The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is Parchment Paper and where can I find it?

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DennaAnn's picture
DennaAnn

What is Parchment Paper and where can I find it?

Is parchment paper aluminum foil, or wax paper? Aluminum foil says parchment. Thank for any help on this. I have made bagels once, but didn't know what parchment paper was, so just set it directly on the baking sheet. I would like to do it right.

 

Brenda

sarakaun's picture
sarakaun

Parchment paper is neither foil nor wax paper. Think of it as baking paper - they're sturdier than wax paper because wax paper smoke in the oven once it hits a certain temp - parchment paper can withstand higher heat.

I use parchment paper for many things - like lining a cake pan, cookie sheet, piping, etc.

You can buy these rolled up, but that's a pain to use. It's also more expensive buying at the grocery store. I get mine in pre-cut sheets of 100. You can get these at King Arthur flour for $20 or save yourself some coin and go to webstaurantstore.com and buy a pack of 100 for under $5.

I also love the cake tins at WS - I have 2 calphalon pans I bought for $20 each. At WS, they have these basic cake tins for about $4 each and they work brilliantly.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

You can also find it at most larger grocery stores. The only brand I ever see at grocery stores is "Reynolds"(a maker of aluminum foil). That might be the cause of your confusion.

That may be your simplest option, and possibly your least expensive, depending on your habits/needs. And again, depending on how you use it, it can be very durable/reusable. It is used very much like wax paper, but can be much more effective and durable.

I bought a roll over 3 years ago and maybe I have used half of the roll. Not that it is a very large roll or anything. I am just very frugal with it and don't use it if I don't have to. I guess a roll cost about $3 at the grocery store, but there seems to always be a .75 to $1(usually $1) off coupon at their website. This will bring it down to about $2/roll.

There is at least one long thread(search) here discussing parchment paper.

jeremysmith's picture
jeremysmith

Reynolds is only what I can see at our local stores as well. I may do a deep searching for it. Im looking into bluepromocode.com site, looking for those coupons. It may be available there and might able to grab couple of them with the discounts of course. Thanks!

Christy King's picture
Christy King

Our Target also sells the Reynolds brand rolled parchment paper.

breadboy025's picture
breadboy025

Parchment paper is key for any cooking which requires no sticking.  I use it routinely for breads, pizzas, and baked goods.  It eliminates the need for greasing and you can even use it more than once.  It doesn't burn in the oven (but don't use on the grill!!).

 

I would say to not use the roll.  It is always curvy and a pain to use, not to mention way expensive.  I have used King Arthur's half sheets, but good to know about the webrestaurantstorecom.  It is so much easier to use and they last a long time.  You can trim them, too.  The roll is just such a nuisance not worth it.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Parchment paper is paper that has been treated to make it high-heat tolerant and basically non-stick when used for baking. Wax paper is simply coated with a thin layer of wax to make it mostly non-stick, but isn't good for baking. Parchment paper has no coatings or films, it is just a special kind of paper. As others have said, it is sold in both rolls and sheets. The rolls are what I buy. It really can be a pain to get it to lay flat, but it's so convenient to run to the store and pick it up, unlike the flat sheets that most stores don't carry. Plus, I like being able to roll off the amount I want to use, not be stuck with one exact size sheet. In order to lay it flat, I just turn it so the curl faces down, and once food is placed on it, it generally doesn't move.

There are other products you can get that work in a similar fashion to parchment paper. Silpats are baking mats which are coated in silicone, and are flat, non-stick and re-usable. You can cut them to the exact size of your baking pan or sheet, and use them for years, from what I've heard. I haven't ever used one, so I don't really know. But silicone is used in lots of cooking utensils now, and it is very heat resistant and easy to clean. You can even buy bakeware that is made of or coated in silicone already, in which case there is no need for a Silpat or parchment paper. And, of course, all these things are a matter of convenience and/or personal preference anyway. Baking directly on a metal pan/sheet or a baking stone won't hurt your bread, so you could just keep doing it that way.

P.S. Parchment paper, Silpats, and even non-stick coated metal pans all have maximum temperature ratings. Look out for that when choosing what to buy and/or use. Some bread recipes call for very high oven temps.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

As not to be misled, most popular parchment paper(that is being spoken of here) for cooking/baking, in the US, is coated/treated. Usually with a silicone or a "chromium(? iirc)" type compound.

The Reynolds rolls, I'm almost positive, are silicone treated. The almost unbelievably inexpensive stuff is usually treated with the "chromium", or whatever, type material.

That's not to say there isn't any untreated parchment, but it is probably pretty rare, as of now. And it will almost certainly be labled as "non-treated/non-coated", whereas the more populare coated brands are not likely to indicate such.

Again, there is a thread here, somewhere, where this is discussed.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Sorry, mrfrost, I didn't know that. I was going by what I could remember of what I read somewhere else. Leave it to commercial interests to figure out how to make a simple product more complicated! Thanks for the clarification!

jeb's picture
jeb

Does anyone use a silpain mat?  They are supposed to be for bread, and have a higher temperature rating.

 

sarakaun's picture
sarakaun

Are you referring to a silpat? Those are very good and can be used in anything from baking cookies, sugar work, or even bbq ribs.

I get 100 sheets of parchment from WS, and even though it could cost more than silpat over the course of a lifetime, I save washing up. lol

jeb's picture
jeb

The silpain is similar to the silpat, but is made for bread. It apparently has interstices that allow moisture to escape. Made by the same company as the silpat.

jeb's picture
jeb

I decided to try one out. At $14 including shipping on ebay, it will definitely be less expensive than parchment over the long run.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I use a $5 Aldi store knock off. I use it about twice a week, on average. I use it to line a baking sheet(pan), and usually bake rolls on it.

I don't recall a temperature rating, but I almost always preheat my oven/stone(30 minutes, or so) to 450 - 475º, baking at somewhat lower temp after 3-5 minutes or so.

It is starting to show a little wear after over 3 years. I'm sure a "more genuine" article will be just a good, or better. However, I would not expect either to last that long if baking with the mat directly on the stone(don't know if anyone does that).

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

mrfrost, what is the Aldi store knock-off called and where in the store is it located? I shop at Aldi, but I never thought to look for something like that.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Silicone Baking Mat

Their Kitchen Living brand. Seems to be a seasonal item stocked during Thangsgiving/Christmas. Hence, located with the seasonal items. They typically blow out whatever is leftover with discounts after the holiday period ends.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I use the reusable from Amazon ( seller Kitchen Supply ),  $5.00 ,and to clean it I just hit it with a damp sponge,  works great for really wet bread like ciabatta.  I have had this one for over a year and still going strong.    

 

http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Supply-Inch-Parchment-Paper/dp/B00004RKFR/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1370431577&sr=8-4&keywords=parchment+paper

straycat's picture
straycat

 

Parchment paper comes off the roll with a lot of curl still in it. Just put the inside of the curl face down and it's much easier to deal with. Curl side up just keeps rolling itself back up.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Exactly! Seems so obvious to me.