Bakeware is a necessity for venues offering homemade baked goods such as breads, muffins, pies, and cakes. Such venues can use their bakeware for preparing and serving both baked goods and other foods. Even venues not focusing on baked products can make use of various types of bakeware in order to serve foods in unusual ways. Below are some ideas for how to make the most of various bakeware items.
Cookie sheets are similar to baking pans, but very flat. The flat surface allows oven heat to efficiently reach all sides of the food and offers an easy to work with platform for bakers and chefs to craft dishes containing multiple components. As hinted by their name, cookie sheets are ideal for preparing cookies, but are the best option for French macarons and jelly rolls cakes as well. They can also be used for preparing both sweet and savory tuiles and crackers.
Muffin tins are typically the bakeware of choice for muffins and small bread rolls, but can also be used to prepare cinnamon buns, mini tostada-style appetizers, frittatas, small quiches and tarts, mini lasagnas, and perfectly shaped, baked, potato fritters. Miniature dishes and dishes presented in a creative ways are all the rage in event catering as well as sit-down restaurants. Since muffin tins are perfect for this purpose, they can be a great, versatile multipurpose piece of bakeware for a commercial kitchen.
Springform pans are a must-have for venues offering homemade cakes, especially birthday cakes, since they provide a round platform with removable sides. This feature significantly facilitates the de-molding process, without requiring the cake to be flipped upside-down, as with bundt pans and non-springform cake pans. The trick to making the most out of a springform pan is to make sure the bottom is securely attached to the sides, and waiting for the dish to cool before removing the contents from the pan. Sometimes running a knife around the edges before removing the sides of the pan will help keep the food intact and aesthetic. Springform pans can be used to prepare a variety of savory dishes in addition to cakes, providing an easy way to aesthetically serve multilayered dishes at buffets. Examples of such dishes may include pesto and roasted vegetable wheels, tortilla stacks, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, stuffed breads, and more.
Pie pans are usually used for preparing both sweet and savory pies, but can also be great makeshift pans for deep dish pizza. Large pie dishes can be convenient for venues offering take-out food and buffets, while small, individual-sized pie dishes can be used to prepare one-serving dishes in restaurants.
Dutch ovens are heavy pots with lids that are mostly used for slow-cooking foods in the oven. They can be used to prepare soups, stews, stuffed fruits and vegetables, ribs, and lamb shank in the oven. Small Dutch ovens can provide an interesting serving dish, making heating the food upon order and plating a one-dish procedure.
Loaf pans can be used to prepare many types of dishes in addition to bread. They offer a great mold for baking dessert loafs, layering terrines for buffets or to be sliced on order, and to mold a variety of frozen desserts. Desserts frozen in loaf pans can be sliced and plated “standing up” to add dimension and uniqueness to the dish. Mini loaf pans can be used as a base to construct multi-layered desserts and individual appetizers or side dishes such as potato, sweet potato terrine and roasted vegetable mille-feuille.
Ramekins are the go-to dish for soufflés and coddled eggs. Their small size allows the proper heat transfer to the soufflé, enabling it to rise properly. Wider, shorter ramekins are often used to make crème brulée. Ramekins also provide small canapé or dessert-sized dishes for onion soup, pot pies, cobblers, and flan. Most dishes prepared in ramekins can be presented in them as well, though many of them can also be removed for plating in a different style.
The bakeware equipment available is very diverse in terms of heat transfer, material, shape, and size. However, many bakeware items can also be used for a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. Venues offering baked goods may choose to make the most out of their bakeware by using it to prepare a large selection of dishes. On the other hand, venues not offering baked goods may choose to purchase certain bakeware items in order to increase their options for interesting styles of food preparation and presentation.