flexible silicone bakeware

I have been lining my sandwich loaf tins with parchment paper for at least two years now. But it has been driving me crazy to have to throw the paper out. Sure, I recycle the paper but I can generally get only 3 uses out of it before it breaks. The paper also doesn’t seem to be protecting the tins from rust. (I spray the risen loaves with water just before baking. So the loaf tins are getting really ratty. I’m guessing that they just aren’t designed to be sprayed with water so often.) So I decided to try one of those flexible silicone pans. Well, they’re pretty good, but the jury is still out….

I paid Cdn$8 for one (heat resistant to 500F) at St.Lawrence Market. It’s not terribly flimsy – some of the less expensive ones are very floppy. These pans are supposedly fine to use on their own. So I tried it. Interesting final shape! The sides of the pan got pushed out by the rising dough making a very wide somewhat flat sandwich loaf. The bread was fine otherwise. But the pan already was stained quite badly. I soaked it overnight with baking soda but was a little reluctant to scrub too hard – didn’t want to ruin the surface. Most of the stain came out (well, the worst of it, anyway).

The next time I made sandwich bread, I decided to try using the silicone container as a liner in one of the metal bread tins. This definitely works better. And there doesn’t seem to be any sign of it tearing. The resulting bread is fine – very easy to release from the flexible pan. But I’m still trying to decide if it really is better than using parchment paper.