The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Silpat??

JIP's picture
JIP

Silpat??

I was thinking about buying a couple of these for holiday baking.  I was wondering if I am going to notice a difference from baking with parchment.  I am thinking mabye the bottoms will be moister which is something I do not want.

Eli's picture
Eli

I have used mine for a couple of years now and I love them! I don't see how I ever baked without them. Cookies, croissants, cinnamon rolls, all peel right off nicely and little clean-up. Most of my bakes the bottoms brown as well as the they do on a regular sheet pan with parchment.

Eli

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

the cost of two silpats about $40.00
the cost of 1000 18 X24 sheets of parchment panliners cut to 2000 sheets of 12 X18 half sheet pans that fit my oven $20.00

Not having to clean anything up---Priceless

holds99's picture
holds99

I ordered a box of 1,000 sheets of 18" X 24" parchment, a few months ago, for approx. the same price you mentioned. I can cut them to fit the various peel(s) I use, depending on the shape of the loaf I'm baking. I slide them from the peel directly onto the stone and they work like a charm and have the added benefit you mentioned "Priceless".

Howard

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I just picked up a couple of silpats, and I love them.  Evrything bakes really well, and they clean up with ease.  When I bake bread on them, I usually just shake the crumbs off over the trash can.  At most, a little rinse. 

I used to use parchment all the time, but I like these better.  No cutting, no curling edges, no running out of parchment on baking day!  You could buy just one and try it, but I think you'll be buying another one soon.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

That's where mine sits.  I found it very hard to wash, so will stick with parchment.  Or not stick.  I'll stay with parchment.

lisalisa's picture
lisalisa

They are part of the buy 3 get one free promotion.  Depending on the size you want, they are either $13 or $18 each (plus free shipping if you buy over $25 worth of qualifying merchandise).  Anyway, if there are a couple other items that you want, that are also part of the promotion, then put all 4 in your cart, the lowest price item will be free (for best value, you should try to get everything roughly the same price).  Here is a link:

 http://www.amazon.com/Silpat-2-Inch-Nonstick-Silicone-Baking/dp/B00008T960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1226980089&sr=1-1

 http://www.amazon.com/Demarle-Silpat-4-Inch-Nonstick-Silicone/dp/B0001RT42C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1226980089&sr=1-2

 And in answer to your question, I've never used parchment paper before.  Before the silplat, I used those double insulated pans.  Before that I burnt my cookies-lol!  I love them.  I just quickly wipe them off with a clean damp cloth & thats the extent of clean up. 

plevee's picture
plevee

Well Norm, where do you get 1000 sheets of 18x24" parchment for $20? It's always cost much more than that when I've bought it from KAF

Patsy

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

this place is over priced but i can get it from local bakery supply houses for 20 to 30 dollars depending on the quality. the higher priced onens can be used several times before you have to toss them

ka is very over priced i just bought first clear flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?select=C79&byCategory=C128&id=3337

for a little over 47 cents a pound click on the link for the ka price and white rye flour for 65 cents a pound ka price is $ 7.25

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=655&keyword=parchment

i have used 3 sheets cut in halv to make six of them for a batch of butter cookies for the holidays and used each piece at least 4 times during the baking. i on;y toss them when they got dirty when i diped the cookies in choclate

i could send you some for the cost of postage

side note you cant make a paper pastry bag from a silpat

Russ's picture
Russ

I like my Silpats. I have two, a real one that fits the cookie sheets, and an off brand that I found cheap at Target that fits my half sheet jelly roll pans. They both work fine, they don't do everything though. I still use parchment for messier stuff and for things like no knead bread, which allows me to proof and then easily transport to the hot baking vessel.

As Norm points out, the parchment probably works out cheaper if you shop carefully. But I don't believe that parchment is recyclable or compostable so the silpats allow me to at least reduce waste a bit.

Russ

plevee's picture
plevee

Hi Norm, I bought a Silpat mat for kneading six monthes ago & used it twice.It was as much trouble to clean as the countertop. If you are getting into the parchment distribution business, I'll send you my address.

