What am I doing wrong? Is it my pan choice? Please advise!

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by bassett72, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. bassett72

    bassett72

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    I'm a moderately good baker, follow recipes very well, but lately have been struggling to get a few baked goods to come out baked evenly. Some examples are:
    "sl
    • utty brownies"
    • a chocolate cake
    • and a pretzel crusted/sugar cookie/brownie bar (basically a layer of pretzel crust, a layer of sugar cookie, and then topped with brownie batter).


    I'm usually the star baker that everyone at work is counting on for the next best treat. Lately, I've been more of the guy coming home with a full pan. My problem isn't taste, it has been doneness. I've always baked in a clear glass, 13x9 pan, and until lately, I don't recall having so many issues. Basically what happens is the edges are over done (hard and dry) and he centers are half baked at most. The pretzel crusted/sugar cookie/brownie bar I made last night baked at 350 for 45 minutes. The directions called for 40-45. I didn't dare bake it more or the edges would have been rocks.

    My first thought is it is my pan choice. Should I be using a metal pan?

    This is getting frustrating. Any advice? If you need more details, please ask.

    Thanks for your time!

    OH, I should add that I'm using a conventional electric oven for home use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Use a thermometer and make sure your oven is accurate. It may need to be calibrated.
     
  3. bassett72

    bassett72

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    Just took a few readings and it is going between 345 and 355 as far as I can tell.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Definitely consider metal pans. Much easier to bake in. Light and dark metal bake slightly different but either is better than Pyrex.
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Checkout the baking pans from Matfer and Vollrath and pay close attention to their thickness.  IMO the thicker the better.
     
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Also look at Parrish Magic Line.
     
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  7. panini

    panini

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    Most recipes will usually suggest what to pour batter into. Most are metal. If you are going to use clear glass you need to cut back the temp 25 deg. Glass is a great conductor of heat and will retain it.

    The things you were baking were not underbaked in the middle, they were overbaked on the sides.
     
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  8. bassett72

    bassett72

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    Thanks, so definitely seems like people agree on the pan as the issue.

    I'll first try the one metal pan I have, if I don't have any good luck, I'll investigate some of the other options you gave.

    Are darker and lighter metal pans better, or doesn't really matter? Also, non-stick or other?
     
  9. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Darker pan tends to "bake hotter" than light pans so timing may differ slightly. Test early and often until you know how your recipe and the pan performs. Nonstick is great until they scratch. Regular pans will last longer but will need to be prepared more carefully.

    There also may be similar differences between thick and thin pans.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I totally agree with changing pans but if your oven is running true (well close anyway) and the dishes are all of a sudden going wonky then the pan may not be your problem.

    What I mean is that just changing pans may not fix things.

    Have you changed brands of ingredients?

    Have any of your usual ingredients changed formulas?

    With the soaring cost of baking products I have noticed changes in some of my go to products (I suppose the reasoning is to avoid yet another increase in price).

    Cheap fillers...decreased amt in packages....

    mimi
     
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  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Or have you (thinking that more is better or trying to cut calories/fat/whatever) been tweeking your recipes?

    mimi
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    If you are just baking occasionally at home, I would go with good non-stick pans. They are easy to use and offer a pretty consistent product. If you choose these

    I would make sure you buy some plastic, silicone, wood, or rubber utensils at the same time. If you keep them scratch free, they will last a long tome. Warning, if you start buttering or greasing

    these pans they seem to build up crud on the surface. Very few things will require release with these pans.
     
  13. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Altitude may have something to do with it.  Have you changed locations since you last made same recipes?
     
  14. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I remember when I first started baking decades ago that the advice was always to lower the temp by 25 degrees if you were baking in a glass baking dish. I don't see that written in recipes or cookbooks anymore but I do think it is sound advice. Glass is not a good conductor of heat. It is an insulator. Heat doesn't readily pass through it. Heat is held by the glass, so edges that come in contact with it tend to cook faster than the center.