Do You Really Need A Special Pan To Make Popovers?

In the world of baked goods, ingredients and instructions are often very specific and not very flexible. As pointed out by DelightedCooking, if even a "pinch of baking powder" is out of place, it can throw off your entire dish — but is the same true for the type of pan or tin you make your baked goods in? According to Wonder How To, using the right bakeware can mean the difference between "a baking fail and a baking win."

Take popovers, for example: a food so notoriously specific in shape, it is said to need its own special pan. For those unfamiliar, Merriam-Webster has you covered, explaining that a popover is "a hollow quick bread shaped like a muffin and made from a thin batter of eggs, milk, and flour." (Still unsure? Serious Eats describes the popover as essentially the American version of a Yorkshire pudding.) The Kitchn explains that popover's specially shaped pans are important in helping the batter move upward and create its signature domed top and crunchy exterior. But do you really need one, or is there another way?

Can you make popovers if you don't have a popover pan?

The shape of a popover, according to Scientific American is guided by two factors: the steam which is trapped by the batter as it bakes and the deeply shaped cups of its pan. However, in their deep dive into the science behind popovers, King Arthur Baking ascertained that, while a popover pan is more useful in that it will give you a more defined base and the signature ultra-poofy top, your standard metal muffin pan should actually work just fine. They also recommend trying a "jumbo Texas muffin pan" to super-size your popovers for an even more fun experience.

Armed with the knowledge that yes, you can make a version of popovers without the special tin, get excited to sub out the boring toast that usually accompanies your weekend omelet, and go for something more out of the box and exciting.