Baking Pans Basic Training

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.

Cooking Up A Storm With Top Gas Cookers

Have you ever asked yourself which is best? Gas or electric cookers. I always found gas cookers an easier fit. Most ones I have seen have a rubbery hose pipe that connects to an usual fitting. Electric cookers require specific heavy-duty cabling. With gas cookers you can not fail. It would be advisable to get yourself a well-known gas cookers due to their excellent quality.

It is incredible what you could do with gas these days. Just eying at some free-standing gas cookers the other day made me realize just how convenient they are. Provided with gas zoned dual ovens. You can cook anything from casseroles to lasagna all at the same time. How sensational is that? Now that is as straight forward as you can have.

Basic safety is a number one concern of many people. You need not to worry about this with brand name gas cookers. It is basic procedure for the cookers to have passed EU standardized safety checks. If you are thinking of acquiring a standard gas oven rest assured as they are all fitted with a flame safety device. Every care is taken to guarantee that your safety comes first.

I must just say that the properties of some of these gas cookers is really remarkable. Offering superior value for money. It features conventional flow of air that is great for cooking. In the main cavity you get to work with two oven spaces and five shelve positions. The hob comes outfitted with four heaters in different sizes.

Most gas cookers are easy to use and clean. Comes with rotary control knobs imbedded in the control panel. The door handles are cool to the touch. There is also an inner light to light up your work of art on the inside. This will also make it easy for when you are washing the inside of the oven. The glass lid on top will help to maintain your cooker clean.

You guessed it. It has so many features that we had to list some more for you. The polish pan stands that comes with top gas cookers make is incredibly handy. Typically the top oven has 27 liter capacity and has a traditional oven. The glass on both of the door of your gas cooker are removable which results in simple cleaning.

What I found very handy is that whenever you cook with gas you have on-the-spot controllable heat. The gas cooker that I used had a practical fast wok burner that made life so easy. You can have a stir fry ready almost instantly. Be sure to turn off the gas once you have done cooking. This will protect against any unpleasant surprises.

Now you might wonder what kind is best? Your best bet would be to go for reputable gas cookers. Some of these gas cookers provide such a wide variety to choose from that it will suit all budgets. The best part is that you can get it on the web. It does not help to sacrifice quality on price when it comes to longevity and getting the best quality. Always go for the best.

Fancy Salt – Exploding The Myths

First of all let me state that my expertise in this matter extends no further than being 13 stone and five foot eight. I don’t know what that translates to in US pounds or European kilos but I’d definitely live longer than Kate Moss if we both fell into the North Sea. Furthermore, I think this accumulation of mass demonstrates the simple yet vital fact that I like eating and do it quite a lot. In my gustatory explorations I often encounter very firm instructions that I use expensive sea salt flakes rather than the cheapo stuff from the bottom shelf down at my local supermarket. This needless expense will apparently lend my culinary creations greater levels of yumminess. I am firmly of the opinion that this is nonsense.

In an effort to prove conclusively that this is the case I carried out several experiments comparing fancy salt to the humbler variety and forced friends and family to consume both varieties in a number of situations to confirm my prejudices. Said family and friends were happy to endure this tedium providing I then promise to shut up on the subject.

The first experiment involved the preparation of two identical curries utilising a phenomenal array of flavourings both delicate and rugged. Two lamb Kormas from Charmaine Solomon’s excellent ‘Complete Asian Cookbook’ were assembled featuring; oil (didn’t have ghee), ginger, garlic, onion, almonds, chilli, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, yoghurt and salt. Of course, in this melee of ingredients it was impossible to discern any difference in the quality of salinity because salt is SALT!

The second experiment was arranged to give the two varieties of salt a greater chance to speak out. Two fillets of sea bream were pan fried in oil and then served with the merest suggestion of fresh lemon juice and salt. Both were very nice, thanks to our excellent local fish monger and no one could tell which was graced by the the ludicrously expensive salt and which had the Happy Shopper stuff. Two-nil.

Finally, I had my weary subjects take part in a straight taste test. I ground some fancy salt flakes until they were of the same consistency as my everyday salt and had them dip their little fingers in both and tell me which was the posh stuff. Of the five people prepared to endure this charade, two spotted the expensive stuff and three couldn’t say one way or t’other. Apparently my smugness at this point was unendurable and they went home.

The point is clear though, sodium chloride is sodium chloride and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a poseur, a liar or both. Don’t be cheated. Thank you.

Most Common Foodborne Illness

Food borne illness are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in the United States, and account for millions of dollars in expenses and thousands of days of lost work time every year. What are some of the most common bugs?
Campylobacter is a bacterial pathogen that causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. It is the most commonly identified bacterial cause of diarrheal illness in the world. These bacteria live in the intestines of healthy birds, and most raw poultry meat has Campylobacter on it. Eating undercooked chicken or other food that has been contaminated with juices dripping from raw chicken is the most frequent source of this infection.

E. Coli is a bacterial pathogen that has a reservoir in cattle and other similar animals. Human illness typically follows consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with microscopic amounts of cow feces. The illness it causes is often a severe and bloody diarrhea and painful abdominal cramps, without much fever. In 3 percent to 5 percent of cases, a complication called hemolytic ureic syndrome (HUS) can occur several weeks after the initial symptoms. This severe complication includes temporary anemia, profuse bleeding and kidney failure.

Norwalk virus is an extremely common cause of food borne illness, though it is rarely diagnosed, because the laboratory test is not widely available. It causes an acute gastrointestinal illness, usually with more vomiting than diarrhea, that resolves within two days. Unlike many food borne pathogens that have animal reservoirs, it is believed that Norwalk-like viruses spread primarily from one infected person to another. Infected kitchen workers can contaminate a salad or sandwich as they prepare it, if they have the virus on their hands. Infected fishermen have contaminated oysters as they harvested them.

Salmonella is another bacterium that is widespread in the intestines of birds, reptiles and mammals. It can spread to humans via a variety of different foods of animal origin. The illness it causes, salmonellas, typically includes fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, it can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections.

As you can see, food borne illness is nothing to fool around with. If you suspect you have one, get medical help immediately!