Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baking Pans 101

The fall brings so many fun things, cooler weather, fun holidays and the urge to start baking again. So to kick things off right we need to help make your baking pans decisions a bit easier:

Cookie Sheets- With probably the biggest selection out there, it can become a bit overwhelming. With options like nonstick, silicone, insulated and pebbled finishes, its hard to make the right choice. We highly recommend the Lincoln Wear-ever half-sized bun pan. Its heavy aluminum frame and small sides make it perfect for any task in the kitchen. With the guarantee that it won't warp you cant go wrong, and you can't beat the $7.99 price tag.

Bread pans:
This may be the pan we receive the most questions on. We get so many requests for a great bread pan, and there are a lot of different bread pans for all the different types of breads that there are. If you are looking for an all-purpose, heavy-duty, great quality pan stick with Fat-Daddios. They are a heavy gauged anodized aluminum. The come in four sizes for all your baking needs.

Nonstick -
When buying anything nonstick make sure you are buying a good quality pan. You need to make sure that you are not cutting in the pan and making sure not to scratch off the coating, which will result in rusting and sticking. Also keep in mind that they will create a darker crust and you will generally need the baking times and temperatures adjusted. But you cannot beat the clean-up time!

**We get some people in looking for a glass loaf pan, we recommend using a metal pan for breads, and keep the glass pans for your casseroles and lasagna, you'll be much happier with the results**

Bundt Pan-
This is one pan that its fun to let your creative side run wild. There are SOOO many options of different patterns that it makes impressing others simple. Just make sure to get a heavy cast aluminum pan and you'll be able to pass this on for generations to come. (Plus all you need to do is dust with powdered sugar, or pour a glaze over and its done! Yummy!)

Angel Food Pan-
There is nothing worse than spending the time to make an angel food cake and it not coming out of the pan!! To prevent this disaster purchase a nonstick or silicone angel food cake pan. This will prevent the bad memories from getting in the way of making a delicious moist treat for all to enjoy!!

Baking dishes-
Come in several sizes, from a 9x9 square up to a 12x9 1/2 rectangle. These Le Creuset Stoneware pans are ideal for making cobblers, crisps, casseroles, and roasting vegetables. They are fired at 2156 degrees giving it unmatched durability and strength. It is freezer, microwave, oven and broiler safe. Just remember they hold the temperature longer than a metal or glass pan, so they continue to bake after they are taken out of the oven. Buy it once and it'll last you a lifetime!!

Pie pan-
Le Creuset also makes a pie pan out of stoneware, its has all the perks as the above baking pans, and results in an amazing finished pie. If you were to buy only one pie pan make sure this is it. It will shine for many many years. Plus the large 10" diameter makes for a perfect sized pie.
Spring form Pan-
Whether you choose a nonstick pan or not on this one is not as important as the quality of the design. Look for a heavy lock on the side and a thick rim on the bottom of the pan, both making sure your cheesecake batter doesn't end up on the bottom of your oven. (It doesn't really taste that well from there!)

Cupcake/Muffin Pans:
There are LOTS of options here, and the one thing to look for is how it is going to perform best for your application. There is nothing worse than taking the time to make your cupcakes/muffins and while taking them out of the pan, the edge sticks to the side and pulls/cracks your dessert. If I were to buy one silicone pan, I would buy a muffin/cupcake pan. They help to avoid that tragedy of broken tops and they can also be used to make fun chocolate cups. With lots of sizes and options out there make the decision to get one that you will get the most use out of.

To finish things off a few other supplies to help make your baking adventures a positive one! Have fun, enjoy, and get baking!!
A BAKERS MUST!!! I still wonder what I did without these!! Nothing (I mean Nothing!!!!) sticks to these. Great for cookies, candies (including hard suckers), cakes, and tuiles. Results in softer bottomed cookies, less headaches trying to pry food off, and even holds your slippery cutting board in place when placed underneath. You'll thank us for sure!!!

Parchment Paper-
These have been around for centuries, it's the original and disposable version of the silpat. Great for cakes and cookies, can be cut to fit inside round/square cake pans, making release a breeze. Keep on hand for all you baking needs. Plus there is a coupon on our website until the end of October to get some for free, YOU CANT BEAT THAT!!! http://www.gygi.com/

Cooling rack-
Essential for all your baking goods, a heavy Stainless Steel grid pattern, makes cooling quicker and safer. Fits inside the half size bun pan for easy storage, and even can be used for a roasting rack. And for $4.99 who can pass that up?

Please post any other questions you have!! We love to know what you are all doing!!