2 baking sheet questions, silicone and puffing!
1. I have a silicone sheet (sorta like a Silpat, but by Danesco) There is a rough and a smooth side. Which goes up?
I put the rough side down (for traction) when I recently used it, but wasn't really sure.
2. My cheese biscuit/puffs didn't rise as expected. I was using that silicone on a cookie sheet with air inside. While checking this board to see if my silpat question was already answered, I noticed Candy posting about *that* kind of cookie sheet not working for puff pastry...
So was it my cookie sheet?
Recipe was out of Bittman BRITW, with
gruyere, flour, butter, salt, cayenne, cumin
deeeelicious, but not puffy
he descibed them in the book as the "platonic ideal of cheese puffs". funny guy....
the silicone mat insulated your pan so the bottom heat from the direct heat, or almost if you would use parchment, could not give the blast of heat or oomph to the dough. Use the mats when you have something tender. But if you are relying on a bit of steam to help in the rising leave the mat in the pantry.
I use silpat for things like nut brittles. I much prefer parchment paper for regular cookie baking -- the silicone is very quirky and hard to figure out.
For your cheese puffs, muffins. This comment also applies to any laminated dough, e.g. croissants, those frozen turnovers from the grocery store, danish pastry. Use a thin, aluminum cookie sheet; you know, those stupid things that always turn black and warp. They conduct heat the best.
Good question about those silpat things. It does not matter which side you use. I was once told by a pastry chef that the textured side adds a fancy pattern to the bottom of your baked good, so you can flip it over and serve it with basket-weave texture side up. Thing is, I have never used it like that at home or work; I just use whatever side is up when I take it out of the storage cabinet.
re: jerry i h
Insteaad of those things that turn balck and warp when you put them in the oven, you can get commercial heavy weight aluminum 1/2 sheet and 14 sheet pans. I have 3 of the former and 2 of the latter. They are inexpensive and last a long long time. I think my first 1/2 sheet pan has to be over 30 years old. They never warp, don't turn black, they heat quickly and evenly and do a great job with cookies, puff pastry etc.
All of my old ones are warped, and they weren't cheap, so I also have a set of new ones, too. It could be my fault - I use them for everything.