What is 'Patina'?

Cake pan preparation is all you need to experience easy cake-release and a finished product that leaves very little baking behind. This makes for easy cleaning. Professional bakers, decorators and commercial users of Fat Daddio’s Anodized Bakeware tell us all the time that their pan performance actually improves over time. They credit their success to patina.

Peter Barham, author of The Science of Cooking, describes patina as a “do it yourself non-stick coating”. Cake that sticks is typically a chemical bond between the protein molecules from the eggs and the metal surface of the pan. You reduce sticking by preventing contact of these egg proteins with various forms of pan preparation. The more of the surface that is covered, the less sticking. By allowing the natural oils from pan preparation to build up over time, you create a pan with less reactive surfaces to stick to. It reminds us of those great cast iron pans that have been seasoned through years of use.

How should I prepare Fat Daddio’s bakeware?
Pan preparation will always depend on your recipe and ingredients. Here are some suggestions for how to best prepare your bakeware for different baking applications.

CAKES: Brush or rub your pan with a thin layer of room-temperature, unsalted butter and sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of flower over the interior. Alternatively, we also recommend Baker’s Joy. Avoid using any products in your pan that contain olive oil to prevent sticky residue and discoloration.

PASTRIES & COOKIES: Generally, there is no pan preparation needed for these items as most recipes have a higher fat content than cakes and provide an effective release. If you are baking pastry or cookies with a low-fat content, simply line the sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

BREADS: For first-time use, we recommend using butter, coconut oil, canola oil, lard or shortening. If needed, dust with flour for sweet breads and cornmeal for yeast breads. After the first few uses, the baking surface will build a patina that will eliminate or minimize the need for pan prep.

PIES, TARTS & QUICHES: Most crust recipes have a high butter and fat content that will provide a natural release. Unless your recipe specifically calls for a grease-release preparation, these items generally do not require any pan prep.

It’s a professional or personal preference but with ‘off-the-shelf shiny’ or a nice patina, you get the same consistent baking results every time.

For more baking information, visit our Tips & Techniques board on Pinterest.