The first evidence of baking occurred when prehistoric man began cooking on a flat rock that was heated by fire. There are records that show that ancient Egyptians practice baking bread in 2,500 BC and it is possible that they learned the technique from the Babylonians that have learned the craft earlier on. It is also known that despite not having a modern baking tray the Greeks had flans and tarts as early as 400 BC. Baking became a big deal in the Roman Empire where a pastry cook first became a recognized profession as this food was adored by the rich and luxurious upper classes. From Rome the art of baking spread across Europe and evolved, leading to the invention of bakery trays and numerous other accessories that are so useful in baking kitchens today.
The Modern Baking Tray
The modern baking tray is a simple item but is extremely useful and important in cooking a wide variety of meals, snacks and desserts. The baking tray is incredibly versatile and modern developments in design mean that it can be extremely durable while being easier to use than ever. Modern bakery trays are made from materials such as the following:
- Carbon steel – carbon steel is now an incredibly popular substance for making bakeware items such as a baking tray. This is because it is highly non-stick so this enables you to remove baked goods from your baking tray with consummate ease.
- Silicone – silicone bakeware is a new development which you may not expect to stand up to the heat of an oven, but it does so without any problems. In fact it can withstand higher temperatures than many metals, it is incredibly tough and it is flexible and light so is easy to handle and to bake with.
- Glass – glass baking trays are less common than metal ones, and are made from tempered glass for safety reasons. Those who prefer this material for baking trays claim that the glass surface conducts heat more evenly across the base of the tray and, therefore, allows the food to cook through more evenly. Glass baking trays should not be subjected to sudden changes in temperature, and so should be allowed to cool before being put into cold water.
Whatever material you choose, a good bakery tray is a vital and inexpensive kitchen accessory so choose one properly and you'll find it really is a baker's best friend.