The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my parchment paper turned black...

pcake's picture

my parchment paper turned black...

i put in two loaves that i've made several times at the exact same temperature (and yes, i use an oven thermometer) on this very same roll of kirkland parchment paper.  only this time during the short 20 minute bake, i started to smell something burning, not food, something a little bitter that was hurting my throat.  i look in and the parchment paper is mostly black, not dark brown but black, and it's smoking.

i didn't feel good about eating bread that had been absorbing that smoke, so i turned off the oven and am letting it air out.  opened all the windows, too - it smells of burned parchment paper a lot in here, and that's while the fan over the oven was running the entire time the oven was on!

my oven thermometer read 450, the same as last time, but it's not digital.  could 1 or 2 degrees higher have caused the parchment paper to burn?



DanAyo's picture

I’d give the company a call to let them know. 


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I've been wary of using parchment paper ever since. The only thing I can think of is was the parchment paper touching, or very close to, an oven element? It can take high temperatures but not sure about direct contact to the heat source. 

DesigningWoman's picture

I was thinking of using my current parchment as a sling to lower a loaf into a hot DO; checked the box and said it was good to 220°C which is a bit dicey. So, will be looking at higher-temp baking sheets on Amazon; some go up to 260° or even 280°C, but are Teflon-treated.

I seem to remember that King Arthur's parchment takes high temps; if you're in the States, that might be an option…

Happy baking.

bikeprof's picture

There is quite a bit of variability in parchment.

I use Bagcraft Papercon Ecocraft Bake 'N' Reuse (non-coated) parchment with good results, and this was highly recommended to me from the head baker at a shop I worked at for a while.

It is "officially" rate for use up to 425F, but I have used it up to 500F.  At 500F it will get pretty dark around the edges, but I don't get any smoke.  I can typically get 2 uses with each sheet.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Huh, I use Kirkland parchment all the time (and I mean all the time, as I bake about five days a week). I've used it on granite stones heated to 475F, to line perforated baking sheets and inside pre-heated cast iron pots. I also re-use it as long as it's not too stained or dark. The only time I've incinerated a piece was when I tried to bake a loaf in a cast iron pot inside my wood-burning stove, and didn't realize how hot it was inside there (must have been about 800F!). The parchment turned to black ash that time, as did the outside 1/4" of the loaf. :)

Perhaps, as Abe said, it was touching an element?

pcake's picture

i've been using this roll of kirkland six days a week with no problems.

it wasn't touching an element or anywhere near flame (i have a gas oven) - it was on the same rack on the same baking sheets i always use.

but i think the reason it burned is i didn't trim it.  it didn't burn under the bread or within an inch of it - only several inches away.  lesson learned - always trim the parchment paper.  btw, the soot from parchment paper and silicone so far won't come off of the baking sheets.  hopefully my husband's mightier arms can get the stuff off.