Parchment Paper: Dos and Don’ts

National Parchment Paper Day is really “a thing” and is celebrated yearly in June on the last Wednesday of the month. The “holiday” was founded in 2016 to encourage cooking with parchment paper. While adding convenience, parchment also infuses flavor, locks in moisture, and preserves vital nutrients. As a staple in kitchens around the world, parchment paper is a game-changer in the kitchen. 

  • Parchment paper’s nonstick qualities provide the ability to create a barrier between food and surface. Parchment paper is most often used to line baking dishes, pans, and cooking sheets. Not only does this protect the surfaces of the bakeware, but it also helps with cleaning and contributes to preserving the final product. Avoid using parchment paper when roasting vegetables as the paper’s non-stick properties will create a buffer from the heat and prevent browning. 
  • Parchment paper comes in a roll and may not flatten on command. If this is an issue, simply cut off the section of parchment paper you plan to use, crumple it up and then flatten it over your pan or cake pan. It may not look as pretty, but it will serve your purpose. To prevent parchment paper from moving or rolling up at the ends, take a little oil or cooking spray and apply it to the bottom of the pan or cooking sheet being used. This will help keep the parchment paper in place.
  • Parchment paper is heat resistant and can withstand heat in the oven. However, parchment paper is paper, and it will burn under high broiler temperatures.  
  • Parchment paper can be reused in some situations. For example, when baking cookies, there is no reason to replace the parchment paper after each batch. Avoid reusing parchment paper when making items such as fish or meat for food safety reasons.
  • Whether making homemade Gluten Free Pizza or using ready-made dough, parchment paper comes to the rescue. Just place dough on parchment paper to allow pizza to slide easily on and off the pizza stone or pan. 
  • If you need a pastry bag, parchment paper works for a quick hack. Simply cut parchment paper into a triangle and roll into a funnel. Squeeze your pastry cream or icing through the opening at the bottom and start decorating. 
  • Parchment paper can be cut to fit any size cake pan. When making baked goods, cut the parchment extra-long to use as a handle to lift the whole item out when baked. Use parchment paper in the prep process to make these Fig Bars, a perfect grab-and-go snack. Or line a loaf pan with parchment paper when making this Yummy Chocolate Zucchini Bread or this Meatloaf.
  • Use fresh sheets of parchment paper between layers of bars, cookies and cakes when storing baked goods. 
  • Parchment paper can be used as cupcake or muffin tin liners. Simply cut your paper into small squares and press them into the tray. As a bonus, your baked goods will emerge in a lovely golden package. Try this hack when making these delicious Blueberry Muffins or Spinach and Feta Muffins
  • Create an en papillote meal. Make these gift-wrapped dinner parcels (real food Spring 2024/pg 42-43) with cod loins of fillet with gnocchi, vegetables, and fresh lemon. If fish is not your thing, swap out the cod for chicken breasts. Roast the packets in the oven and transfer to your plate and enjoy. No muss, no fuss.
  • Parchment is the perfect tool when making Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Dip strawberries in chocolate and transfer each yummy morsel to a parchment lined plate.
  • Love paninis but hate the cleanup? Parchment paper is the answer. Make this Artichoke Turkey Panini but place the sandwich between a folded piece of parchment before placing it in the press. Clean up will be a breeze.
  • When entertaining, line bread baskets with parchment paper to give the table a casual feel. The bonus is that the crumbs will be easy to clean up later.
  • Use parchment paper to cover cakes and to retain moisture. Simply cut off a piece of paper and use it to cover the exposed section of the cake. Press the paper in so it sticks to the moist cake and protects it from the air. 

The possibilities of parchment paper are endless! 

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