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Bake Like The Experts
What’s the Right Bakeware?
Everyone will have different preferences. Think about how your neighbor bakes cookies, compared with how you bake cookies, for example. You probably both bake a little differently, which means you’ll need a different type of bakeware. We’ll help you decide what’s right for you by providing you with information to make a great choice. Here’s a few handy tips:
- Keep it Simple Don’t be swayed too much by the specialty bakeware that’s hitting the shelves. Remember to keep a good set of ‘all-rounders’ – baking sheets, cookie sheets, and loaf pans that can be used for a wide range of different baking tasks. Loaf pans, for example, can also make great pound cake tins, while cookie sheets can be placed under springform cake pans to catch any leaks from runny batter. But it doesn’t hurt to have a few speciality pans, particularly for special occasions.
- Know the Products It’s good to know a product before you buy, and that’s where we can help. Whether it’s reading bakeware reviews, browsing different products, or simply getting some inspiration, we think knowledge is power! We’ve found that a common problem is that bakeware is changing all the time – layer cake tins, foldaway cake tins, push pans, silicone pans – these are all new to the market.
- Key Features While the ‘right’ bakeware will vary depending on each person’s individual requirements, there are a few key features that we think every type of good bakeware should have. Good cake pans and tins should be heat resistant, obviously! A cake pan that melts in the oven isn’t exactly ideal.
Good bakeware should be durable and long lasting, and most of all it should be dishwasher safe! Do you have time to wash up the dishes when there’s warm cake ready to be eaten? No, neither do we!
Achieve Perfect Results Every Time
Understand the Differences in Types of Bakeware
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to bakeware – that would make it too easy! ‘Bakeware’ is like saying ‘clothing’ or ‘food’ – there’s many items that all fall under the one category. Cake pans, muffin tins, cookie sheets, and so on, these are all considered to be cookware. We know what you’re wondering – how do all these different types of bakeware differ from each other? Well, that’s the million dollar question, and it’s actually the secret to producing a perfect bake! Serving soft, moist sponges and ooey gooey fudge brownies. And that’s where we can help by helping you understand the differences in cookware so that you can choose the best tin, pan, or mold for the job at hand. Let’s take a look at some pans:
- Cake Pans are often round in shape, although square pans and novelty pans are increasingly popular. Some cake pans feature a springform opening, which helps to get the finished cake out of the pan without damaging it. (These are the ideal choice for baking cheesecakes.) They’re usually bought in pairs, so that you can sandwich each half together with a tasty buttercream or jam filling, and they’re traditionally made from metal, although modern silicone cake pans are fast becoming a firm favorite!
- Muffin tins feature separate compartments for baking individual treats. This makes your job much easier – there’s no need to cut, carve, or slice the finished product! Popover tins, bun tins, and cupcake pans are all very similar, but they tend to have different depths and angles to create the perfect bake. Muffin tins are usually quite deep to create a good, solid base with a great crumb, but still have plenty of room for the batter to expand upwards and outwards to create that classic muffin shape.
- Loaf pans are often rectangular in shape, helping you create a hearty, rustic bread loaf right in your own kitchen. This rectangular shape makes it easy for slicing so that you can make sandwiches for the kids’ lunches, grilled cheeses as an after school treat, or thick layers for a tasty bread pudding. There’s all sorts of breads you can make in a loaf pan – white, brown, wholegrain, rye, spelt, or even gluten-free! Or how about a banana loaf, a raisin loaf, or a warming cinnamon loaf for the Fall?
- Cookie sheets are very similar to baking sheets. However, while baking sheets are completely flat, cookie sheets have a slightly upturned edge which helps to keep the batter in place if it expands and spreads in the oven a bit more than you anticipated! This can happen if your cookies contain a lot of butter or other types of fats. Cookie sheets aren’t just for baking cookies, despite their name! They’re actually a great all-rounder and everyone should have at least one in their kitchen!
Keep It Safe
What are the Healthiest Options in Bakeware?
We love cakes, and baking! But it’s a top priority to stay healthy. It’s especially important to carefully consider whether or not your bakeware is safe if you have little bakers in the house who love to help out in the kitchen. And who love to taste the fruits of their labor at the end of the day. You may have heard that some bakeware isn’t particularly safe, but how can you tell what’s true, and what’s myth? Let’s clear up some of the confusion. Is Silicone Bakeware Safe?
