For some of us the choice is very clear, we’re either non-stick or uncoated bakeware fans and this is the flag we will fly. For many the move to non-stick has been heralded by old tins having tarnished and not lasted the distance, or for others a light non-stick coating has warped or flaked, so it’s time to invest in something decent that will stand the test of time. But have you ever considered the difference the bakeware’s finish has on your resulting baked goods?
Non-stick pans are the go-to for most domestic kitchens, a heavy-duty non-stick has just a few requirements to keep it in good shape (don’t cut in them or scour being the main ones) and you have a relatively easy to care for pan that will hold its shape well and give you the perfect dark crust on loaves, muffins, cookies and more. Now for some of us the convenience of non-stick is worth the darker crust, in fact our resident cake decorating talent Lex has happily joined the non-stick loving club.
There are however often recipes that will work best in an uncoated pan and this is why anodised aluminium is often the choice of professional bakers and decorators particularly for baking cakes (Liz, being an ex-caterer, is wholeheartedly a member of this un-coated bakeware club). You want a pan that conducts heat to the batter steadily so the cake can rise even and flat; it needs to be large enough to give the batter room to grow, and light enough to keep the crust delicate and thin. Aluminium is extremely conductive, allowing batters to bake rather quickly, but it also reflects light which helps to minimise browning - a real asset when it comes to delicate white cupcakes, sponges, naked or angel food cakes.
We’ve always had the aluminium Wilton Decorator preferred range as an option for those of us seeking that perfect finish or the USA Pan range, where they marry reflective aluminium with a silicone non-stick coating, so you have the benefits of non-stick with a lighter finish (as well as straight-sides on both so your cake edges form a right-angle for easier icing). But we need to talk more about our new Fat Daddio’s Pro-Series bakeware in anodised aluminium and why it’s the ideal choice for that perfect even bake.
Made for professional use these pans heat faster and cool quicker, they're more heavy-duty than the Wilton decorator pans so can take a bit more kitchen chaos but your recipes will turn out exactly as they should. There are however a few tips they advise for your new pan and here they are;
1. Temperature, we recommend you start by lowering your oven by 10C from what's in the recipe.
2. Baking time, generally this will increase slightly with the temperature reduction, test at the specified time on your recipe for readiness but be prepared to give it a little longer. Use a skewer/ cake tester to test readiness.
3. Pan prep, grease your room-temperature pans with a thin layer of unsalted butter or shortening then dust evenly with flour, we recommend Wilton cake release. Alternatively, line with parchment and spray grease.
NB: The use of Olive oil or aerosol release sprays containing olive oil are not recommended as they can leave a sticky residue that may discolour the pan over time.
So what's best for you? We suggest you consider what you're baking and what finish you prefer and take it from there. With muffins and slices a darker crust is often ideal but if you're after a uniform and light crumb then consider un-coated.
- Tags: how-to