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Bakers and amateur home chefs alike will have multiple rolls of aluminum foil or parchment paper somewhere in their kitchens. Many people wonder, besides baking cookies on it, what is the purpose of using parchment paper in the first place and is it really necessary for a recipe to work.
Yet what they do not realize is that because it helps protect the food you’re making, parchment paper is more important and essential to your kitchen than you may think.
Here are some important reasons why you use parchment paper for baking.
What Is Parchment Paper?
You have stocked up on a few rolls of parchment paper to place in your kitchen, but what is parchment paper?
Parchment paper is a natural, high-density paper that contains silicone on the surface. The silicone present on the surface gives the parchment the ability to not let food stick to it during the cooking or baking process. Because it is relatively easy to find, many recipes call for parchment paper to get used for when you want to bake or cook.
It can also be used in other tasks, from wrapping fish to covering kitchen countertops.
Best Substitute for Parchment Paper
There may be times when you need parchment paper, look through your drawers or pantry, and realize that you have run out of parchment. What are some good alternatives for parchment paper?
Some of the best substitutes are:
- Silicone baking mats (silpat paper)
- Paper bags
- Aluminum/aluminium foil
With aluminum foil, be sure that your food gets put on the dull, flat finish side. This is because that side is non-stick, whereas the shiny side is not. Make sure to have these items on hand if you cannot get parchment paper before your next grocery run.
Is Wax Paper Parchment Paper?
If you are wondering whether wax paper or parchment paper is the same thing, then the short answer is no.
While parchment paper and wax paper are used to make food not stick to the pan, the reasons for them are very different. Wax paper has a food-safe wax coating, known as paraffin wax, that gets added to the surface of the paper. This wax coating is not suitable for high heat and temperature.
Thus, wax paper is not recommended to place in the oven for baking. Instead, a piece of wax paper should be used for prepping food. One example of this is making candy, dipping food in chocolate, or storing pie crust in the fridge.
Why Use Parchment Paper When You’re Baking?
There are all kinds of linings you can put in the inside of your baking trays to cook or bake something. Yet parchment paper is favored by chefs and amateur bakers. Listed below are some of the important reasons why you should use parchment paper when you are baking your favorite baked goods.
Deals Well with Heat
Parchment paper is known for being very heat resistant. This makes the tool work very well for baking since it is capable of withstanding high oven temperatures (approximately up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
Since it is heat-resistant, you will be able to use it for any dishes that require high heat without any risk of burning the bottom of the food, unlike with aluminum foil.
Can Be Made Into Any Size
Parchment is commonly used as one big sheet that is easy to roll out of the tube and cut off. But the good thing about parchment paper is that it can get cut into any shape you want. You can do this for fitting smaller trays or even making a piping bag to pipe any frosting on a cake.
Stores like The Smart Baker can also give you the bulk of any parchment paper size you want for your baking needs. That way, no matter what size cake you are baking, you always have the best parchment paper to use.
Helps Keep From Spreading or Getting Uneven
While your food will taste the same if it ends up getting flat, it may not look as nice.
One benefit of the silicone coating on the parchment is that it helps keep any batter in place. Thus, it will not spread out or get uneven as easily. It also makes a layer between the paper itself and the sheet to make the bottom surface appear smoother.
Keeps Your Food From Sticking
No one likes seeing that after the timer has gone off and you are pulling out your baked goods from the oven that you cannot remove it from the pan at all. Parchment paper prevents your food from sticking to your tins or pans if you did not use enough butter or oil to line it.
While there are many other reasons to use parchment paper, the above reasons alone make them worthy of a space in your baking supplies storage.
Use Parchment Paper for Baking in the Oven
If you want the best results out of the oven where your food looks even, unburnt, and not have parts of it stuck to the bottom of your pan, then you should use parchment paper for baking when the recipe calls for it. Go find it on your next grocery run and stock up for the next time you want to bake cookies.
Even so, you can also use them for dumplings. For more articles like this, check out some of our other posts.