Baking at home doesn’t require a trove of specialized pans, but there are a few essential pieces that will make it possible for you to create basic baked goods at home.
In my home kitchen, I frequently bake cookies, bars, and quick breads. I bake cakes and cobblers several times a year depending on the situation. I bake pies more infrequently, and they tend to be very seasonal (summer and Thanksgiving). Regardless of the setting, when I am ready to bake at home, having the right pan for the job makes it easy to execute.
It can be tricky to know what matters when it comes to quality and size. To help guide you as you round out your inventory of bakeware, I have put together a collection of pans that I use in my own kitchen. These items have served me well over the years, and I would recommend each of them highly.
Sheet trays do not need to cost $50 each. I like the Nordic Ware brand (available on Amazon among other places). If you cook regularly, I recommend having four sheet trays in your collection. They come in handy for a variety of tasks, and I grab mine over and over again.
Pyrex makes a wonderful glass pie plate, which I prefer because it allows me to see the bottom of the pie crust and determine when it is fully cooked and ready to come out of the oven. For a deep-dish option, I like a pretty ceramic option. White is classic and always looks beautiful.
METAL BAKING PANS
When it comes to metal baking pans, I like the Chicago Metallics brand. Regardless of what you purchase, I suggest looking for sharp corners. Whether it is a square, a rectangle, or a loaf pan, sharp corners make for a beautiful finished product.
Round cake pans come in a an assortment of sizes, and any recipe for cake can be adjusted according to whatever size pan you have. But my favorites is the 8-inch size. The layers bake up a bit taller than in a 9-inch cake pan, and tall cakes are prettier in my opinion.
CERAMIC BAKING DISHES
There are excellent budget-friendly ceramic bakers big enough to hold cobblers (as well as breakfast casseroles or chicken enchiladas), but there are also heirloom quality pieces that will last a lifetime. Both get the job done. Again, I tend to prefer white because it allows the food to shine and doubles as a timeless serving dish.
I hope these pointers help guide you as you build your collection of bakeware essentials! For links to my favorites, click the images below!