Yours truly is not a baker. I have neither the patience nor precision for it, despite my otherwise Type-A leanings. So when my friend Roy emailed me the following, I hadn’t a clue how to answer:
what’s the best way to go for baking sheets — e.g., stainless steel vs. aluminum, silicon pads, nonstick vs. regular, etc?
I did, however, know whom to ask. My friend Sarah used to work in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, and is an expert baker. Her advice (which I recall her sharing when I was putting together my wedding registry a couple years ago) is to avoid nonstick cookie sheets. She says:
I adore the baker’s half-sheets at restaurant supply stores, or I believe from Williams-Sonoma 13 x 18 x 1 (aluminum). They are a terrific all-purpose baking sheet as they won’t bend or buckle due to their heavy weight. They can be used for roasting chicken or baking cookies. Silicon pads are great to have in addition for certain types of cookies as they won’t stick. I prefer using a Silpat to a nonstick sheet only because I tend to scratch the pan when cleaning….