This month I thought it would be a good idea if I gave some tips on a really important step when baking or a “baking basic” as I like to call it. I thought about some of the most important baking steps, and pan preparation is at the top of the list.
It’s the worst when you work so hard at getting your measurements right; make this great batter or dough; set it to cook and it turns out fantastic. Only to go and remove your baked creation and it gets destroyed because it’s stuck!
Knowing how to prep your pans can save you when it comes to sacrificing your time, tasty bakes and most importantly – your pans. One thing to consider when you begin is different pans require different attention. Intricately shaped pans, spring foam pans, round or square; it’s good to know your pan. Does it bake evenly? Does it stick in certain areas? Are there any nooks that you have to pay attention to? These are just a few things to know about your equipment. Remember: the older the pan the more personality it has! So I can’t stress how important it is to be familiar with each one individually.
Every baker has their own preference on the medium they use to prep their pans. Most often you can find majority of these items in your fridge or pantry. Butter, shortening, flour, or pan spray are the most popular mediums. In the kitchen of some bakers, you may find parchment paper or something called “pan grease” – a mixture of flour, shortening and oil.
The methods are similar when using butter or shortening. Once you have decided on the fat you will use, you can then coat it all over the inside surface of the pan using paper towel or parchment paper. Make sure you get it everywhere!
Take a small amount of flour, put it in the pan and move it around until the inside is completely covered. It’s super important to ensure everywhere is coated. Everywhere! This will ensure that parts of your cake won’t break or stick when you attempt to remove it.
Once the pan is covered completely, dust out any excess flour. Too much flour on the inside of the pan will present on the surfaces of your bake. And there you have it!
The second method is the one which I use; a combination of pan spray and parchment paper.
To prep your pan with these mediums, begin by spraying the entire inside surface of the pan lightly with the pan spray. Then, take a piece of parchment paper and trace the bottom shape of the pan, cut it out and place it inside along the bottom of the pan. Make sure it covers the entire bottom surface.
Some bakers may choose to line along the inside walls of the pans with parchment as well. This can be a bit tricky as well as time consuming, especially the more detailed the shape of your pan is.
You can also choose to flour your pan the same way you would as described in method 1, except here you are replacing the fat with pan spray. This may be especially helpful if you are using a shaped pan or a pan that you know tends to stick.
And there you have it, your pan is prepped!
Normally these methods can be used when completing most bakes. However, a recipe will explain the pan preparation method to be used if it differs. A couple of things to keep in mind when your bake is complete: WARM BAKES ARE FRAGILE! Even though you may have prepped the pan like a champ, still be gentle when removing your bake.
Hopefully these pan prep tips will help you guys with your future bakes. Happy baking y’all!