Rogue Baking Tips with Alice Medrich

5 Handy Facts About Baking with Parchment Paper

By • October 7, 2013 • 12 Comments

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Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.

Today: There's a lot to learn about parchment paper.

Parchment Paper on Food52

Now that you have parchment sheets on hand, here are a few handy facts:

  1. Despite instructions to the contrary, you don’t need to grease the pan under a parchment liner, nor do you have to grease the parchment itself before pouring the batter onto it.
  2. Exception to the rule above: When baking cookies on parchment lined cookies sheets in a convection oven, you may need to secure the corners of the liners to the pan if the cookie dough is not heavy enough. For meringues or moist light batters, use a dab of the batter under the corners of the parchment to secure the sheets. 
  3. Make your own cake pan liners: stack a few parchment sheets on a cutting board. Set a cake pan on top and cut around the pan with an X-Acto knife. Repeat until you have a nice stash. Store liners in a cake pan or a manila envelope. 
  4. Parchment paper will improve the performance of cookie sheet that is too thin or too dark: if cookies are burnt on the bottom and undercooked on top, lining the sheet with parchment will help. Try two sheets if the condition persists. Buy a better quality baking sheet in the morning, or as soon as possible.  
  5. Parchment sheets can be used over again if you are baking lots and lots of cookies within a week or two. (Used parchment gets rancid with time, so don’t overdo it.)

More: A good place to start? Alice's genius coconut macaroons.


Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.

 

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: alice medrich, baking, parchment paper, tips, how to, how-to & diy

Comments (12)

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21 days ago Sandra Levy

I spray cooking spray on the cookie pan itself. I then put the parchment paper down on the cookie tray. The parchment paper sticks to the pan. It doesn't curl up.

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6 months ago Soozll

The only reason I grease the pan before laying down a parchment liner is to keep the parchment from curling or moving around in the pan while I pour in batter or whatever. It holds it in place very nicely!

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6 months ago 4376ab

Sorry...Jamie not Jaime...it must be after 3pm

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6 months ago 4376ab

Jaime Oliver always wets and crumples a sheet of parchment up before using it. Does anyone know why?

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6 months ago CarlaCooks

He does that when he's using it as a lid or cover for food, not to go underneath cakes or cookies. The dampened parchment help food retain more of its own moisture, but unlike covering it completely (with a lid or foil, for example), it still lets some of the moisture escape.

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6 months ago Monica M

Great tips. I am always greasing the parchment for cakes - I was pretty sure I didn't have to but I just can't get myself to stop doing it, especially since most recipes tell you to! I just might "risk" it next time and see how it goes!

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6 months ago Droplet

Forgot to mention that those parchment cutouts and strips leftover from fitting the paper to the size of the pan make a great cushioning for shipping cookies this time of the year. I just crumble them together and compact them enough to leave some air in between them and pack around in the box.

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6 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent idea! Thanks for posting this, Droplet! ;o)

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6 months ago Droplet

I thought I was the only one guilty of using a parchment sheet more than once :)

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6 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, goodness. I use mine as many times as I can get away with, and then for the paper that's gotten nearly black around the edges (I use it for high temperature artisinal bread baking on a pizza stone), I cut off the brittle pieces and use the inside that's still okay for something else. ;o)

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21 days ago tamater sammich

Oh, haha, me too - I love you guys!
We should have a poll on this; who uses only once, twice, as many times as they can get away with; includes cutting off the black part overhanging the pizza stone…and then uses that for packing cookies?! …to give to a cook-friend this upcoming April Fools Day!

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6 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent tips, all of them. We are fortunate, indeed, that you are contributing regularly to Food52. Thank you so much! ;o)