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Canapé bread molds are forms which are designed for baking fancifully shaped breads used in making canapés, a popular hors d'oeuvre treat. The molds are designed so that each slice of bread from the mold can be used as an individual canapé base, after toasting or frying. This makes the process of making canapés much easier, and reduces waste in the kitchen. Kitchen supply stores may sell canapé bread molds, and they are also available through specialty stores.
Canapés are a familiar appetizer, since they are relatively easy to make and they can be quite elegant, especially with gourmet ingredients and garnishes. A basic canapé consists of a bread base, a thin layer of spread, a central topping, and a garnish. The bread used in canapés is dense and hearty, so that it can hold up the rest of the ingredients in the appetizer, and it is usually fried or toasted so that it is crispy, providing textural variation as well as a strong base.
Since canapés are bite sized appetizers meant to be eaten with the hands, the bread is usually very small so that it can be easily picked up and eaten in one bite. In many cases, canapés are made with bread in shapes like squares, triangles, stars, flowers, hearts, and anything else the cook or caterer can imagine. In addition to providing visual interest, these shapes also can be used as a code to identify specific ingredients such as potential allergens like nuts or shellfish.
Since cutting these shapes out of ordinary bread would be wasteful, many cooks use canapé bread molds to make their canapés. Usually, canapé bread molds come in sets with multiple shapes, for visual variation. The cook makes the bread dough, which is designed to produce a dense, crusty bread, and forces the dough into the canapé bread molds after it has risen. Bread is baked in the molds, and then gently shaken out so that it is allowed to cool before being sliced and prepared.
Many companies make canapé bread molds from tinned steel. Tinned steel requires special care so that it does not rust or become damaged. Since tin is a soft metal, canapé bread molds should be washed with soft cloths and sponges, and a soap with a neutral pH. As a general rule, tinned steel should be dried after washing, and stored in a cool dry place so that it does not acquire rust spots.
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