Baking and browning to perfection

Baking requires precision and astute attention to the recipe or else disaster could strike. And while the following the recipe is important, so too is proper baking and browning once your pan of baked goods is in the oven.

Baking is a finicky process (though well worth it!) and complications can sometimes arise…

Have you ever had a pan of baked goods turn out unevenly baked where they’re not cooked or browned on the bottom? Try using a lower oven rack position. If you use shiny or insulated pans, the contents may require additional time or need to be closer to the oven element.

Or, perhaps you didn’t completely preheat the oven. Despite the fact that ovens indicate to you when they’re ready to go, for bake times less than 25 minutes, the oven should be preheated for at least 20 to ensure even baking. When ovens aren’t thoroughly preheated, you items may be baked too much on top and not enough on the bottom.

If you’re using a new oven, keep in mind that baking times may vary and you may find that your baked goods don’t turn out like they did in the oven you were used to. Some ovens have visible bake elements on the bottom, while others have elements that are hidden under the liner.

If you’re using an oven with a visible bake element, adjust the oven rack to be closer to this element in order to shorten baking time. For instance, lower the rack from position three to position two.

If you’re using an oven with a hidden bake element, the oven will offer a buffered heat so you’ll want to reposition the rack to be closer to the bottom of the oven – from position three to position two or one.

Other reasons that you may experience uneven baking or browning may include:

  • Uneven batter distribution in the pan.
  • Frequent door opening during cooking, which releases oven heat and increases cooking times.
  • An unlevel range. Use your installation instructions to properly level your range.
  • Improper power supply. A 208 volt power supply will increase preheating times.
  • Improper bakeware. Dark, dull pans absorb heat, which results in darker browning; whereas shiny pans reflect heat, resulting in lighter browning.

For more tips and recipes for your home range, visit www.scratchanddent.ca or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.