The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greasing Pan v Greasing & Flouring

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andychrist's picture
andychrist

Greasing Pan v Greasing & Flouring

With all my years of baking am embarrassed to admit I still don't know the answer to this one:

What is the rule of thumb as to whether one should simply grease a pan or both grease and flour it when baking sweetened goods such as muffins, quick breads, or cakes? 

Recently acquired a set of "non-stick" aluminized madeleine pans: The classic recipe calls for them either to be brushed with butter and floured, or coated with a mixture of butter and flour, so that the delicate pastries lift out easily from the cavities. Works like a charm. Applied that technique to my similarly aluminized mini fluted muffin pans with equally successful results. Of particular help baking cakes containing containing fresh fruit, which might otherwise stick to the pan and fall apart while being turned out . OTOH, have found many dessert recipes that call only for greasing the pan; presumably they work fine (have not tried them all.) And yes, of course I often use cocoa in the coating for chocolate recipes and no, you could not pay me to use Pam or such.

So anyway, can anybody here explain what factors determine the best choice for prepping the pan? Am guessing it has something to do with the batter's sugar content and consistency, but might also involve the degree of crispiness or softness desired in the finished product, as well as its appearance. Any pointers much appreciated, thanks!

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Edit: Found this site which offers the most concise explanation.

Ford's picture
Ford

If your dough has a lot of liquid, e. g. cake batter, then use both solid shortening (e. g. butter) and flour for ease of removing the baked goods.

If you are baking bread, you can use solid shortening alone.  Sometimes I have used just parchment paper without greasing and sometimes just flour or just cornmeal on the bottom of the dough and baked on a hot stone.

The exceptions are, corn bread, corn pone, and spoon bread.  For all of these, I use copious amounts of solid shortening.  I like a hot cast iron pan with melted bacon fat for the cornbread and the corn pone.  For spoon bread I usually use a well buttered glass casserole dish.

Ford

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yeah, I prefer baking bread with parchment or corn meal as well. Exception being for a sandwich loaf, best just to grease the whole vessel, as the dough needs to conform to its sides. Anyway, from now on I will always flour my cake pans as well, there's just no other guarantee of getting an intact release. 

Incidentally, have found Farberware's basting brush ideal for greasing most any pan. As it's bristles are silicone rather than natural boar, cleans up very easily — Won't transfer flavors between use.

Oh well, time to get baking!