I love baking in my Challenger Bread Pan. Like so many of you have found, my loaves improved immediately the first time I ever baked in it. My oven spring was considerably better. My crusts were thinner, crispier, and cracklier. And my loaves had those awesome blisters that I’d seen on other baker’s loaves. Except for the times where my baker’s mind or baker’s hands failed me, my loaves have been consistently better since the very first time.
I know that this is partly due to the fact that the bottom of the Challenger is thicker than other pans on the market, and it’s got such a good seal that more of the steam generated by my baking loaf is trapped inside. I do like to preheat it longer (usually over an hour) to give the cast iron time to really absorb all that heat in my oven.
I’ve come to realize that the Challenger’s best feature is that it gives me the exact same environment for my loaves each and every time: the same amount of heat and steam each and every time. It’s taken the guesswork out of that final and important step in the process of making a loaf of bread. If I had to judge my baking step on a scale of 1-10, the Challenger gives me a 10 each and every time.
So, if you’re looking for that Perfect 10, prepurchase your Challenger today.