Bakeware is such an integral part of your kitchen that you probably don’t think twice about whether you are using the right pans for your cakes and loaves. Instead of substituting the bakeware recommended in recipes with whatever you have, why not make sure you have the right cookware for the right item? In this article, we will talk about the various sizes and categories of bakeware, so look no further.
When you are following a recipe that requires you to use bakeware, the first thing to determine is whether you have the proper size pans. For instance, your recipe suggests that you use a pan of a certain size, if you do not have it, you can generally substitute a similar size baking pan without any problem. But take the following into account:
Bakeware Pan Basics
Select a pan as close in size as possible to the pan in your recipe. In other words, the volume capacity should be approximately the same and when filled, the ingredients should reach about the same depth as they would in the original. The biggest advantage of choosing a substitute bakeware pan similar in size to the original is that the cooking temperatures and times remain the same.
When measuring a pan, measure from inside edge to inside edge so that you are not including the thickness of the sides.
Measure volume by filling the pan with water and then pouring it into a measuring cup.
Be careful substituting a pan when the recipe indicates that a tube pan should be used, such as an angel food cake pan or a bundt pan. These pans are ideal when it comes to equal distribution of heat, so the substitute bakeware pan must satisfy that criterion.
If you select a glass bakeware pan or a dark, non-stick pan, reduce the oven temperature by at least 25Â°F.
If the substitute pan causes the depth of the ingredients to be thinner, reduce cooking time by 15 minutes. If the depth is thicker, increase cooking time by 15 minutes.
Whenever you select a substitute pan, keep in mind that you need to allow room for certain foods to expand as they cook.
PAN MATERIALS & HOW TO CARE FOR THEM
A pan is a pan is a pan, right? Wrong. Baking pans can be made from different materials, and each material has a different effect on your baking. For example, a bakeware pan with a dark-colored surface will cause the food to brown more easily because it absorbs the heat of the oven. On the other hand, an aluminum bakeware pan conducts heat evenly but its surface reflects heat, so the food does not brown well. So here’s a list of some common bakeware materials:
Aluminum is good bakeware material because it is an excellent conductor of heat and so your baking is uniform, but the shiny surface of aluminum bakeware prevents proper browning, as we explained. Aluminum bakeware is durable and will not rust, but go for heavy-gauge aluminum bakeware rather than the thinner variety. The latter may warp when exposed to high temperatures, causing uneven baking. Also remember that aluminum bakeware should NOT be used to prepare acidic foods because the acid may react with the material to create food that has an off taste. It may also cause more wear and tear than usual.
Care: Use hot soapy water for ordinary cleaning of your aluminum bakeware, but for extra cleaning, a nylon scouring pad or special powder cleansers can be used