Essential Tools: Silpat Silcone Mats

by Laura on August 8, 2013

in Preparing, Tools

TartDemarle450

Perfect for Baking

Although professional chefs have been using silicone baking mats for decades, a silicone mat didn’t make it into my kitchen until several years ago, when they began to be marketed as the essential mat for home bakers. Once I gave them a try, I quickly considered them a must-have tool for the kitchen, alongside my coffee maker, chef’s knife, and stand mixer.

But, I use them for so much more than baking (i.e. cookies,pastry and the like), and thanks to Sasa Demarle, Inc., the makers of Silpat, I had the chance to learn a bit more about this essential “tool” firsthand.

SilpatCookies350

Our Kids Love It

As the company explained, “Nonstick silicone mats improve baking results and add convenience to baking. They eliminate the need to grease pans or use parchment paper, and they reduce the use of oil or butter, making them more eco-friendly and economical than parchment paper. They also simplify cleanup and help preserve the life of your baking pans.”

What I like about the mats is that they fit into the bottom of baking sheet helping brown foods evenly without sticking. You can use these mats for everything from cookies and biscuits to pizza, pies, peanut brittle and even delicate Parmesan cheese crisps. They are also ideal for roasting vegetables, meats, fish and more.

There are a lot of silicone mats with orange borders that look like a Silpat, and that’s what I had in my cupboards. It was old, it was tattered on the ends, and I knew that was a sign I needed to replace my mat. I asked the gang at Sasa Demarle about the differences, and here is what they explained:

There are a lot of silicone mats with orange borders that look like a Silpat®. These do not nearly compete with the quality and efficiency of our product.

Made in France since 1965 and trusted by professional pastry chefs, Silpat mats are made from the highest quality food-grade silicone that is reinforced with a fiberglass mesh. This specially designed mesh works with the silicone to provide a consistent heat distribution and promote even baking and browning. This is what makes Silpat a one-of-a-kind mat, and to be sure you are purchasing a Silpat® mat, look for the product logos (Silpat®, Silpain® or Roul’Pat®), which will be stamped on every mat.

Once my new mats arrived, we got to using them immediately. The Silpat® Non-Stick Baking Mats are the most versatile for our kitchen. Designed for using when roasting vegetables, party baking, or crafting, we found that nothing sticks to Silpat. It is reusable for thousands of uses and provides even heat transfer to baked goods. We use it every time we bake!

Bread300

Nonstick Kneading

The Roul’Pat®, a nonstick countertop workstation lets me roll dough without sticking – we use it for kneading our bread dough, making our pretzels, and keeping the table clean when baking. The company even suggest that is perfect to use when crafting – painting, gluing, or working with modeling clay.

The  Silpain®, a non-stick baking mat for breads, proved to be a lifesaver for us, as we bake two loaves of bread each week, and make our own pizza on the weekends. Because dough contains about 60-80% of water, Silpain’s perforated qualities allow the water to seep through the mat, leaving a perfect crusty finish. Use it for your homemade biscuits, pizza and bread.

I like that they are reusable, and can last for up to 3,000 uses, cutting back on cost of greasing, and the cost of using parchment paper.

 A few tidbits about Silpat:

  • Look for “Silpat®” on the mat for the highest quality standards. Silpat® baking mats will last longer and provide better baking results.
  • Silpat® mats conform to FDA regulations, and are NSF certified and Kosher certified. These certifications will be noted on the packaging of high-quality mats.
  • Silpat® mats are microwave, oven and freezer safe, effective at temperatures from -40°F to 500°F (40°C to 260°C).
  • Silpat® mats clean easily. Hand washing is definitely recommended. Just wipe it with a wet cloth or sponge. Once it’s dry, you can place the mat in a tray in the oven at 300 degrees F for two minutes. This will sterilize it. Once cleaned, it should be stored flat.
  • You shouldn’t cut on the silicone mat, and you shouldn’t cut the mat to adjust to the size of your baking pan. Silpat® mats are available in a variety of sizes for your various needs.
  • Also, you shouldn’t leave it in contact with open flames.
  • Visit the company website to learn more.
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