Bakeware is a term used for various baking utensils like the baking dish, pans and in baking sheets. They have certain features which makes them suitable for baking particular sweet and savory food. Bakeware is available in numerous shape, material, and size. Some of the common examples of bakeware are cake pan, loaf pans, springform pans, tart pans, pie plates, muffin tins, brioche mold and cookie sheets.
Cooking is an art but baking is a science. So choosing right bakeware for it is essential. For this, we need to know our basic requirements. That, in turn, needs proper know-how about various bakewares.
Points you should consider while choosing bakeware are:
Heat conductivity- This is the ability of the material to transfer heat. This is important as high heat conductivity means heat will reach the food to be cooked more quickly. Thus, reducing cooking time. Example ceramic is popular in ovens but develops cracks when used on stovetops.
Reactivity- Metals react with certain food like something acidic. But glass and ceramic are good options as they are least reactive.
Durability- Some bequest maintain their looks for a much longer time. Metal pans, glass, and ceramics are some of the best options.
Maintenance- The amount of maintenance required to keep your bakeware in best condition depends on the time and money you want to invest. Time denotes the time for cleaning while money is the price you are paying for purchasing bakeware.
Price- The rule with bakeware is to buy the best you can afford. Thus, the amount you pay for bakeware will depend on the type you end up buying.
It is best to decide on what pieces of bakeware you require before going on shopping cause there is no point in buying things you will not use. Buying bakewares in the set is a lot cheaper than buying individually. But it should be worth the money spend.
After, we have considered buying options for bakeware the next step is material and it’s safety. That is if it is safe to cook in it, the material will not react with food, will not burst from heat pressure.
Glass- Glass baking pots and dishes do not react with your food. They are a great idea for storage and serving. But when heated straight from refrigerator there has been an incident of explosions.
Ceramic- Ceramic bakeware are expensive. When purchasing keep an eye on low-quality glaze that contains lead. This lead usually leeches into your food when the bakeware is scratched or worn.
Silicone- It is nonstick and so is good for baking sticky bake well. But silicone bakeware is not for a high temperature in the oven.
Tinned steel and black steel- They are an excellent conductor of heat. Both transfer heat slowly and evenly. So it browns food well producing thick crust. The only disadvantage is its rusting. This can be prevented by thoroughly drying and oiling it.
Aluminum- Versatile lightweight, durable, does not rust, produces even baking.
Insulate bakeware- Perfect ware for cooking sheet and cake pan. It is made of two sheets of aluminum with the layer of air acting as a separator. This protects the bottom of bake products from direct heat resulting in even browning and no burning.
Nonstick bakeware- Usually made up of aluminum or steel to which nonstick coating is applied. Nonstick surface is dark, absorb heat and is a better conductor. These bakewares clean easily and the surface is not reactive with foods. The only disadvantage is it scratches and so must be handled carefully.
Essential Bakeware Types
Baking sheet or sheet pans- They are shallow rectangular pans. It comes in both flat type and one inch high for holding liquids. Perfect for baking cookies, pizza, bread, cakes, rolls and anything you need to heat in oven. An inch high scores high as it can keep any liquid on pan example as in roasting veggies.
Loaf pan- It comes in numerous size but most common is the 8/4 inch. Perfect for baking breads of various flavours and coffee cakes. When baking cake in loaf pan the cooking time increases due to depth of pan.
Spring form pan- This pan comprises of two separate pieces that is a flat base and spring collar with latch that close tightly around the base. It is usually sold in 9 inch size. Once you are done with your baking simply open the latch and lift the collar. It is best for food that cannot be removed from pan by turning upside down as in pizza or cheesecakes.
Muffin tin- It is a baking mould with usually 12 cup opening. It can approximately hold 3 ½ ounce of batter. Perfect for cooking cupcakes, muffins, brownies and miniature cheesecake. For better results use paper lines that are easily removed.
