Cookie sheets are rimless, flat metal sheets, perfectly designed for placing rows of cookies. They normally have a small rim on the short sides for easy gripping. The long flat edges allow you to slide cookies off the sheet after baking. Baking sheets have raised edges all around, and are normally the choice for professional bakers. They are a good, all-purpose pan and can be used for everything from baking cookies to toasting nuts.
Jelly Roll Pans:
Jelly Roll pans are the same as a baking sheet. They have a raised edge all around, usually ½ to 1 inch high. The most all-purpose size to have is a 12½ x 17½ by 1 inch Jelly Roll Pan. Jelly roll pans are most often used to make bar cookies, shortbread, sponge cakes, sheet cakes, focaccia breads, and more. A jelly roll pan is also good to place under a fruit pie as it is baking to catch overflowing juices, and to hold springform and tart pans with removable bottoms while baking.
Layer Cake Pans:
Many basic cake recipes use traditional round layer cake pans that are either 8 or 9 inches in diameter. The pans should be at least 2 or 2½ inches deep so that the batter doesn’t overflow. You’ll want to have a set of at least two round layer cake pans; however a set of three pans is best as many cake recipes are made with 3 layers. Choose pans with no seams on the inside and a good, heavy feel to them.
Loaf pans are used for most quick bread recipes, such as banana bread and zucchinibread. Metal, stone, glass, and ceramic loaf pans all work well for quick breads. Loaf pans can also be used for yeast breads. The most useful sizes are a 9¼ x 5¼ x 2½ inch loaf pans for larger loaves and 8½ x 4½ x 2½ inch loaf pans for smaller loaves. Darker loaf pans are good for crusty yeast breads; however light aluminum is best for sweet and quick breads so they don’t over-darken.
Muffin Pans and Baking Cups:
Muffin pans are a rectangular metal baking pan with six or twelve cup, used to bake both muffins and cupcakes. Muffin pan sizes are typically mini, standard, and jumbo sized. Each cup is normally lined with paper baking cups, and then filled with muffin or cake batter. Muffin pans can also be used to bake dinner rolls or individual brownies.
A standard muffin pan has 12 cups, each measuring about 2¾ inches at the top and 1-3/8 inches deep. Mini muffin pans normally have either 12 or 24 cups and measure about 1¾ inch across the top and ¾ inch deep. Jumbo muffin pans normally have 6 cups, and measure 3-3/8 inches across the top and 1¾ inches deep.
Muffin pans are traditionally made of metal; most common are aluminum pans; however flexible silicone pans are now available.
Sheet Cake Pans:
A single layer sheet cake is most often baked in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch RectangularPan,replacing a typical two-layer cake. The pan should be at least 2 inches deep, and for ease in cleaning, look for pans that have slightly rounded inside corners. Square corners can trap crumbsin the crevices.
Springform pans are used for cheesecakes, streusel-topped cake, delicate tortes, and other cakes that would be damaged by turning them upside down to remove them from the pan. Springform pans are normally round, with expandable sides that are secured with a clamp and have a removable bottom. When the clamp is opened, the sides of the pan expand and release the bottom. When purchasing a springform pan, examine how tightly the side locks onto the pan bottom when clamped into position. Less expensive springformpans may be prone to leaking and will bend or warp easily.
Square Baking Pans:
Many bar cookie and brownie recipes, and some small cakes, use a square baking pan that is either 8 or 9 inches. The pans should be at least 2 or 2½ inches deep so that the batter doesn’t overflow. Choose pans with no seams on the inside and a good, heavy feel to them. Aluminum pans are the best for cookies and brownies, and a glass pan is best for fruit...