The Pyrex Bake a Round was a specialized bread baking pan, manufactured by Corning Glass in the 1970s. It consisted of a cylindrical tube of tempered glass, with a chromed wire rack to hold it steady in the oven and on the counter. Bread baked in the Bake a Round made perfectly round slices, an agreeable novelty, and gave an excellent crust all around the loaf.
Prepare a 1 or 1 1/2 lb. batch of bread dough, using your favorite recipe. If your recipe doesn't give its yield in pounds, use a kitchen scale. Alternatively, purchase bread dough from a bakery or supermarket.
Grease the inside of the Bake a Round's tube with a piece of wax paper, coated in butter or shortening. It's transparent, so you'll know if you have missed any spots.
Roll or pat your bread dough into a rectangle and then roll it up, sealing the edge after each half-turn. Press the last edge firmly into the dough to seal it, and pinch the ends closed.
Tear off a piece of wax paper approximately 2 feet long, and fold it lengthwise into thirds. Place the paper so it runs the length of the tube, with the balance of the folded paper at one end.
Put the dough on the paper and slide it into the tube until it reaches the center. Roll the tube, and remove the paper. Grease the ends of the loaf, and cover the tube's ends with aluminum foil.
Let the dough rise until doubled. It will expand lengthwise more than vertically. Once the dough is within an inch of the ends, it is ready to bake.
Remove the foil caps from the ends and bake the bread in a preheated oven, as instructed in your recipe. You may need to lower your oven rack to make room for the Bake a Round's chromed holder.
Remove the bread from the oven when done. The Bake a Round's chromed holder has one side that lets the tube slide out, and one that holds it in place. Position the Bake a Round over a cooling rack with the holding side facing downward, and use a towel or oven mitt to push the loaf onto the rack from the other side.
Remember that the Bake a Round's holder will remain hot for some time, so don't handle it without an oven mitt or pot holder. Let the cylinder -- like any other piece of Pyrex -- cool completely in a draft-free place before removing it. Sudden changes in temperature will cause it to break.
Although Bake a Rounds have been out of production for many years, they can be readily found online or in thrift stores.
Instructions for the Bake a Round can be ordered directly from Pyrex, using the form on the website's "Contact Us" page.