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