General Question

missyb's avatar

What is the purpose of parchment paper in baking? Is there an alternative?

Asked by missyb (806points) December 18th, 2009

I’m trying out a new recipe with a few steps involving parchment paper, which I forgot to buy. What exactly IS parchment paper? What is it’s purpose? Do I really need it or is there something else I can use, like foil or freezer paper?

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8 Answers

aphilotus's avatar

It keeps things from sticking to the pan, and also from not burning (It’s a little bit more insulation).

It is good because it sticks to neither the pan nor the baked good. If you are baking at a lower temperature, wax paper would probably work (but make sure it won’t be lit on fire).

Fahrenheit 411 and all that.

dpworkin's avatar

It keeps baked goods from sticking, so that delicate cookies, for instance, can be easily lifted without breaking. It’s really useful, and not too expensive.

trailsillustrated's avatar

waxed paper or PAM spray. it’s the 20th century people and yes my mother came over on a boat too

missyb's avatar

Thanks to all of you. You’ve given me the courage to try it without. The recipe is for a quick-setting mint fudge, and there’s no actual baking involved, so I think I’ll go with the waxed paper.

laureth's avatar

“Parchment” paper for cooking is not the same as the sort of parchment that the Pilgrims wrote on, @trailsillustrated.

@aphilotus and @pdworkin are correct.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@laureth harrumph—ok——pilgrims yes 1962

danny's avatar

An alternative is to use a silpat…they can be used over and over many times. I find paper to work the best because sometimes cookies on a silpat spread more.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

For clarification, @aphilotus knows it’s fahrenheit 451, but it’s 2:30 a.m. our time and he’s afflicted with the onset of the flu. :P

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