Coffee Tin Bread

In the old days we did not have Ikea and Walmart and cheap loaf tins. We used what was in the cupboard.

Bread can be baked in almost any container.

My Mum baked her bread in whatever she had handy – usually a cast iron or enamel meat loaf tin. Sometimes coffee tins and sometimes even terracotta plant pots.

Coffee cans (we call then tins in New Zealand) were collected by my mother and my grandmother – they had a myriad of uses: paint tins, nail tins (we straightened and sorted all old nails), button tins, scoops, etc and of course baking cans for puddings and bread.

The lids were metal and pried off with a key in a similar fashion to a sardine tin. More recently they have a plastic lid.

So, when John came home the other day with coffee in a can I was thrilled.

The metal inside the tin is not lined so it is fine for baking in. In fact if you can’t find a tin with coffee in it you can buy empty coffee cans on Amazon specifically for bread baking.

If, like me, you are buying coffee cans with coffee in them you will need to take off the lip at the top of the tin. Use a regular can opener. Make sure any metal filings are smoothed off.

The best thing about coffee can bread is the crust is soft and the slices fits perfectly into the toaster.

You can make four loaves with this recipe. (Though I have collected only two coffee tins so far).

This recipe will fill four coffee cans or two cans and one loaf tin.

You can use any of your favourite bread recipes. Below is the one I used for these loaves.


  • 500g High Protein bread Flour
  • 250g Red Fife Flour
  • 250g Black Emmer Flour
  • 780g water
  • 1tblsp yeast
  • 1 tblsp salt


  1. Whisk or sift dry flour together
  2. Measure water and sprinkle the yeast on top – wait 3 minutes
  3. Add salt to dry ingredients
  4. Mix together until the dough begins to part from the bowl (less that a minute)
  5. Stretch and fold three times in the next hour (either in the bowl or on the counter)
  6. Divide in half.
  7. Shape and place one half in baking tin
  8. Divide the other half. Shape and place each quarter into greased coffee can.
  9. Rise about another hour. (Allow dough to rise to almost the top of the coffee can).
  10. Heat oven to 425F with empty metal container in oven
  11. Throw ice into empty metal container (for steam).
  12. Bake 45 – 50 minutes. (turn at half way point)
Round loaf of whole meal bread. Three slices cut off. On wooden chopping block.

TIPS: Rising times depend on the weather (humidity and temperature) , and the flour – if you poke your finger into the dough and the hole does not bounce closed immediately your dough is ready to bake. Bubbles are another good indication of rise.

TIPS: Any high protein bread flour will do. But if you can find a local mill in your area grab a bag. Using at least part of the flour from a local source will strengthen your local food economy and strengthening your local food economy makes big waves in the self sufficiency of your region. Plus if you can find 100% extraction flour, that contains all the germ and the bran, your gut will thank you.

Real stone ground flour is so much easier to digest.

If you do have a local mill let us know in the comments! Our wheat is milled down the road at Janie’s Mill.

Time for me to start some dough.

What do you bake your bread in?

Have a great day!


Pop in and see Dale from Aussie! She has been blogging for years too! It is wonderful how many of us are still around.

29 Comments on “Coffee Tin Bread

  1. I started baking in the 80’s in tins, large juice tins usually. You can get more into the oven at one time. I remember it being recommended by the Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook.

  2. Are the cats waiting for bread and butter?! I was struck at first by the color- as my only experience with tin bread is the brown bread full of molasses so it took me a minute to adjust. It looks like a very nice crumb on the sliced pieces.

  3. Fantastic – I love thing like that! I remember getting a Scout’s badge for cooking with found objects in the wild. I boiled eggs in a coke can and cooked bacon on a hot stone.

  4. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen coffee sold in tins but I will look out for it now so long as it isn the nasty instant stuff. I bake seedy wholewheat and oats sourdough in a heavy enamelled cast iron lidded pot with a couple of icecubes for steam and wrap it in a teatowel when it’s done so it has a tender crust.

  5. Has anyone tried putting balls of dough into their loaf tin and baking it to make pull apart bread? It is just so yummy slathered in butter and eaten while it’s still warm.

  6. Growing up in the midwest, coffee was always sold in big aluminum tin cans with the key attached to the can. I can still remember the sound of the can when it was opened and that heavenly smell of coffee. Maxwell House anyone? I can just see everyone rolling their eyes and sticking out their tongues at the mention of that coffee. But, there weren’t too many choices then. I live in the Seattle area..the region of coffee snobs so I tell people here that’s my coffee of choice just to see them go into apoplexy! :))
    Way off subject so back to the looks delicious! I just made a loaf of olive, cheese, buttermilk bread today..but not in a tin! Yum!

      • Well the only reason I baked this bread was to use up a jug of buttermilk that was on it’s way out and all those little chunks of cheese ends that seem to collect in the cheese bin and we brine our own olives so we have a ton of those to also use up..Its a really nice recipe from Epicurious but easy to change up. 🙂

  7. I bake bread in a Römertopf clay pot. Lid on to start with, and then off for the last 10 minutes to harden the crust. Good for either yeasted or sourdough.

  8. Thank you for sharing this creative idea for baking bread using coffee cans. It’s inspirational to see how resourceful and flexible our grandmothers were in the kitchen.

    ~ Vika

    • Yes! They were. I wish I could find more of these tins so I could fill the oven with them. Baking vertical loaves is really efficient! Thank you so much for dropping by Vika!

  9. still very hard with these old eyes to see the print. needs to be black on white paper to see.

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