Baking is an exact science, so today we will talk about how to adjust baking time for different size pans to achieve perfection! We will discuss how to crunch down the numbers and understand how to not overbake -or underbake!- our preparations. The truth is some recipes are made thinking about a specific pan size and shape and maybe we do not have the exact one at home. It can be frustrating but we can definitely work around it!
Learn an Easy Way- How To Adjust Baking Time for Different Size Pans
Why Do We Need to Adjust our Baking Time for Different Size Pans?
Maybe not everyone knows about this but, for the same recipe type and amount, different-sized pans will impact the ideal baking time. This happens because, depending on the size and shape of the pan, there will be more or less surface directly in contact with the heat of the oven. Also, if it is a deeper pan, for example, more mixture will be kept in the center, away from the sides. This will make it harder for it to reach the desired temperature and actually bake.
Knowing how to adjust our baking time will help us when it comes to not burning a preparation. You could also end up with an uncooked mess and nobody wants that! It is very useful to know how to adapt recipes we read online or in a cookbook to the materials we have on hand.
How Do You Know When to Adjust?
Maybe you think that this is a very difficult thing to do and it is simpler to just buy the adequate pan. I promise you this is not the case! What we need to know first is if we are increasing or decreasing the area at the bottom of the pan. If the surface at the bottom of the pan is the same, then you do not need to adjust anything! Isn’t that great news?
Start by calculating the bottom surface area of the required pan and compare it with one of the pans you are planning on using. The way to do this is as follows:
- Square or rectangular pan: Area = length x width
- Round pan: Area = (1/2 x diameter)2 x 3.14
If the area of the pan has curved sides, measure up until the halfway point of the curve.
If you have a smaller total area: This means the batter will be thicker in the center of the pan. Try turning the temperature down and increasing the total baking time.
If you have a larger total area: Your batter will be thinner and more spread out. Turn the temperature up and the total baking time down.
What to Do if We are Changing Pan Styles?
There are special situations, like making cupcakes instead of a cake, where these rules won’t work. For these cases, consider just the overall size of the batter or dough you are baking. Do not adjust baking temperature or time. This does not mean you can place everything in the oven and forget about it. On the contrary. If you are going smaller, start checking if the batter is done at the halfway point and do so every five or ten minutes to avoid burning everything. If you are going larger, it will probably take longer to bake completely.
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