Silicone baking pans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from simple muffin cups to intricately molded cake pans. They are dishwasher safe and can tolerate temperature ranges from minus 76 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Replacing your metal bakeware with silicone may require some experimentation with your favorite recipes due to differences in the way silicone versus metal pans conduct heat.
Silicone bakeware is designed to be nonstick, which is perfect for moist cakes and cupcakes that can be difficult to remove from metal pans. However, silicone is also a poor heat conductor, so your baked goods may not brown well in these pans. Their flexibility makes it easy to turn out cupcakes but can result in lopsided or unevenly baked breads and cakes when you bake stiff or heavy doughs that may deform the pan.
Metal baking pans require a thin layer of butter or oil to prevent sticking, but they conduct heat better than silicone, leading to even browning. Better heat conduction also allows cake batter and quick breads to rise more efficiently than they do in silicone pans.
Baking Time Differences
Due to silicone's insulating properties, baking times are slightly longer than those for metal pans. Cupcakes may only need an extra minute or two, while larger cakes may need up to 10 extra minutes in the oven to reach their final internal temperature.
Test for Doneness
Time is not always the best way to tell whether your baked goods are ready to come out of the oven. Ovens can heat unevenly and may be hotter or cooler than the temperature you set. A probe thermometer gives the most accurate indication of doneness. Most baked goods, especially those containing eggs, should reach an internal temperature of at least 160 F to ensure that all illness-causing bacteria are destroyed. If you do not have a probe thermometer, use a toothpick to test cakes for doneness. Insert a clean toothpick into the center of your cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is set in the middle and is ready to come out of the oven. If you are baking bread and do not have access to a probe thermometer, tap the bottom of the loaf. It sounds hollow when it is done. This method is not as accurate as using a thermometer, but it gives a fairly good indication of doneness.
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- Centers for Disease Control: Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Salmonella From Eggs
- Epicurious: Bread Basics
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