Baking pans- Standard square, rectangle or round are must for baking starting from beginner to expert. Used for baking brownies, breads, casseroles, cakes and many more. They come in variety of colour, coating and material.
Pie pans- They are round, shallow with angle, slide or slope. This helps to hold the pie shape with the required filling. As the edges are fluted you can even scallop the edges of the crust.
Tube pans or bundt pans- They are circular pans with center openings. They have decorative or fluted side. Commonly used for baking bundt cakes or roasting chicken. It can also be used for removing corn from the cob. When using bundt pans flour the pan or cover it well with non stick cooking spray.
Gratin dish- Usually made of glass, ceramic or stoneware. They are round or circular in shape and quite shallow as it requires even heating. The large surface area assures your food is evenly exposed to the oven heat. Thus, creating the golden crust.
Soufflé dish- It is round with straight high side. The high side offer stable base to custards and soufflé. It is made of ceramic and come in single or large serving size. Ceramic ensures even cooking.
Some Must Have Piece Of Bakewares
Rectangular baking pan ( 8/8 inch or 9/9 inch). For your brownies and bars with a lid is great.
Glass, ceramic or metal baking pan ( 9/13 inch). This versatile, standard pan can bake from basic cake, cupcakes to almost everything. Metal is more versatile while glass is presentable particularly for sheet cakes and casseroles. Buying with lid is wise as it is easy for storage and transportation.
Baking sheet or ½ sheet pans- Preferably commercial quality ½ sheet pans. Buy the heavy ones though they are expensive but worth it. Avoid nonstick and dark coated pans as they are not to helpful plus browns the baked goods fast.
Cake pans( 9/10 inch) round.
Pie pan(9/10 inch).
Loaf pan(9/5 inch).
Care And Maintenance Of Bakeware
The next important part is durability of your bakeware. It naturally depends on the type and quality you have purchase. But it equally depends on the usage. That is how you are using it, the aftercare. As quality pans are an asset to any cook. So taking proper care will only ensure superior result with longevity.
Some tips on their usage:
First wash your bakeware in warm soapy water. Rinse well. Remove label or any adhesive.
Dry baking is not a good idea for pans.
Avoid sharp knives to cut in non stick pans. Scratched non stick pans do not look good though the performance is not affected.
When baking cookies use parchment paper. So you don’t have to remove crumbs or sugar before next batch. Thus, saving on cleaning time.
Do not let baked good be in the pan for too long. Allow them to cool and remove the item from pan. So it does not stick.
Avoid putting metal pans in dishwasher. Aluminium that has been placed in dishwasher gets discoloured. This is because of exposure to dish washing detergent which are strong and abrasive. Silicone sheets with its multi cavity muffin pans can go in dishwasher. But remove the crumbs before loading it.
Simple Steps For Cleaning Your Bakeware
Bakewares made of glass and Pyrex can be cleaned with a mixture of soap, water and baking soda. For cast iron bakeware, paste of water and baking soda is required. While for steel bakeware mixture of vinegar and baking soda. But for aluminium tray use acidic compound of lemon or vinegar coated with salt.
Coat the bottom of pan with warm water.
Scrub the pan after approximately 15 minutes with either scrubbing pad, steel wool, dish sponge, toothpaste or even bailed up aluminium foil.
Apply vinegar and baking soda.
Pour hot water over the pan.
Heat water and vinegar in bakeware. If the stain still persist then make a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 cup of water. Bring the mixture to boil in your bakeware.
Use baking soda and water if stain still persist. This method is effective for cleaning cast iron bakeware. It is recommended that you let the paste sit on stain for 8- 10 hours rather than 15 minutes.
Use water and vinegar in equal amounts.
Use salt and lemon slices.
Use cream of tartar- Mix one portion of water, half cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoon of tartar cream. Boil the mixture inside stain bakeware item.
While these are some of the common methods for cleaning stubborn stains of your bakewares.