- Page 1 of 2
- Next page
What's the Best Way to Use a Pastry Brush?
Pastry Brushes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be made of metal, plastic and other non-metal materials. Most modern kitchen utensils come with a set of pastry brushes. The number of the bristles, the size and the shape of the brush head can vary depending on the type of pastry being made and the intended purpose.
A pastry brush, sometimes called a baster brush, is an important cooking tool used to spread glaze, butter or oil over food. Originally called a "dough spoon," a pastry brush has two long handles. Traditional pastry brushes were typically made with a soft plastic or canvas fiber like a paintbrush, while more modern kitchen brushes can have both steel bristles and synthetic bristles. Some pastry brushes, especially those for rolling and scooping, have a rounded tip.
While it's unlikely that pastry brushes were ever intended to have a starring role in the preparation of baked foods, they do play a very important part in the preparation of many dishes. Among the most common uses for pastry brushes is the preparation of rolled and flattened bread, rolls and other pastries. For example, when making a quiche, you would need to use a pastry brush to remove any air bubbles from the ingredients. In addition, basting brushes are often used in the mixing and kneading of dough. They make work less tedious for the chef and prevent the formation of hard and stiff dough.
A common problem that some people experience with their pastry brushes is the tendency of the bristles to pull away from the bowl. A good rule of thumb is to brush lightly against the bowl with a small amount of water until the bristles are about half-way through the bowl. It is also important to make sure that your brush is clean. Many manufacturers recommend that you either purchase a pre-cleaned brush or use a damp toothbrush to clean your brushes.
Silicone pastry brushes tend to be more durable than their wooden counterparts, which can be helpful when making delicate creations like pies and tarts. One drawback is that they tend to get slippery after being used for some time. If you tend to spill batter onto your silicone brushes, it is a good idea to put them in a zip-lock bag to keep them from becoming too damp. To help reduce the risk of your silicone brushes becoming slippery, always shake them before using them.
One area where you should pay special attention is the basket where your baking brush will go into the washing machine. A basket with a tightly woven closure is preferable because air will not be trapped inside. You should make sure that the basket is made from a non-stick material, such as rice paper. Even though some kitchenaid products recommend a certain type of sponge or cloth, these can easily strip the sponge coating off the bristles of your baking brushes, which can leave them useless once you begin washing them.
You should never use any acidic ingredients to cook with your Pastry Brushes. The acid in many fruits and vegetables can ruin the surface coating on your pastry brushes, leaving them useless in your baking attempts. Some acidic ingredients, such as lemon juice, orange juice, tomatoes, and wine, can even destroy the bristles of your pastry brushes, rendering them useless after you have finished cooking. In addition, these acidic ingredients can leave an unpleasant odor on your baked goods. Fortunately, most household cleaners do not damage your Pastry Brushes, although you should still read the label and pay close attention to the cleaning instructions.
Because Pastry Brushes are such delicate work machines, it is essential that you take care of them. Cleaning them regularly and making sure that all the parts are well lubricated will keep your Pastry Brushes working for years to come. Also, to ensure that your Pastry Brushes are safe during transport, you should wrap each piece in a protective bag or wrapper. If you are in a hurry for delivery, you can always use oven mitts or sponges to clean out your Pastry Brushes before they are shipped. By taking proper care of your Pastry Brushes, they will last for many years.