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Ask The Experts...

Ask the Experts...About Baking Pans

Q: I'd like to get a set of baking pans for a friend who's interested in beginning to bake. They're just starting out so do you have some suggestions? Also, are there pans we can substitute if we don't have what's called for in a recipe?

Dear Baker: What a great way to help start someone on a healthful, fun, and active lifestyle choice! Almost any of the pans listed below come in a choice of uncoated or nonstick coatings made from steel or aluminum. Insulated aluminum, shiny, or darkened choices also are available. Choose a variety of pan types to suit the outcomes you like when baking certain products.

A great base set of home baking pans could include:
One jelly roll (baking sheet) pan - 18- x 13- x 1-inch or 15½- x 10- x 1-inch
One or two cookie sheets - 12- x 14-inch or 16- x 14-inch
Two medium baking sheet pans -15½- x 10- x 5/8-inch
Two 8-inch or 9-inch round (1½- to 2-inch high) cake pans
Two 8-inch or 9-inch square (1½- to 2-inch high) cake pans
One 9- x 13- x 2-inch baking pan
Two 8½- x 4½- x 2½-inch loaf pans
Two 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pans
One 10-cup capacity Bundt or tube pan
One or two 12-cup muffin tins (2½ inches across the cup is standard)
One 9-inch pie plate
One 12¾-inch to 16-inch pizza pan
One large cooling rack or two smaller ones with ¾- to 1-inch feet
Nice-to-have: One 9-inch springform pan

TIP: Follow the manufacturer's label instructions on the pan for oven temperature recommendations or adjustments. Darkened pan surfaces will bake differently than shiny or insulated aluminum surfaces.

(See glossary for pan definitions and visit The Cookware Manufacturers Association Web site at www.cookware.org.)

What's new and fun in bake ware? www.bakingpans.com, www.mirro.com, www.wearever.com, and www.worldkitchen.com.

Baking Pan Substitutions:
You may not always have the baking pan that a recipe calls for, so check the chart below for some pan substitutions. Pan capacity (volume) can be calculated by pouring water to the inside rim using a liquid measure. Remember that baking times will be reduce when batter/dough is divided into smaller or shallower pans.

Pan Size Pan Capacity Substitute Pan
8½" x 4½ " loaf pan 6 cups Three, 5" x 2" loaf pans
Two, 2¾" x 1 3/8" muffin tins
Three, 2¾" x 1 1/8" muffin tins
9" x 5" x 3" loaf pans 8 cups Two, 8" x 4" x 2¼" loaf pans
Three, 5½" x 3½" loaf pans
9" x 2" round cake pan 8 cups One, 8" x 2" square pan
10" x 3¼" Bundt® pan 12 cups One, 10" x 4" tube pan
Two, 8½" x 4½" x 2½" loaf pans
13" x 9" x 2" pan 14 to 15 cups Two, 9" x 2" round cake pans
Two, 8" x 2" square pans
15" x 10" x 1" jelly-roll pan 10 cups Two, 8" x 1/3" round pans
Source: "Hints and Tips to Make Life Easier" Copyright 1997, A Reader's Digest Book and the Home Baking Association