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Bakeware Buying Guide

Baking can be a truly happy experience, bringing back memories from childhood, thanks to our olfactory senses. From cakes, muffins, meat pies, and lasagne to breads, pancakes, tarts, and brownies, baking can be a fun thing to do, especially if you and your family are food-lovers.

However, baking can be a cruel pastime and when results don’t go according to plan, such as a case of a cake not rising or having a soggy bottom, it is particularly annoying. But this may not be your fault. As Delia Smith said: “….there is a lot of pile-it high, sell-it-cheap rubbish out there, that claims to be baking equipment…” and “…tin size is where 99% of cake making goes wrong….”

Hence, to avoid turning a great dish into a heartrending failure, here are a few tips and pointers that will help you select the ideal bakeware.

The Materials

Bakeware comes in various sizes, shapes and materials. Each material will have a varying effect on the dish. Some of the materials available are anodized aluminium, silicon, non-stick, glass, stainless steel, stone and tinned steel.

Hard Anodised and Silver Anodised bakeware – for those who bake regularily.

Anodized aluminium comes in two varieties- silver anodized and hard anodized. Made of aluminium through an electro-chemical process, which hardens its outer surface, anodized bakeware is rust, peel and blister resistant, and is highly durable. Hard anodized bakeware is ten times harder and hence more durable than silver anodized, but both are excellent conductors of heat, owing to the presence of aluminium. This property ensures quick and even heating, essential when wanting the best results when baking and it is generally agreed that this type of bakeware is amongst the best available. Furthermore, both can be used on the hob. However, as with most high quality cookware there is a slight downside. Avoid using sharp knives on anodized bakeware as this might lead to scoring and this kind of bakeware is not dishwasher friendly. You will have to hand-wash it with hot soapy water. Food particles on its surface can be removed by soaking it in water.

Checkout the wide range of silver and hard anodized bakeware such as pans, trays, moulds and dishes from Silverwood, or take a look at the hard anodized bakeware from Mermaid.

Silicon Bakeware

Oven, microwave and freezer friendly Silicon bakeware is comparatively a new addition to the kitchen range, but has caught on soon enough because of its easy storage capability and durable nature. With a capacity to withstand temperatures ranging from 40 to 580 degrees F, silicon bakeware transfers heat to the food without absorbing it. The second food is out of the oven, the bakeware stops the cooking process, avoiding further browning at the bottom or edges. Flexible and bendable and made from silicone, silicon bakeware is mostly used as moulds and can be used in dishwashers, freezers and microwaves making them extremely versatile. However, when putting them in the oven, it is likely you will need at least a traditional baking tray to put the mould on and you can’t use them on the hob. Jamie Oliver and Bakers Pride have an assortment of moulds for muffins, loaves, cakes, and tarts.

Non Stick Bakeware

Non-stick bakeware can be made of both aluminium and steel, but characteristically has a non-stick coating applied to allow food to be easily removed from it. Such a bakeware is suitable for baking items like layered cakes, cupcakes or muffins where the food has to be served after removing it from the baking dish. This bakeware can provide excellent results, but the non-stick coating will wear with use and hence lose it’s performance over time and they can be susceptible to hot spots. Anolon and Bakers Pride series of bakeware include loaf pans, cake tins, pizza pans, roasting pans, muffin cups and springform pans of the non-stick variety. If you are someone who does not do too much baking and do not want the expense of the hard anodised and silver anodised bakeware, this may well be the solution for you.

Types of Bakeware

There are several types of bakeware available. The most basic is the baking dish, available both in square and rectangular varieties. It is a versatile bakeware in which you can cook a range of dishes like lasagne, roasts, poultry, fish, etc. Another simple bakeware is the cake pan that comes in rectangular, square and round shapes, meant for cakes and savoury dishes.

Baking sheets or cookie sheets are flat metal sheets with one or two turned ends and are used to bake cookies, biscuits, meringues etc. Bread pans or loaf pans, as the name suggests, are meant to bake breads or meat loaves.

Bundt pans are heavy-walled with decorative indented curvature and a hollow tube in the centre for uniform rising and baking of cakes. Generally used to make coffee cakes or sweet cakes, the bakeware is turned upside down for the cake to fall out into a decorative shape with a golden crust. Doughnut pans are shaped to bake doughnuts, and muffin tins, cups and pans for baking muffins.

There are numerous other baking wares such as flan pans, brioche pans, French bread pans, jelly roll pans, pie plates, shortbread pans, popover pans, tart pans, tube pans and springform pans.

The choice is endless, and all you have to do is decide what to buy, depending on what you need. Prices will purely depend on the quality each bakeware offers plus the number of pieces you purchase. Hard anodized is the most expensive, followed by silver anodized and silicon, and in reality that reflects the quality of the product. Finally, make sure when you don’t have the most suitable bakeware for a particular dish, go for one that is closest to the size of the ideal baking dish. This ensures even cooking and therefore, the best results.

Blue Shoots love our cooking at Blue Shoots Ltd and understand that to be a successful cook it helps to have the right cookware and kitchen accessories . As a specialist cookware shops it is our aim to bring you a wide selection of quality kitchen appliances and kitchen gadgets at online, affordable prices.

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