You really need a variety of brushes to do different jobs. For glazing small pastries, a 1-inch-wide brush is perfect. Larger pastries require a 3- to 4-inch brush. To butter cake pans, a brush with bristles bound into a cylinder reaches best into crevices. A feather pastry brush is an option for coating delicate filo with melted butter, as heavier brushes can tear the pastry. Natural bristles are actually more durable than synthetic ones and easier to clean. After each use, “shampoo” the bristles with a drop of detergent, rinse well, and air-dry.
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