BAKING 101 : HOW TO CHOOSE AND BUY BAKEWARE
Having the right bakeware will make the time you spend in your kitchen both more efficient and more enjoyable. There are few things more annoying than having a fantastic dessert that took you hours to prepare ruined because you didn’t have the right tools to bake it properly. This guide to bake ware will help you ensure that you have the most essential bakeware for your kitchen, made of the materials that best suit your cooking style.
There are all kinds of bakeware that you can use if you are planning to open a bakery or become a pastry chef. You could spend a near-infinite of time and money trying out fancy tools and equipment. However, if you’d simply like to have a good array of bakeware on hand to cover most household needs, here is a good overview of what you’ll need to buy.
• Two baking sheets
• A 22.5cm/ 9-inch pie tin
• A loaf tin
• Two 2 x 17.5cm/ 7-inch shallow cake tins
• A 32x22x5cm/ 13x9x2-inch baking tin
• An 20cm/8-inch square or round cake tin
• A 6 or 12-hole muffin tin
• A 4-hole Yorkshire Pudding tin
With this selection, you can create most common cakes, pies, muffins, tray bakes and Yorkshire puddings.
If you’d like to spread out a little more, you could also invest in a Bundt pan for fancy cakes, a spring form pan for cheesecakes and other very moist confections, and a pizza stone for creating home-baked pizzas.
How your bakeware looks can actually have quite an impact on your baking. The darker a material is, the faster it heats and the longer it retains that heat. For some types of baked goods, such as cakes and muffins, a dark finish is an advantage: the goodies come out a bit crispier and they are less likely to stick to the pan. However, more delicate pastries such as pies can burn if they are heated too quickly.
With today’s modern technology, we have more options for our baking materials than ever before. The problem with having more options, however, is that it also becomes more difficult to choose the bakeware for your kitchen. Not only do you have to decide which pieces you want to have, but you have to set a budget and determine which features are most important to you. Here are some of the pros and cons of the most popular bakeware materials.
Stainless Steel Cookware
• Attractive, sturdy, long-lasting
• More expensive, poorer heat conductivity
• Lightweight, inexpensive, no hot spots, resists rusting and corrosion, also comes in non-stick varieties.
• Dents and scratches easily, reacts with some cooking ingredients, shorter lifespan.
• Very light-weight, flexible, can withstand very high temperatures, can be frozen.
• Cakes and other baked goods may stick in these forms.
• Will not scratch, can see progress of baked goods, heats evenly, non-reactive.
• Heavy, can shatter if dropped or heated improperly.
While there is no one perfect form of bakeware for every cook, following your own preferences and buying the best quality that you can will help you to create better baked goods with less hassle.
Photo by Jeannie Maristela