BAKING DOUGH AND BATTER IS A TASK OF PRECISION.
PRECISE measurements, PRECISE mixing, PRECISE temperatures,
PRECISE ingredients and the pan = SUCCESS.
BAKING SHEETS AND PANS:
Pans for baking cookies should be sturdy and non-buckling.
dark rolled steel, black-finished steel, tinned steel and heavy gauge aluminum.
If bakeware is pre-darkened for better heat-absorption, read instructions carefully because some baking materials absorb heat so well, a reduced temperature may be recommended and cooking times vary.
Non-stick surfaces are available but their safety is questionable.
Many pastry chefs prefer well-greased smooth surfaces or parchment paper and the same metals are preferred for baking cake and breads.
Borosilicate glass and stoneware loaf pans are also excellent. Be sure to read the instructions because these may require a 25º lower temperature to avoid darkened crusts. Heavy porcelain or stoneware pie plates are considered very good by many pastry experts because they retain heat, are attractive for serving and easy to clean.
Pan placement in the oven must consider circulation of air. Pans transfer dry heat to batter from all sides. This is why pans must not touch each other. At least one inch should be between pans as well as between pans and oven walls. Never place one pan on a rack directly above another which results in reflected and uneven heat.
Tube pans are for batters that require heat in the center of the batter. The tube provides additional surface for an airy batter to cling as it rises.
Quiche · soufflé · pop-overs · madeléine · brioché · bundt cake.
Do we need special pans for each? Fine chefs agree that each pan is an integral part of the recipe since they define the precision of baking. Just maybe, they’ll taste better!
Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY