I am making bread from this recipe for 2 loaves. The recipe calls for placing the dough in the baking pan and leaving it for 1 hour until the dough doubles in size (and contours itself to the pan).

I have only 1 baking pan. And I am preparing dough for 2 loaves to make bread in bulk.

If I do it sequentially i.e. put the first half of the dough in the pan, let it rise, bake it, and then attend to the second half - I have a problem. The second half will have also risen outside of the pan. This means I'll have to force that dough into the pan and may destroy the structure of the dough.

One thing I can do is the refrigerate the second half while preparing the first. However the yeast-sugar reaction in the dough will continue (albeit slowly). I fear the second half won't rise the same as the first.

The other (obvious) approach is the prepare the dough separately. But that defeats the purpose of my endeavour. I am making 2 loaves together to benefit from the economies of scale.

How should I go about making 2 loaves of bread using a single baking pan from dough prepared together?

3 Answers 3


Is there a very special reason you want to bake it in a bread pan?

The recipe is solid enough to be baked free-standing, in any bread shape you like - batard, boule, and all the fancy ones. It actually will be way too dry if you tried to incorporate the whole flour (but notice it does not direct you to do so). So you can shape, proof and bake completely without a pan, simply place it on a baking sheet or pizza stone, or onto the bottom of a cake pan.

Alternatively, you can bake it in any other pan you have. For example, round pans such as cast iron paella pans make great round-low breads, although I must say these are better for a large family dining together, since they are not that convenient to cut into slices. But lasagna pans, casserole pans, cake pans, etc. will all work. Or try for once a dutch oven bread and see if you like it.

So, unless the exact cross section is very important to you, just follow the recipe properly by keeping the given times and baking together, no matter what pan you are using (or not using).

  • 1
    Indeed, the shape of the bread is not important to me. Baking one half in a pan and the other half by itself (or in some other container) at once will save me time.
    – UpNComer
    Mar 3, 2019 at 19:51

Do as you said. Cover and put the second batch of dough in the refrigerator. It will slow the rise process but, when you take it out, it will rise just as well as the other did but it will need more time to do so as the dough needs to warm back up.

The timing will involve how long it takes for your pan to cool down before you can place the second batch of dough in it.


Batch baking for economies of scale is a worthy goal but since you have only 1 pan in this shape you won't be able to get that shape for both AND bake in a single batch.

I agree that staging (baking half 1st then the other half later) presents some problems. So, I would suggest...

  • Use another shape pan with similar volume (ie 8" or 9" cake or pie pan) that you have 2 of, or

  • Use a single, larger pan (ie 9" x 13" or 10" tube pan) to bake the entire recipe as one larger loaf, or

  • Divide a single, larger pan with foil and/or a smaller pan to give you 2 equal compartments.

For any of these, there would need to be some minor adjustments to baking time/placement. Learn more about those & get volume info on lots of pan shapes & sizes at Joy of Baking blog's excellent article. There's a review of the basic math involved plus more tips at Food 52's post on recipe adjustment.

If both goals (economies of scale + 2 loaves having the same shape) are equally important the 3rd option is best, crafting double or triple layer aluminum foil into 2 loaf pans, using your current loaf pan as a mold. David Lebovitz shows how to do this easily. Making sure the corners are fully formed is key! They'll need support during baking so I'd place them crossways at either end of a 9"x13" pan, with your original loaf pan upside down between them as an added support, or if that's too wide to fit, another, narrower loaf pan like a tea loaf or even a row of empty soup cans. The main goals are separation & stability so the form isn't as important. You will get a slightly better loaf shape if the center support is taller, so if you can fit the loaf pan or a vertical row of clean, empty cans that'd be better.

I hope this helps!

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