Parchment paper is a necessary tool for baking if you want to have the best baking results with everything from cookies to cakes and bread. It is very easy and versatile to use. Use parchment paper to ensure that your baked goods will not stick to the pan or the baking tray.
What is parchment paper? In simple words, it is paper covered in silicone. It prevents any products (from dough to veggies) from sticking to the tray or pan while baking and even frying. As parchment paper is heat resistant, you can use it for making, for example, fried eggs in the skillet on the stove. The stove should be electric not gas with no open fire. In this post, I will show you how to use parchment paper for baking with all the tips and tricks that can come in handy.
When should you use parchment paper?
The key purpose of parchment paper is to prevent various products, primarily dough, from sticking to the baking molds, forms, pans, and trays while cooking pastry in the oven. However, the benefits of using parchment are not limited only to “protective” functions:
- When you use parchment paper with baking trays and forms, they stay clean with no dough sticking and therefore are much easier to clean.
- You can use parchment paper when rolling thin layers of dough with a rolling pin. It makes transferring dough and maintaining the shape of the rolled dough a more simple task to fulfill.
- You can use parchment paper instead of a piping bag. So, how do you make a piping bag from parchment paper? Just cut a large triangle from a parchment paper sheet. Roll it into the shape of a cone and tuck away the loose ends.
- I like to use parchment paper for packaging products that I am going to keep in the fridge.
- When I run out of freezer paper, a sheet of parchment paper is the next best thing to substitute it. It will prevent different products from sticking to each other.
- Parchment paper is a good material for making baking stencils. Cut a necessary shape out of it and sprinkle some icing sugar over to form a pattern on the surface of a pie, cookie, or cake.
- Due to the ability to withstand high temperatures, parchment paper can be used in microwaves. Just keep it far enough from the microwave heating element.
When used correctly, parchment paper has practically no disadvantages, and its range of usage in the kitchen is very diverse. Now, let’s see how to properly use parchment when baking delicious cakes and crunchy cookies.
How do you grease and line a pan with parchment paper?
Here is the most common way of using parchment paper when baking:
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper. If you are using a square pan, take a parchment paper roll and cover the inside of the pan and the two lengthier sides with it. Cut out the necessary form according to the measured out sizes.
There is a second way to line a baking tray with parchment paper. You simply measure out the second sheet of parchment paper that will cover the inside and the opposite sides. Place the sheets one over the other. You will need to grease the pan itself and the bottom layer to prevent the top layer from sliding. Using this way of lining the baking pan, you will get all the surface of the pan covered with parchment paper so that nothing will stick to the tray.
- Smear the pan with butter/vegetable oil or use cooking spray to grease the bottom of the pan and its sides before laying parchment paper over it. Do not skip this step as we are trying to prevent parchment paper from sliding around.
- Make sure that the paper sticks to the pan by pressing it nicely. Spread the dough inside the pan and bake your cake or pie according to the recipe you are using.
- When your cake is ready, let it cool down a bit, and then run the knife along 2 sides that were not lined with parchment paper. You can lift the cake from the baking pan by holding the ends of the parchment paper.
However, not all the pans are square. Then you sometimes hear that you should smear also the parchment paper. And, what about cookies and roasting vegetables? So many nuances!
First, let’s see how you line a round cake pan with parchment paper. The gist of the process is the same as lining a square pan. We should cover the surfaces of the pan with paper to prevent our cake from sticking. Moreover, you have two options here, too. You can line only the bottom of the pan leaving the side smeared with butter or oil or you can have it lined with paper:
- Spread parchment paper on the flat surface. Place a round baking pan on the parchment paper, take a pencil and trace the edge with it on the paper. Cut out a circle. You can also measure the height of the pan and cut out the strips that could cover all the length of the rounded side.
- Grease the bottom and the sides of your round pan thoroughly.
- Place the parchment circle in the bottom (and the strips to cover all the sides if you decided to use them).
- The baking pan is lined and ready to use.
Do you need parchment paper for cookies? You need to use parchment paper for baking cookies. It saves you a lot of time and energy and now I will explain to you why. First, you do not need to grease a baking tray, which makes it much easier to clean it afterward. Simply line the tray with parchment paper and place uncooked cookies directly on the paper. Cookies will bake more evenly and have a clearer shape as parchment paper prevents the dough from spreading and helps to distribute heat evenly. In addition, cookies slide off the parchment paper easily when baked.
Do you need to grease parchment paper for baking? Nothing sticks to parchment paper. There is no need to use nonstick spray or grease parchment paper with butter or vegetable oil as it is coated with silicone that should protect your food from sticking. In rare cases, when the dough is not oily enough (for example, roulade cakes), I would recommend buttering the parchment paper.
I hope that the article was helpful and you found the information that you were looking for. If you still have any questions left, ask them in the comment section below!