Baking pans or dishes, jelly-roll pans or cookie sheets should be well greased with a solid shortening or a nonstick cooking spray. Some free-form loaves and coarse-textured European-style bread recipes also recommend sprinkling cornmeal on the baking sheet after greasing. When using baking stones, follow manufacturer's directions for preparing the stone before baking.
Baking and Testing for Doneness
- Breads should be golden brown on top. Bread baked in loaf pans will pull away from the sides of the pan.
- The best indication for doneness is to remove the bread from the pan and tap the bottom or sides of the baked bread. If it sounds hollow, the bread has finished baking. If the bread does not sound hollow when tapped, return it to the oven, either in the pan or placed directly on the oven rack without the pan.