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Hi there

I am new here I hope everyone is safe and well.

I am really using baking to help deal with this stressful time it completely takes me away from all the anxiety !

I am thinking of getting a silicone pastry mat does anyone use one if so what makes it good ?
Thanks in advance

Leanne
 
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Joined
Jun 23, 2017
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Hi there

I am new here I hope everyone is safe and well.

I am really using baking to help deal with this stressful time it completely takes me away from all the anxiety !

I am thinking of getting a silicone pastry mat does anyone use one if so what makes it good ?
Thanks in advance

Leanne
Hello welcome to the forum.



When I bought my first silicon mats 20 years ago I was really excited to ditch the parchment paper. Yet to this day I buy parchment paper by the 1000 sheet box.



Don’t get me wrong, I own several silicone baking mats, both Silpat and Fat Daddio brands. But what I discovered after baking that first batch of chocolate chip cookies 20 years ago the silicone mat conducts heat differently and therefore is not appropriate for everything.



Baking is a chemical reaction of all your ingredients to time and temperature.



Time and temperature includes temperature of ingredients, temperature caused from friction of mixing, temperature increases caused from heat conduction of the different metals and coatings used in pans, and the different baking types of liners.



Whenever you use anything under your baked goods you change how heat is conducted.



Silicone baking liners are excellent for some things and not appropriate for others because of the way they conduct heat.



The first you have to consider is the type of baking sheets you have. I would not advise using them in on a dark metal coated metal or anodized aluminum



Dark, coated metal, and anodized aluminum conducts heat more intensely. These type of baking sheets and cake pans require reducing baking temperature by up 25°F even without a silicone mat.



The combination of a silicone mat and a baking sheet that conducts heat more intently but also result in uneven browning. Bottoms will be significantly browner than tops.



Since silicone mats also conduct heat more efficiently, some cookies will spread more. So if you want a thick chewy cookie, you end up with a thinner flat cookie.



And of course you should never let cookies cool on a baking sheet, whether it’s lined with silicone or parchment paper. However silicone mats will hold residual heat a lot longer than the parchment, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.



Like all baking tools the silicone mat has its applications.



Silicone mats are best for pate a choux dough* and toffee. But I don’t use them for much else.



I know a lot of bakers use them for macarons as well. I go back and forth.



Most of the food bloggers unfortunately don’t have the knowledge or skill to write an appropriate review on the silicone mat. Consequently they write incorrect reviews of the mats. A lot of professional pastry chefs don’t even get it correct.

See pastry chef Stella Parks piece on silicone mats for Serious Eats. She wrote an accurate assessment of the silicone mat.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/10/problems-with-baking-cookies-on-silicone.html



*The silpat mesh mat Is even better for pate a choux than the silicone mat.
 

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