Preheat the oven if the recipe calls for it. Preheat means
bringing the oven up to the specified temperature
before putting the food in the oven. To preheat, set the
oven at the correct temperature—selecting a higher
temperature does not shorten preheat time.
Use the proper baking pan. The type of finish on the
pan determines the amount of browning that will occur.
Dark, rough or dull pans absorb heat resulting in a
browner, crisper crust. Use this type for pies.
Shiny, bright and smooth pans reflect heat, resulting
in a lighter, more delicate browning. Cakes and
cookies require this type of pan.
Glass baking dishes absorb heat. When baking
in glass baking dishes, the temperature may need
to be reduced by 25"F.
When using prepared baking mixes, follow package recipe or instructions
for the best baking results.
When baking cookies, flat cookie sheets (without
sides) produce better-looking cookies. Cookies baked
in a jelly roll pan (short sides all around) may have
darker edges and pale or light browning may occur.
Do not use a cookie sheet so large that it touches the
walls or the door of the oven. Never entirely cover
a shelf with a large cookie sheet.
For best results, use only one cookie sheet in the oven
at a time.
For best results, bake pies in dark, rough or dull pans
to produce a browner, crisper crust. Frozen pies in foil
pans should be placed on an aluminum cookie sheet
for baking since the shiny foil pan reflects heat away
from the pie crust; the cookie sheet helps retain it.
Preheating is necessary for good results when baking
cakes, cookies, pastry and breads. For most casseroles
and roasts, preheating is not necessary. For ovens
without a preheat indicator light or tone, preheat
10 minutes. After the oven is preheated, place the
food in the oven as quickly as possible to prevent
heat from escaping.
For even cooking and proper browning, there must be
enough room for air circulation in the oven. Baking
results will be better if baking pans are centered as
much as possible rather than being placed to the front
or to the back of the oven.
Pans should not touch each other or the walls of the
oven. Allow 1- to 1 K-inch space between pans as well
as from the back of the oven, the door and the sides.
If you need to use two shelves, stagger the pans so
one is not directly above the other.
When baking cakes, warped or bent pans will cause
uneven baking results and poorly shaped products.
A cake baked in a pan larger than the recipe
recommends will usually be crisper, thinner and drier
than it should be. If baked in a pan smaller than
recommended, it may be undercooked and batter may
overflow. Check the recipe to make sure the pan size
used is the one recommended.
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