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Preparing a Baking Pan

Fine Cooking Issue 54
Photos: Scott Phillips
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If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of a cake sticking to its baking pan, chances are you didn’t prepare the pan well enough. For cakes that slide flawlessly out of their pans every time, follow these steps.

1. Grease the pan liberally with a visible coating of vegetable shortening, soft butter, or vegetable oil spray. Too little grease is the most common cause of sticking cakes.
2. If your recipe calls for flouring the pan, spoon a generous amount of flour into the pan and tilt it so the flour slides over all the inside surfaces of the pan. Dump out any extra and then give the pan a few hard knocks over a trash can to get-rid of any excess.

If your recipe tells you to line the pan with parchment, be sure it lies flat and fits inside the edges of the pan. Wrinkled parchment can cause problems. In most cases, it’s a good idea to grease the pan before fitting the parchment.


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