Parchment paper eases cooking clean up

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You would be amazed at how often I get asked about parchment paper.

Parchment paper is one of the most basic of kitchen essentials for both cooking and baking. It can do everything wax paper can do and more.

Parchment paper is a silicone–infused, oven-safe paper. Taste-free, it is both moisture and grease resistant, and it can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. To be safe, keep your parchment paper away from the broiler.

The most common way to buy parchment paper is by the sheet or roll but it is also available in other shapes. Primarily used to line baking sheets and cake pans, there are many more time and energy–saving applications.

When I take my hot cookie sheets from the oven, instead of taking each individual hot cookie from the pan to the cooling rack, I just slide the parchment paper over. My super-hot cookies are still in the cooling position without being disturbed (a.k.a. smushed) by my cookie spatula.

It’s pretty hard to get food to stick to parchment paper.

This makes it perfect for any cooking that includes a sticky sauce. I roast my sweet potatoes, actually all of my vegetables, on parchment paper-lined pans.

Parchment paper can be used to wrap food into pouches that can then be steamed –– cooked “en papillote.” Pre-cut parchment paper rounds that fit into various size cake pans make release virtually effortless. They are available 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch in diameter.

A parchment cone is an ideal tool for piping decorative designs onto cookies, cakes, etc.

They can be purchased in pre-cut triangle shapes, making cone construction really easy.

Parchment paper is indispensible as a kitchen tool for another important reason.

In commercial kitchens, parchment paper-lined pans are a true lifesaver for those hearty souls working in the “dish room.” So, why not use it at home, too? Just discard it after a single use; the rest of your clean-up is minimal.

Susan Green is the owner of Birmingham Bake & Cook located in the Inverness Corners shopping center. She can be reached at 980–3661.