Patsy

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Patsy, similarly, if you would like to get rid of your Silpat, I'll send you my address.  ;-)

Phyl

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

How I clean after kneading:  Sweep off the flour, scrape off the formica with a dough blade (it does NOT damage the formica), wipe down with a damp cloth.  Been doing it for 35 years and counting, and no damaged counters, quick easy cleaning.  I love formica counter tops!  They are by far the very best value in counter tops and they're tough.  Save the tile and stone for trim work ...


Brian

kanin's picture
kanin

There's also a version of Silpat that is perforated on the bottom to allow moisture to escape. (Silpain). Been trying to get my hands on a sheet to try it out but couldn't find a source.

It would probably make sense if used with a perforated sheet pan.

 

http://www.applepiepatispate.com

ejm's picture
ejm

I have used parchment paper for some time and about 3 years ago was given a silpat. About a year ago, I purchased a less expensive silicone cookie tray liner. Both are quite useful and we haven't had to purchase new parchment paper for quite some time. However, for me, the jury's still out on whether either one is better than parchment paper.

-Elizabeth 

 

Silpat

Pros:

  • no need to oil
  • easy to clean
  • rolls up for easy storage (but manufacturer says to store flat)
  • can be reused  "thousands of times".

Cons:

  • holds aroma if there is any fat in bread (took ages to rid my brand new silpat of the smell of cinnamon after baking cinnamon buns on it)
  • possibility of fraying at the sides after several uses (not even close to thousands of time for me) - instructions say NEVER use broken Silpat (danger from fiberglass)
  • manufacturer says to store flat
  • odor of plastic when heated (odor disappears after silpat has been used about 10 times)
  • stains
  • only good to 480F
  • expensive
  • no longer viable pieces cannot be recycled and take up space in landfill
Silicone liner

Pros:

  • no need to oil
  • easy to clean
  • rolls up for easy storage
  • can be reused hundreds of times
  • can be cut with scissors without risking exposing pieces of fibreglass (NO fibreglass)

Cons:

  • holds aroma if there is any fat in bread 
  • possibility of tearing at sides because the liner is quite thin
  • stains badly
  • only good to 500F
  • expensive (but less so than silpat)
  • no longer viable pieces cannot be recycled and take up space in landfill
Parchment Paper

Pros:

  • no need to oil
  • comes in rolls and can be cut to fit any pan or peel
  • pieces can be reused 4 to 5 time; small pieces can be used as "patches" for torn pieces
  • pieces can be composted with garden and kitchen waste

 

Cons:

  • the paper is bleached; (unbleached version expensive and very difficult to find)
  • tears easily
  • pieces can only be reused 4 to 5 times
  • uses up paper resources
Russ's picture
Russ

very nicely summarized. I can't say that my experience is exactly the same as yours, but I think you hit most of the major points and did a much better job of it than I would have.

The only part I really have a question about is where you say that pieces of parchment can be composted. Are you sure about that? Parchment is silicone impregnated paper, and I don't believe that silicone is compostable, so I've been treating it like something that must be thrown into regular trash.

Russ

ejm's picture
ejm

Rats. Now I cannot remember where it was that I heard parchment paper could go into the compost bin. But we are allowed to put "muffin papers" in our green bins (wet garbage) that are taken by the city for composting. Wax paper is not allowed (because of the paraffin???).... (City of Toronto | Green bin program: What goes in the green bin?)


But I know that I heard somewhere that parchment paper is recyclable. So I googled and came up with the following:


Excerpt from  Wiki Answers | Waste and Recycling to the question "Which items are biodegradable out of a plastic bag aluminum foil saran wrap parchment paper and paper?"



Most grades of papers are biodegradable.



Excerpt from Chef's Select FAQ: Can Parchment Paper be recycled?



A. Yes, it's 100% biodegradable. It's also reusable - batch after batch of cookies can be made without the need to grease cookie sheets, which saves on clean up. Chefs Select Parchment Paper may brown a little around the edges after a few uses, but it is still fine to use. And both sides are useable.