- Silicone as a material doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, does it? We’ve all heard of the dangers of silicone breast implants, but are there dangers when using silicone cookware, too? The good news is it’s completely safe. In fact, not only is silicone rubber approved for food grade use by the Food & Drug Administration, it’s also a widely recommended product because it doesn’t contain any of the potentially harmful toxins that are sometimes found in common metals. Click here to find the best ways to use silicone bakeware.
Is Copper Bakeware Safe?
- You may remember your mother or grandmother having a set of copper pans, and you may have inherited these for your own use. Should you use them? It’s best not to. Copper has been shown to cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and many old copper pans were completely uncoated. More modern copper pans are usually coated with another metal, like tin, but if this coating begins to wear down and expose the copper underneath, you may feel a bit under the weather!
Is Enamel Bakeware Safe?
- Cast iron pans and pots like Le Creuset are usually coated in a strong, durable layer of enamel which protects the iron underneath. There have been concerns about enamel bakeware in the past, but research suggests that it is perfectly safe. The official stance, from the National Institutes of Health, is that ‘chronic toxicity associated with the use of enameled cookware under normal circumstances is extremely low and negligible’, which means you don’t need to worry.
Are Loaf Tins Safe?
- Loaf tins are safe to use, but what about loaf ingredients? If you’re making a bread from a sourdough starter, it’s important to stay safe. Research has found that both salmonella and the staph virus can develop during the fermentation process. The best way to create a safe sourdough starter is to add yogurt or buttermilk at the beginning as the acid will help slow down bacterial growth. Also store in the fridge if possible, and give it a smell regularly – if it smells bad, then it’s probably bad!
Is it Safe to Use Fats with Bakeware?
- You’ll use some sort of fat, whether that’s oil, butter, or margarine, in most of your bakes, and it’s necessary when you’re using metal cake pans to prevent your cake from becoming dry and crumbly. But what’s healthier – butter or margarine? The Heart Foundation recommended margarine spreads, rather than butter. They may not taste quite as good, but they contain unsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats, which are much better for the body.
Choosing Bakeware to Suit Your Style of Cooking
One of the most important aspects is to consider your own personal style of cooking. There are tins to suit every preference. Love baking with more unusual fats like coconut oil? Are burnt edges your guilty passion? There are pans to suit. Here’s a guide to great bakeware:
- Stainless Steel Pans
Perfect if you love whipping up tart and fruity cakes and desserts, like key lime pie, lemon drizzle cake, and cran-orange cookies. Aluminium can react with citrus, which can make your bakes taste a little metallic. Tip: never store tomatoes in kitchen foil for this reason. If you consider yourself a bit of a ‘fruity’ baker, stainless steel pans might be the best choice for you. They don’t react with citrus, so your cakes will taste great.
- Cast Iron Pans
Love that feeling you get when you tuck into a treat that you’ve had cooking low and slow all day long? The smell that fills the home is mouthwatering. If you like the low and slow method – which is great for stewed fruits – consider cast iron cookware, like Le Creuset. Designed for heats up to 375 degrees fahrenheit, heating slowly and evenly. Le Creuset is one of the best ways to help your flavors to really develop; click here to read more. Delectable!
- Dark Colored Pans
You might have noticed that some sheets look brand new and fantastic, with a bright, shiny coating. Others look a little older, used, and are very dark in color. What’s the difference? Note: Dark colored pans don’t reflect heat – they absorb it and retain it for long periods. Great for fudgey brownies and gooey cookies. You can remove them from the oven earlier and they’ll continue to cook slowly on the sheet but still retain their soft centers.
- Silicone Pans
Available in bright colors that can really liven up the kitchen, but are they good for baking? There’s a trend for many bakers to start looking at making ‘healthier’ cakes. Cakes with less sugar, or less fat, for example. If you’re wanting to cook with less fat, silicone pans are ideal. The less grease used in these pans the better. Grease isn’t absorbed by silicone as it is with metal, and large amounts can prevent your cake from browning.
Whether you’re whipping up delicious treats regularly for your family, or only dust off the cake pans for special occasions, having a good quality set of cookware that produces great bakes is essential. No kitchen is complete without a good set of bakeware! We understand that shopping for a set of cake pans or cookie sheets can seem overwhelming. We’ve all the information you need at your fingertips. Whether you want to know the difference between a cake tin or a muffin tin, are wondering whether stainless steel or silicone would be a better choice for you, or want to know the best way to make a bread loaf, we’ve got just what you need! So take a look around, and don’t hesitate to contact us!