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Chatelaine Kitchen

7 essential bakeware items for your kitchen

Make sure you have the right tools on hand as we head into holiday baking season.
Pumpkin ale muffins Photo, Erik Putz.

If you’re an avid baker, it’s important to have the right tools in the kitchen. An array of standard bakeware will allow you to whip up cookies, breads, cakes and muffins whenever you please. Here are seven must-have baking pans to set you up for success.

1. 9x13” baking pan. This rectangular, standard sized pan is the pan you’ll reach for when you’re making a sheet cake or cobbler. They’re available in glass, ceramic and metal. If buying metal, opt for one that’s shiny and light-coloured — it will lead to perfectly browned baked goods. (A 9x13” baking pan will hold 14 cups.)

Tip: A glass dish is the better option for casseroles.

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2. 8x8” square baking pan.  A square baking pan is the perfect pan for baking brownies and bars. Like a 9x13” pan, you can find this square pan in a variety of materials, but light-coloured metal is the best option for baked goods. (An 8x8” pan will hold 8 cups.)

Tip: Avoid making substitutions for pan sizes, as the depth of the batter will alter baking time. A recipe that calls for a 9x13” pan will have much more volume than one made for an 8x8” pan, this means the batter may take a shorter or longer amount of time to bake depending on the substitution.


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3. Rimmed baking sheets. One of the most-used items in the kitchen, rimmed baking sheets are perfect for baking cookies, scones and dinner rolls. While cookie sheets (which don’t have rolled edges) are a great option for baked goods, picking up a rimmed baking sheet will give you more bang for your buck as rimmed baking sheets are great for making quick sheet pan suppers.

Tip: When choosing a rimmed baking sheet, opt for a shiny, aluminum pan. Keep in mind that dark metal pans heat up faster and you may find your baked goods need less time in the oven.

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4. 8”, 9” or 10” round cake pan.  Having one 8”, 9” or 10” round cake pan is essential for whipping up a celebratory cake. This size is the standard-size for layer cakes but keep in mind that this pan can do double-duty and be used for cinnamon buns, bread rolls and biscuits.

Use it: Vanilla Cake.

 

5. Standard muffin tin.  As the only pan for making crowd-pleasing favourites like muffins and cupcakes, a standard muffin tin is also essential for making savoury bite-sized portions like mini meatloaves and frittatas. While mini muffin tins have more of a cute factor, a standard-sized pan will be more useful in the long run.

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6. 9” or 10” glass pie plate. Pies are a favourite dessert year-round, either loaded with in-season fruit in the warmer months or with buttery pecans or pumpkin in the colder ones. When it comes to choosing a pie plate, opt for glass, as it’s a nonreactive material, which means you can load up a pie with acidic fruit without worrying about it reacting with the material.

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7. 9x5” loaf pan. Look for a heavy, standard sized 9x5” loaf pan for whipping up a quick bread, pound cake and meatloaf. A metal loaf pan will bake up a tender cake while glass pans give more of a crunchy and chewy texture, but both materials are great choices.

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