The parchment paper I buy is "no name" bleached; it comes in rolls (10m x 38 cm) It doesn't say on the package whether it is biodegradable but it does say that it's for food.... I'd buy unbleached if I could find it easily. (Whole Foods has it but that is around half an hour bike ride away AND the unbleached paper at Whole Foods is quite expensive - just like pretty much everything else at Whole Foods in Toronto.)


I have to assume (I know; one should never assume) that judging from the Chef's Select FAQ page, our "no name" parchment paper is 100% biodegradable too.


-Elizabeth


 


edit: I see from the container that our parchment paper is only good to 420F.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

The silicon in parchment paper is inert and microscopic.  Silicon occurs naturally in soil anyway.  I can see no reason whatsoever not to compost it...


Brian


 

plevee's picture
plevee

Hi Phyl, it's a mat for kneading, not baking. You can have it for the shipping if you want it - and if  I can find a tube to ship it in!


Patsy

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Patsy, I'd be glad to take it off your hands and pay for the shipping (and a mailer, if you end up buying one). E-mail me at phyl.law(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll send you my address. Then you can calculate shipping, and I'll send you a check or pay you through PayPal.

Phyl

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

there are two types of parchment on the market and to clear somthing up that the last poster stated


in the bakeries where i worked  (I hope every one here knows my history on here by now)


what we called the cheap kind and the good kind


the cheap one was regular parchment paper which is a paper that has been through an acid bath.  this makes it strong and heat proof it also makes things hard to stick to it but some things still do (heavy sugar things like macaroons and other hi sugar items


the good one was about 10 dollars more and was called PanLiners or quinlin pan liner paper


this is the parchment paper treated with the acid bath and coated with silicone. it is also a thicher paper and sometimes can be used 10 times with out burning being it is thicker and and coated it is also water proof.


 most of the parchment paper available for retail sale it the regular or cheap kind the Quinlin type is only available in bulk 1000 sheets or more at supply houses


regular parchment is also available in flat sheets although most stores only sell iitin rolls because thats hoe most people look for it and it takes much less shelf space in the store.  the roles are also most fimilure with consumers look at the wax paper and foil section of your supermarket and i dont think you will find foil or wax paper sheets although they are very available to baberies and food manufactures


if you want to test what kind to pachment you have maka paper cone or just wrap something that has a lot of liqued in it one layer or two of paper ant let it sit out for an hour or two. if the paper gets mushy it is regular parchment if it does not then you have the quinlin silicone type

keesmees's picture
keesmees

interesting thread, never thought about it before and had to look on my parchment for the max temperature.

We always use paper (max 220°C/430°F)on the baking tray and throw it away afterwards when there is a risk producing fat, moist, burnt sugar etc.. don't like bio-cultures everywhere in the kitchen.

but for delivering breads and rolls on the baking stone I use a teflon baking foil like the one in the url. max temp 260°C (500°F)

http://www.bakfolie.nl/products/5/Bakfolie_bruin

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Our local restaurant supply, Gordon Food Services, sells 50 large Quilon liners for about three bucks - cut them in half and you get 100 cookie-sheet sized liners. 


I've used both parchment and Quilon.  Parachment scorches at 460F and over; Quilon doesn't. 


Both will burn if tossed into a woodstove (which is where I put them in the winter).

ejm's picture
ejm

How many times can you resuse a piece of Quilon liner?


-Elizabeth

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Elizabeth, am guessing around 12 times when I'm baking cookies.


I haven't reused them on bread.  Don't know why.  Brain burp?   I'll have to start doing that since every penny counts nowadays.


 

ejm's picture
ejm

I like the sound of quilon liners. I've not seen them anywhere though....


Is "Quilon" a brand name? Is it silicone paper??


I wonder if it comes in rolls and if it is sold in supermarkets at all.


-Elizabeth



excerpt from DadePaper: Quilon Liners:



Quilon Greaseproof Pan Liners Various Sizes and Packing



  • Easy release eliminated pan greasing and cleanup

  • Reusable for economy. Save warehouse space, disposal costs

  • Environmentally compatible. Made from 100% biodegradable cellulose fibers.

