The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I'm about to cry!!!

CJRoman's picture

I'm about to cry!!!

I have been baking pretzels for a long time....but recently, they have started sticking to the parchment and I CAN NOT get them off. I have lost SO many batches.

First I thought the parchment was crappy, so I bought a big box of restaurant parchment (1,000 sheets) and I am pulling them out now and having to FRANTICALLY scrape them off. It's awful! I'm even SPRAYING the parchment while they are in the lye!

I have no idea whats wrong. My convection oven is at 430...I shake the lye off before they go down...

What in the world?!

gmabaking's picture

Pretzels are almost as requested around here as pizza so I have probably made most of the mistakes. What seems to work for me is to drain them on a cooling rack before setting them back on the parchment. I'm sure it violates some baking rule. Also I discard the parchment used for proofing and splash a little olive oil onto the new post dip parchment. I don't think that parchment paper is as thick and sturdy as I remember from just a few years ago.

Good luck!


MisterTT's picture

thread on exactly the same problem. The problem was eventually resolved using baking sheets with holes.

PetraR's picture

Oh, I was going to try Pretzels tomorrow, I hope mine wont get stuck, I better click on the link.


Yeasty_Beasty's picture

Was just reading about pretzel buns and it was suggested to use Silpats instead of parchment due to the sticking problem.

isand66's picture

I was just going to suggest the same to use Silpats.  This is what I use all the time and it works perfectly.  The first time I used parchment they stuck and I never have looked back after using the Silpats.

gerhard's picture

I assume that you checked that you bought parchment paper?  A neighbour of ours saw me bake pizza on parchment and he did not realize I wasn't using waxed paper so at home he used waxed paper they had in the cupboard and was frustrated by it sticking to the crust.  It took a little head scratching to figure out what had gone wrong.


CJRoman's picture

This is from an industrial box of restaurant parchment...

I've heard a lot of good feedback on Silpats but honestly...they are not feasible on our budget. We are a start-up operation to purchase the volume of Silpats we need, at $25-$30 each, would be a heavy burden. I realize they will pay off in the long run...but that's a major purchase.

My baking mentor tells me to just put them straight on the aluminum pan after giving it a good spray. Everything says to not do this...that the lye will have a reaction with the aluminum....but he says that the reality is the lye is ALREADY touching the pan through the parchment and that as long as you grease it...the worst that will happen is the pans will change color...



cerevisiae's picture

Disclaimer: I've only taken part in pretzel making when others were directing things, and it was a while ago, so clearly I'm no expert.

First thought: I'm dubious about your mentor's advice. Maybe try it with a small percentage of your bake and see how it goes. Report back if you do, because now I'm curious.

Second thought: Are you draining off the lye at all? I recall that when I was helping dip pretzels, the setup was board of shaped chilled pretzels -> lye dip -> draining rack -> parchment lined try. I never heard of any troubles with sticking.

The draining rack setup was a sheet tray lined with parchment with a wire cooling rack over it. One person would dip pretzels and put them on the draining rack, and someone else would move them from the rack to the final sheet pan.

Looking over other comments, this looks a lot like gmabaking's suggestion. Not sure how it might be different from just shaking them off, but might be worth a try.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I also like 'em baked very dark.  Try baking longer and see if there is a difference.  Don't bake a whole tray to test, bake just one.

I keep seeing your paper mentioned as being baking parchment, could you give the temp range listed on the package and the brand name please?