I have a confession to make: I wasn’t aware that cast iron bread pans are exactly a thing.
When I think of loaf pans, I think of aluminized steel or aluminum or even silicone. Those are the kind of bread pans I’ve selected when reviewing my recommendations for the best loaf pans. It turns out that I’ve overlooked one important niche: cast iron bread pans. I will remedy that mistake by dedicating them an entire article.
Moreover, I also plan on touching upon some other cast irons bakeware that can be used for baking breads and even for baking pizza.
Basically, I’m going to create a mini cast-iron universe that serves our needs of baking breads in some of the best most resilient cast iron bread pans & cast iron baking pans and maybe even a cast iron Dutch oven.
Cast Iron Bread Pans: My Recommendations
1. Overall Best: Camp Chef Home Seasoned Cast Iron Bread Pan
This is an awesome choice, an amazing bread pan with a really affordable price. If cast iron bread pans are what you’re looking for, this model form Camp Chef is a great place to start. It measures 5.25 × 11 inches so, it’s slightly bigger than the traditional 9 × 5 inches pans made from aluminum. The major attraction is that it promises even heat distribution and a golden brown crust for your loaves. What more could we want?
2. The Expensive Option: Staub Cast Iron Loaf Pan
First, if we were to compare the prices between these two options, they couldn’t be further from each other. I’m not saying that the Staub Cast Iron Loaf Pan isn’t amazing. Staub is one of the most renowned manufacturers. Moreover, this model is enamel-coated, meaning that it doesn’t require seasoning as classic cast iron bakeware does. It measures 4.8 × 11.2 inches.
3. The Alternative: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan
If you’re not looking for the traditional loaf pan, you could choose this Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan as an alternative. Over the other two, this one has the major advantage that it can be used for making round loaves, baguettes, pizza, etc. It’s more like a pizza pan that works perfectly for baking bread, too. It has a 14-inch diameter.
Best Cast Iron Bread Pans
These loaf pans have obviously one thing in common: they’re made of cast iron – the material that’s famous for lasting longer than our life spans if you take proper care of it. Some of us are definitely obsessed with it.
Cast iron is famous for its awesome heat retention properties and, when it comes to breads, its ability to bake loaves with golden brown crusts and an even bake due to the even heat distribution.
And they have a rectangular shape.
It’s perfect if you’re not into the oval shape that can be achieved by using a Dutch oven or even a baking stone for bread. Also, the rectangular shape of loaf pans is amazing for making sandwich bread.
Having similar price tags is not a common feature. We just have to establish if a high price is actually worth it.
Keep in mind that an excellent loaf pan made of aluminized steel is around $15-$20.
Even the cheapest cast iron bread pan is going to cost a bit more than that but not by much. It’s definitely nice to know that not all cast iron bread pans are expensive.
Let’s see which are the best options.
1. Camp Chef Home Seasoned Cast Iron Bread Pan – Overall Best
This is also one of the cheapest cast iron bread pans. It’s pretty much perfect, you should definitely check it out and see what you think. It can be an excellent choice that matches all budgets.
It’s already ready to use out of the box because it’s pre-seasoned with their Camp Chef’s True Seasoned Finish (100% plant oils).
While classic loaf pans measure 9 × 5 inches, this one from Camp Chef is quite bigger, longer. It measure 5.25 × 11 inches.
Camp Chef Home Seasoned Cast Iron Bread Pan promises even heat distribution and a golden brown crust for your loaves.
It also has 2 handles for easy handling. They’re definitely a nice addition.
Another very important feature is that the loaf slides right out of the pan.
Where to Buy?
2. Staub Cast Iron Loaf Pan – Expensive Best Cast Iron Bread Pan
If the above cast iron bread pan is really affordable, this one is extremely expensive. But it’s Staub we’re talking about.
Even so, if you are willing to spend a great deal of money on something to bake bread into, instead of choosing to spend the money on this loaf pan, I would rather choose a Dutch oven from Staub.
The Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte 4 qt has almost the same price as their loaf pan but a Dutch oven offers a lot more versatility. You just have to bake round loaves but you can also use it for cooking all kinds of dishes from meat to soups to pasta, and so on.
Getting back to their Staub Cast Iron Loaf Pan, it’s indeed of high quality.
You get a quite large loaf pan that measures 4.8 × 11.2 inches. It also has 2 handles. But there’s no lid for this loaf pan.
This is a cast iron bread pan but it has a black matte enamel interior.
Since the interior is coated in enamel, it doesn’t require seasoning as simple cast iron does.
That’s one advantage and it’s a characteristic of Staub . Their Cocotte that I’ve mentioned is the same – cast iron coated in black matte enamel that promises superior browning for golden crusts.
It’s oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where to Buy?
How to Season a Cast Iron Bread Pan
How do you season a cast iron bread pan?
There are quite a few methods when it comes to seasoning a cast iron. Everyone has an opinion on it.
You can use Crisco shortening. It’s one of the best and a very inexpensive option for seasoning cast iron pans and cookware. That makes it really popular and everyone should consider it.
Grease the pan with a light layer of Crisco shortening and then wipe it down with a paper towel. It will look shiny. After that, place it in the oven upside down at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
In the beginning, you can season the cast iron bread pan after each use, since the pan is new.
After a few more uses, the pan will be seasoned well and you will just have to re-season it once in a while.
Bread pans are greased before baking and that applies to cast iron bread pans, too. Every time you bake in a pan it potentially adds another layer to the seasoning.
Other people think that you should never use lard or shortening to season a cast iron because it might have an unpleasant smell if it’s not used for a long time.
Some recommend using flaxeed oil or grapeseed oil.
Flaxseed oil is actually excellent for seasoning cast iron and it’s especially famous for ensuring a seasoning that lasts, you won’t have to do frequent reseasoning if you’re using flaxseed oil. It’s thanks to its high content of fatty acids.
You can also use canola oil.
Once a very thin layer of oil has been added inside and out, place the cookware in the oven upside down and bake it at 450-500 degrees F for one hour.
Other Amazing Cast Iron Pans for Bread & Pizza
I told you that I’m going to talk about more than cast iron bread pans.
Maybe you decided that sticking to aluminized steel or aluminum is the way to go when it comes to loaf pans. But there are some other interesting cast iron bakeware for bread and pizza that you might be interested in knowing about.
1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan
You just have to shape the dough with your hands or you can shape it with the help of a proofing basked in a round or oval shape.
I decided to recommend it to you because even though it’s as different from a bread pan as it comes, its multiple use is what makes it so interesting.
It’s made of cast iron, has a 14-inch diameter, comes pre-seasoned, and has 2 handles. It only needs to be preheated for 10-15 minutes before baking.
Where to Buy?
2. Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven 5 qt
So, you get a 5 qt Dutch oven that can be used for cooking all kinds of dishes and for baking round loaves.
But you also get a lid that can serve as a 10.25 inch skillet.
The cast iron is pre-seasoned but you might want to season it properly when you get it, before using it for the first time. I think it’s a good idea.
Where to Buy?
And this awesome combo is really affordable. The Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven 5 qt is impressive. And a perfect alternative to cast iron bread pans if you are looking for a bakeware and cookware with a lot of versatility and a low price.