  • High wet strength for durability

  • All natural parchment will not contaminate, is completely odorless and tasteless

  • Hard pinhole-free surface resists grease, water and oven browning

  • FDA approved and suitable for kosher foods



 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Don't know about your local grocery stores, but you can get 50 of the large liners for $3.59 at The Web Restaurant Store.


I just found that site through Google.  Looks like they have parchment at reasonable prices as well.  $4.49 for hundred sheets is a pretty fair price. Shipping charges are calculated based on your zip code and method of delivery.


BTW, Quilon is a registered trademark.  DuPont, I think.  I've not seen it in rolls.


 

ejm's picture
ejm

I have to admit that knowing Quilon is a registered trademark of DuPont sets off alarm bells.


excerpt from naturalpath.com: Quilon - DuPont's Stealth Product!:



What is Quilon?  [...] From Dupont's world-wide site, I found out that quilon, referred to as "chrome complexes," is considered a surface protector used for "release and surface treatment applications."  I found out that quilon is a teflon-like product made largely with chrome.  It's used to line paper to make it greaseproof and water proof -  and also used as a fiber coating to make wrinkle-resistant fabrics, which some (Dupont) say is safe, although it is made with chrome (a heavy metal), which can become toxic when incinerated and leave trace minerals.  It's made with trivalent chromium [...]



I know one can't believe everything on the internet, but it bothers me that there is so little about Quilon.


-Elizabeth


P.S. Of course, I have NO idea if silicone is or isn't toxic. But it's starting to make me wonder if I shouldn't go back to using cornmeal and/or oil instead of parchment paper.

Kenneth's picture
Kenneth

Chromium is a major part of stanless steel.  The form of chromium matters and quilon isn't supposed to be used on wet food products.  Trivalent chromium is a trace mineral and people can get chromium deficiency.  Hexavalent chromium is highly toxic, and the body netralizes it by converting it to trivalent chromium.


Silicon doesn't contain chromium and it is supposed to be inert.

gallaure's picture
gallaure

Just to nip this in the bud...


Silicone is a naturally occurring substance. It's found in almost all living things on Earth.


It's safe for food use. It's used on medical instruments and is also used for many *personal* items used in a rather racy manner. Silicone is inert, meaning it will not react to anything except silicone. If you set 2 silicone items on each other, they may melt together and bleed colors. Don't ask how I know.


One of my businesses is teaching about things that are inappropriate to discuss here. However, my feminine issues doctor says that silicone is safe to use. I trust her, and she's done her research. Considering that silicone is constantly in use in and around us every day, you're OK! :)

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you for the reassurances about silicone. I knew that silicone was a naturally occurring substance in all living things (but then, so is arsenic... granted, we only have traces of it in us but it is there apparently). I didn't really think that companies would knowing sell toxic things for use in food preparation but, well, you know....


-Elizabeth

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Everyone should be aware that there is a big difference between silicon (an element occuring in nature as silicon dioxide) and silicone (a class of man-made polymers).  I'll leave it up to the TFL readership to decide the suitability of each for use in baking.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


   

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Silicone = Silicon + Carbon/Oxygen/Hydrogen, right?


I wonder if silicon powder can be used successfully in modern breadbaking. Since silicon is one of the main constituents in most integrated circuits, one would think that the compound could be used as part of a multigrain soaker too. Combine it with boiling water and some salt (leave on counter overnight).

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Hans, that's right.  Silicones are polymers with a siloxane backbone (-Si-O-Si-O-) having various organic functionality bound to the silicon atoms.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


  

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Silicon is 'silicon dioxide' ...same as glass, but microscopic. It's no more toxic than a water glass, which means it's not toxic at all. It's inert, i.e. doesn't react with or combine with anything. It also occurs naturally in soil. No worries... I'd worry about chrome if the story is true since chrome is a bad heavy metal to be spreading around, but silicon is a non-issue.

