Nothing beats home baking- the smell wafting around the kitchen and emanating from the oven, the anticipation of waiting for the goodies to cool down, prior to trying them and the taste of the final baked product itself. Whilst nothing beats home baking, nothing ruins it more than finding your goodies stuck to the base of the baking tray, leading to scraping, scrapping and eventually having to peel your baking off in chunks. This is why it is key to line your baking tray and we’re here to show you how, in simple steps. Greasing your baking tray is a very quick step, but it is a key one that will guarantee success in your baking.
Prior to starting however, you have to know your tray (or tin).
There are lots of different types of baking trays and tins. Flat trays are best for cooking things like cookies. As they are flat and not too deep they’re best suited to batters that aren’t too liquid prior to cooking. A baking tray is also good for things such as baked chips and vegetables as it is a large flat surface.
For tray bakes, you want your baking tray to have some depth to it. These are better suited to liquid mixtures and are great for things like brownies.
For loaf bakes, there are special loaf tins. These can sometimes be a little more difficult to remove baked goods from, so you may want to consider using baking paper (see instructions below for details).
For cupcakes and muffins, a cupcake tray is best. You can either choose to include cake cases or not with theses trays.
Finally, if you are baking a large cake you’re best with a round tin. These often have spring releases on the side, to make it easier to remove your cake, or a removable base.
These days, many of these tins will be non-stick. We do however suggest still greasing your tray as it will not ruin your baking but it will prevent any sticking. Yep- even non-stick trays stick sometimes, particularly if the tray is older and well used.
For this demonstration we will be focusing on the flat tray, but the method is the same regardless of your choice of tin.
- Make sure your tray is clean
Previous mistakes with greasing trays can lead to burnt remnants on the tray and this is the last thing you want- they can leave an odd taste to whatever you are cooking. Make sure the tray is thoroughly clean and dry.
- Pick your grease of choice
You can use many types of grease to oil your tray, such as butters or shortening. A top tip is to melt it, to make it easier to use.
- Take some clean kitchen paper or a pastry brush
Using kitchen paper or a pastry brush will stop the process of greasing being too messy and allow you to get a thorough coating. Add a little of the grease to this kitchen roll/brush and grease the tin by rubbing it all over the interior surface. This creates a layer of oil and when this is heated up when cooking your baking, it stops the baking sticking to the surface of the tray.
- Consider using flour or grease proof paper (baking paper)
While often all is required is butter/shortening, also using flour or baking paper can add an extra layer of protection against sticking. This is particularly true when cooking something like a large cake.
If you decide to also use flour, simply take a tablespoon of flour and deposit this in the greased tray. Gently tap and shake the tray around until the flour has coated all the surfaces. Tap any excess into the bin. This means the grease will stick to the flour when it is cooked and not harm your baking. We would recommend using whichever flour is used in the recipe. If no flour is used, a plain white flour is fine. If the recipe includes chocolate it can also be nice to use cocoa powder.
Using grease proof paper can make it easier to remove certain items, such as a loaf bake or heavy cakes such as fruit cake. Some people like to only line the base of the tin, whilst others prefer to line the sides as well. To use greaseproof paper, you still grease the tray and then you add the grease proof paper, cut to the shape of the tray. Using grease before adding the paper will stop the paper from gathering and make it easier to add your mixture.
- Bake, allow to cool & remove
Before trying to remove your baking from the tray, make sure you allow it to cool fully. When it’s time to remove your baking, make sure to use an item that does not have sharp edges, such as a knife, as this can destroy your tray by scratching it. A spatula or pallet knife works well.