Used for everything from bread to meatloaf to pound cake, the rectangular loaf pan comes in a variety of sizes. The most commonly used size is 9 by 5 inches (3 inches deep), and the 8½ by 4½ by 2½ is a close second. Mini loaf pans are about 2 inches wide and can range in length from 3 to 5 inches. Loaf pans typically have straight sides, though there is a style with pleated ends. There's also a long, narrow, covered loaf pan called a pullman pan.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.