There are so many different types of baking pans out there, that it may be difficult for the beginner to sort through them all. In this article, I am going to reveal 3 basic tips to consider that will help you choose the right baking pans for any occasion.
Let’s say you’re in the kitchen ready to bake something. Whether it’s a birthday cake for your child’s birthday party, some cupcakes for a school or office event, or even a pie for a special meal, when it’s time to bake, you need to know which baking pan to use.
I know how over overwhelming it can be because there are so many different kinds of pans. I was once a beginner and didn’t know a bundt cake pan from a cupcake pan. The fact that baking pans come in so many shapes and sizes, and are made of different materials doesn’t make it any easier.
I’m going to help you out. The three tips I’m going to discuss are size (yes, it does matter), shape, and material and how to determine which pan is right for your particular baking need, so let’s get started…
The first thing to consider is size. The difference in the size of the baking pan determines the volume of batter the pan can hold. It is important that you use the right size of pan for the dish you are preparing. For example, if you use a pan that is too big, it will cause the depth of the batter to be shallower. This, in turn, causes the batter to bake more quickly, and will throw off the cooking times, and even the consistency of the end result.
The opposite is true is the baking pan you use is too small. The batter ends up deeper and will take a longer time to bake. Once again, this throws off the cooking time and the consistency of the end product.
The second thing to consider is shape. The shape of the pan will be determined by what you happen to be baking. Some examples of different shapes are a cake pan, a loaf pan, and a pie pan.
Cake pans can be round or square, but they can also come in a variety of character and odd shapes. For example, there are cartoon characters, and football shapes.
Loaf pans are generally large with flat bottoms. Think of the shape of a loaf of bread that you buy at the store. Do you see the shape in your mind? A loaf pan will produce a similar shape.
Pie pans are only meant for baking pies. I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s the truth. Pie pans are usually round and have a flat bottom with sides all around.
The third thing to consider is the material from which your baking pan is made from. There are generally two types…
The first material is metal. The most common metal now used is aluminum because of it’s low cost, durability, light weight, and ease of clean up.
The second material is glass, although glass usually refers to baking dishes. Something to consider if you use a glass baking dish is that you may have to reduce the temperature of your oven by about 25 degrees.
Most recipes will let you know what material of pan to use, just in case you’re a little confused as to which to choose. If they indicate that you can use either one, then they’ll also include some sort of adjustment in cooking times. If not, just remember the 25 degree rule I mentioned above.
There you have it–baking pans explained. Now you know the basics for how to choose the right baking pan no matter what you’re baking. You’re ready to face the kitchen and let it know who’s boss.