White Pan Bread | American Society of Baking
Recipes and Formulation:

White Pan Bread

What is white pan bread?

White pan bread is a yeast-leavened baked product made from white or refined flour. It is proofed and baked in a constraining pan to maintain a consistent loaf shape and size throughout processing.

It is considered a lean bakery product and is the most prominent bread type worldwide. While other ingredients may be added to improve dough processing and finished product quality, the basic formula is:

  • Patent flour
  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Salt
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How it is made

White pan bread can be produced with various dough systems, including:

  • Straight dough
  • Sponge and dough
  • Liquid sponge: flour or water brew
  • Chorleywood bread process (CBP)
  • Sourdough
  • Continuous dough mixing

White pan bread formulation

Providing sufficient time for fermentation prior to dough mixing is critical to producing optimum quality, texture and shelf-life of white pan bread. The following formula uses the sponge and dough system:

Sponge (70% flour pre-fermentation):

Ingredient Baker’s % (based on flour weight)
Patent or bread flour 70.0
Water (68°F/20°C) 43.4 (62.0*)
Compressed yeast 1.5**
Mineral yeast food (MYF) 0.5
Protease 0.25
Total 115.65

*Hydration level, based on the weight of flour used in the sponge
**Yeast amount for an 8-hour sponge fermentation

Dough formulation (62% total hydration):

Ingredient Baker’s % (based on flour weight)
Patent (bread) flour 30.0
Water (38°F/3°C) 18.6
Compressed yeast 2.5
Salt 2.0
Sugar (refined, granulated sucrose) 7.0
Oil / shortening / butter 3.5
Nonfat dry milk (heat-treated) 3.0
Clean label dough conditioner mix* 3.0
Vital wheat gluten 1.0
Calcium propionate 0.1 (1000 ppm)
Vinegar (100-grain) 0.5
Sponge 115.65
Total 186.85

*Crumb softeners, dough strengtheners, enzymes, redox agents


  • Sponge preparation
    • Ingredients scaling.
    • Sponge mixing at low speed until homogeneous mixture for 2–4 minutes.
    • Sponge fermentation in bulk for 8 hours at room temperature, with 55–65% RH.
  • Scaling of dough ingredients
  • Dough mixing: Incorporate dough side ingredients and sponge at low speed. Then mix to full gluten development. Desired dough temperature out of mixer is 73–80°F (23–27°C).
  • Floor time: Let dough rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Makeup
    • Dividing
    • Rounding
    • Intermediate proofing
    • Sheeting and moulding
  • Panning
  • Final proofing: to full height, at 105–120°F (40–48°C) and RH of 80–85%. Proof times are typically 50–65 minutes.
  • Baking: at 400–420°F (204–216°C) to an internal temperature of 204°F (95°C). This usually takes 18–22 minutes. The higher the oven temperature, the shorter the baking time.
  • Cooling: to loaf internal temperature of 95–105°F (35–40°C) before packaging.
  • Slicing
  • Packaging

Commercial production

White pan bread is commercially produced with the straight (no time) dough system. There is a small portion of high-speed bakers, mainly in Europe and Asia, who still use the sponge and dough system to produce high-quality bread.


Specifications for bread flour:

  • Class of wheat: hard red spring (HRS), hard red winter (HRW), hard white (HW).
  • Protein content: higher than 11.0%.1
  • Ash content: 0.45–0.55%.1
  • Moisture content: 13.0–14.0%
  • Particle size: 120–180 µm (microns).
  • Arabinoxylans content: 3.0–3.5%.1
  • Damaged starch (DS): 6.0–12.0% (based on total starch in flour). DS becomes a very important parameter as food for yeast in low-sugar white pan breads, and dough systems that make use of long fermentation steps, like sponge and dough.1
  • Falling Number (s): 200–300. Sufficient amylase activity to support sponge fermentation without added sugar. Flour with low enzymatic activity (Falling Number > 450 s) should be supplemented with diastatic malt.

Characteristics of white pan bread

Internal External
  • Grain: small (tight) cells, with very thin cell walls. Even cell size distribution.
  • Crumb color: bright white or slightly creamy.
  • Flavor: slightly sweet, yeasty and aromatic flavor.
  • Aroma: slightly yeasty, characteristic of white pan bread.
  • Tactile crumb texture: smooth and silky feel. Loaf crumb should be resilient when pressing lightly with the fingers.
  • Mouthfeel: moist and soft.
  • Loaf volume: large with optimum oven spring. Sufficient rise renders proper break and shred.
  • Specific volume (mL/g): 3.0–4.0 (light).
  • Break and shred:  should be high and fairly smooth, not excessive or rough or bulging.
  • Uniformity of shape: symmetrical with a rounded top. Loaf retains a straight and upright position.
  • Crust color: well-developed golden-brown color, smooth and even.


  1. Finnie, S., and Atwell, W.A. “Composition of Commercial Flour.” Wheat Flour, 2nd edition, AACC International, Inc., 2016, pp. 31–48.