Pan preparation is a very important part of baking cakes and cookies. If you want your cakes of all sizes and shapes to release from the baking pan without incident preparation is essential. Cookie sheet prep I would say is mostly for the ease of clean up and releasing from the pan equally. No one wants to scrape cookies from a cookie pan. And, since the cookie sheet is the most simple we will begin there.
Cookie Sheets: All you need to remember here is parchment paper. You can thank me later. Lining your pan with parchment paper does exactly what I explained above. Parchment protects the pan from the little oil residue from the butter that comes from the cookies while baking. Cookies also release very easily with parchment paper. Also, you can reuse the parchment on the second batch of cookies. (This is only for that day.) When you’re done baking cookies for the day discard the parchment into the garbage.
You can find parchment paper on a roll in the grocery store near the aluminum foil and wax paper. But, I suggest going to your area restaurant supply store or ordering online flat parchment sheets. The paper on a roll is difficult to get to lay flat on the cookie pan. So flat sheets are my suggestion.
Cake pans I: This includes round, square and, sheet pans. If that cake is supposed to come out of the pan before frosting and serving you must use a pan release spray or shortening and wax paper to prep your pans to insure you cake will not have to be dug out or banged out of its incubation host.
First, pull out enough wax paper the width of the pan plus about 1 inch on all sides. Set your cake pan that is to be used right on top of the cake pan. With a pencil, trace a line around the perimeter of the cake pan from one end to the other. Next, using scissors cut on the outline of the cake pan so that it perfectly fits inside the cake pan. If you need more than one piece of wax paper cut to size go ahead and do so now using the original cut-out as your guide (cake layers). Set all the wax paper cut-outs aside. The next step is to oil or grease the pan. Take the pan spray and spray the inside of the pan or pans; bottom and sides generously. Finally, line your greased cake pans with the wax paper cut-outs. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for the allotted time. Check for doneness. When the cake has set out of the oven for at least 10 minutes, carefully turn the cake over to release it from the pan using a plate or cake board.
Cake pans II: This section includes, angel food cake and bundt pans and loaf pans. I use these types of pans a lot strictly for any kind of pound cake. Save yourself a headache and heartache by following these steps. What you need here to prepare for baking pound cakes is shortening, a pastry brush and all purpose flour. I have never used wax paper to line this type of pan but, when I was a kid my mother did. I will leave this up to you. But, for sure you will need to grease the pan with shortening (only) and dust it with flour.
Here’s how to do it: Using the pastry brush, evenly paint a generous coat of shortening on the bottom, sides and, tube of the pan. Next, get about ¼ cup of all purpose flour into the pan and move the pan all around until flour dust is covering the entire shortening glazed pan being sure to coat the tube of the pan also. You may want to use a sheet of wax paper to remove the residual flour and then sprinkle the tube with the flour that is left over. When the pan is completely coated with both the shortening and the flour fill the pan with the batter and bake for the stated time and check for doneness. Immediately run a butter knife around the pan to release the cake from the sides. If the cake is done this will be effortless. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a cake plate or board and let cool completely.
HOW TO CLEAN THAT REALLY GREASY PASTRY BRUSH
This is very simple. I came to the revelation on how to better clean the pastry brush after my failing attempts at washing away the left over grease between the bristles. Because I always leave the greasy things till last to wash the water would never be hot enough to degrease the many, many bristles a pastry brush can have. So what I did alleviate my stress of an unclean brush starts at the beginning of my clean up.
Here’s how: In any glass (preferably a glass with a handle such as mug or glass measuring cup) boil at least 1 cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Set the pastry brush in the boiling water while washing the other dishes in the sink and watch the grease float to the top. Viola’! It’s clean! Just dunk it in the soap and water swish it around and rinse. Easy Peasy no more Greasy.
Here’s to wishing you a great baking experience!