How we tested
Traditional loaves of brioche are round with fluted sides and a slightly conical shape. We tested four large brioche pans, 8 to 8½ inches in diameter, made of shiny tinned steel, nonstick-coated steel, and silicone, priced from about $10 to just under $17, rating them on handling and release, browning, crumb structure, and the shape of the finished loaves. We found that each 8-inch brioche pan held the equivalent of one loaf pan. All released the breads easily (after being coated with vegetable oil spray) and were simple to clean. Any complaints were mainly quibbles: The loaf baked in the nonstick pan was a tad too dark; the tin model (which had the shallowest sides) produced loaves that were flatter than we liked; and the loaf baked in the silicone pan browned slightly unevenly across the base.
Our favorite pan was a French import with a traditional shiny finish. It baked and released tall, perfect golden loaves with flawless, airy crumbs. Best of all, it was the cheapest pan in the lineup.