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How to Use Parchment Paper

There are few things more precious in a bakery than the long box of sheets of parchment paper perched above the rolling rack of sheet pans. Parchment lines our cookie sheets, cake pans, brownie pans and logs of cookie dough. It’s recyclable, reusable (flip it over when making cookies to get another batch of cooking out of each sheet) and makes a perfect pocket to cook fish en papillote with. Forgot wrapping paper for the holidays? Whip out your parchment, stamp it and get crafty. Don’t have butcher paper for your kids’ messy cookie decorating party? Yup. Parchment paper. Need to make a piping bag and don’t want to go too out of the box with printer paper? Parchment.

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Q: I’m confused. My grandma always baked with waxed paper. What’s the difference between Parchment and Wax Paper?
A: Thank you for asking! Wax paper is coated with a paraffin wax, which isn’t suitable for going anywhere near heat (paraffin is made from petroleum). You can get all picnic-cute and wrap your sandwiches, rolls of cookie dough and caramels with wax paper, but reserve the parchment for baking and cooking.

The How-to

We love using parchment sheets (you can buy these online, at specialty cooking stores or come in and purchase ingredients, cookbooks or cooking classes at Gourmandise for 10 free sheets with each purchase) for everything from lining cake and brownie pans wrapping. If you’re buying full sheets of parchment, cut them down to size this way:

Full sheet of parchment: 16-1/2″ x 24″ (for full sheet pans)

Fold in half to make: Half sheets of parchment: 16-1/2″ x 12″ (for jellyroll pans, cookie sheets and half sheet pans)

Fold again in half to make: Quarter sheets of parchment: 8-1/4″ x 12″ (for lining 8″x8″ square pans and quarter sheet pans)

For cake pans, place your cakes on top of the parchment paper and trace the circumference of the bottom of the cake pan. Line the bottom of your cake pan with the piece of parchment- no need to butter or flour your pans anymore! The bottoms of your cakes will remain soft and fluffy and lovely and moist.