Frequently Asked Questions

CURING INSTRUCTIONS: These pans must be preheated with oil before their first use. Spread a light coating of vegetable oil inside your pan and wipe out the excess. Then bake your empty pan in the oven at 250%F for 1 hour. Your pan will then be ready for use. If you are cooking something that is dry (such as bread), your pan may need re-coating from time to time. When removing pan from the oven, place it on a potholder or wooden surface until it is cool.

1. How do I wash my pan? Will soap remove the oil treatment?
Treat the pan per the instructions. Before putting food in it the first three or four times, lightly spread oil on the pan. When cleaning after baking, it can either be washed in the dishwasher or left to soak in the sink in soapy water a few minutes, like all other dishes, scrubbed if necessary, rinsed, and left to dry.
2. Can I serve in these pans?
The Alfred Bakeware makes a very attractive serving dish. Just take the pan out of the oven and place it on a potholder in the center of your table. The clay will keep you food warm for a while, which is particularly nice with pizza or breads. Green garnishes (parsley, etc.) complement the orange terracotta nicely.
3. What is the breakage factor?
The instructions state that when removing pans from the oven, only place it on wood cutting board, towel or pot holder, something that will not absorb the heat from the part of the pan (bottom) and not other (sides). This is the most important preventive maintenance to ensure many years of enjoyment. These pans are “ram pressed” at approximately 1800 pounds per square inch, which makes them very durable. They are also made a little on the heavy side – thick- for durability. Care should be taken not to bump the pans, although they will hold up remarkably to casual use.
4. How long will these pans last?
When the Alfred Bakeware was first made in 1976, some of the first customers that we keep in contact with, are still using the same pans, and love them still, 21 years later.
5. What is your replacement policy?
If a customer feels that they were not at fault of a broken pan, the pan can be returned to Tufty Ceramics Inc. for evaluation by their fractologists. If it is found that the pan was broken due to our production standards (very rare), the pan will be replaced.
6. Do I need to soak these pans in water before baking?
No. The Alfred Bakeware is different than under fired clay cookers or covered roasters that need to absorb moisture to “steam roast” food. The only preparation necessary for the Alfred Bakeware is the oil treatment, found on each insert in every pan.
7. Why does this terra sigillata bakeware perform better than a glass, metal, or glazed ceramic piece?
There is no porosity with the latter three pieces.
8. Do I use the same time and same temperature to bake as the cookbook says for all the Alfred terracotta bakeware?
Yes.
9. What is the "terra sigillata" coating?
"Terra sigillata" consists of the same terracotta clay the pans are made of. It is crushed in a water formula and sprayed on each piece. These tiny particles of terracotta clay fill in all the microscopic "holes" or "hills and valleys" on the surface of the pan, giving it a smooth, easy to clean, semi porous finish. This process simulates the American Indians burnishing their pottery to make it semi porous. They would rub a stone on the unfired pot crushing the clay platelets on the surface of the pot, then fire it
10. What does "terra sigillata" mean?
"Earth seal"
11. Does the Alfred Bakeware have lead in it?
No. There are no harmful chemicals in the bakeware. If a terracotta (low fire) ceramic piece has glaze on it, the glaze may be made with lead. The Alfred Bakeware is not glazed.
12. Why is it called "The Alfred Bakeware?"
This Bakeware was developed at Alfred University, the top ceramic college in the United States and third in the World. It is also made of pure Alfred shale, a natural clay native to the area with excellent forming properties.