bread. I want high-hydration dough but still keep the free-form loaf factor :)
    – rootkit007
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:15
  • See the link I put in the last comment to the main question. It won't be precise, but you can still make a formless loaf.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 20, 2013 at 19:17
  • If you time the rise and get the water content right then you should be able to turn out a loaf from a basket and have it retain shape during the transfer to the oven.
    – Mick Sear
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 17:10

It seems you are describing a banneton basket. These are commonly used to hold the shape of a loaf before it is transferred out of the basket and into the oven.

  • 1
    Good suggestion! To expand a bit: they are not "releasable" in the sense that modern silicon-baking cooks have come to expect. They need a well worked dough and sufficient dusting, else the loaf will stick.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 11:50

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