Brian

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I use the store bought parchment which is only rated to 425 degrees farenheit but sometimes my oven is hotter, causing the uncovered areas of the parchment to turn very brown and "crispy".  My concern is whether or not the silicon in that paper is aerosolizing as it burns and can then get into my lungs.


I have learned to trim closely around the dough (about 1 inch) so that it doesn't burn, but that doesn't work when I want to use the parchment to "sling" dough into my somewhat deep clay baker. 


Any thoughts?

craigkeeley's picture
craigkeeley

Quilon is a perfectly safe material that has been successfully used in commercial bakeries worldwide for the last 50 years. It is currently a trademark product of the Dupont Company, but the product line is in the process of being purchased by Zaclon LLC. I encourage anyone interested or concerned about Quilon's safety to visit our website, www.zaclon.com for information. It is correct that Quilon contains 100% Chrome+3 which is an essential nutrient for all plant and animal life. Quilon treated paper contains a monomolecular layer of Chrome Complex on the surface of the sheet. It prevents food from sticking to the sheet by the pendant fatty acid chain that is attached to the chrome molucule. The fatty acids used are derived from palm oil. 100% of Quilon id FDA approved and Kosher approved.


A word about silicone, which is the primary competitor to Quilon treated sheet. It is true that silicon is an element and is naturally occurring, primarily in sand as silicon dioxide. Water glass, also known as sodium silicate or potassium silicate, are nontoxic materials widely available for many uses. Zaclon LLC is a manufacturer of potassium silicate. Silicone is not a nuturally occurring material and is derived from hydrocarbons. Silicone treated paper works very well, but generally costs about 3-4 times as much as Quilon treated sheet.


In this age of fear of chemicals, please rest assured that Quilon treated sheet is perfectly safe. Again, I encourage everyone to visit our website for additional information or to contact me with any questions at ckeeley@zaclon.com.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Thank you, Craig, for your informative post.  I know that when I was an engineer in a semiconductor fab down in Texas that if we ever let the chrome compounds that we used for various purposes enter a drain, that the EPA would hang us by our toenails.  That's where I got the impression that chromium is a baaad thing.  Thanks to your post however, I did a little more research and found that the chrome 3+ compounds are known to be safe, that it is the chrome 6+ compounds that are baaad ...and I'll bet my bottom dollar that's what they made sure we kept out of the local environment.  From what I could read and understand, I have no problems with chrome 3+ compounds.


As far as silicon goes, I think I crossed terms and confused silicon (no 'e') with silicone, believing that parchment paper was treated with harmless silicon (no 'e') ...well, I guess I sit humbly corrected now that you point out that it is silicone that is on/in parchment paper.  I have no clue whether it is good or not, but personally, I very much doubt that silicone treated paper is an issue and I will continue to use it ...until I use up my parchment paper and try the Quilon treated products next.  I'm curious how they perform differently with bread baking in particular.


Again, thanks!  I think we're in good shape across the board from what I can see!


Brian


 

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I would encourage anyone interested or concerned about Quilon® safety to get their information from sources that don't have a commercial interest in the sale of Quilon-based products.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

using a larger size piece of parchment and closing it up with folds around the loaf (leaving room for expansion naturally) to trap in steam?  Sort of baking in a paper bag? 


 

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I ordered a Super Peel and I'm waiting for it to come.   I hope it works as promised.


One of the selling points for me was no waste.  No burnt paper and the flour/cornmeal/etc. will be minimized. 


I'm doing a lot of artisan style breads at high temps.  We have no vent over the oven and the particulates from the grains and parchments used to "lubricate" the bread from peel to stone were bothering my asthma.  While the super peel still needs flour, it seems like less--hoping so.


I did not like baking at these high temps with parchment.  The parchment defintely gets "crispy" and if it truly is impregnated silicone --could that be aresolized in the process?

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I bought a couple Silpats for baking cookies.  I also bought a Roulpat for kneading and rolling dough.  The Roulpat is large and awkward, though I'd use it for pie crusts.  But for the small quantities of dough I knead (and occasionally roll for things like pita and crackers), the Silpats are perfect.  I store them between cookie sheets.  Clean up is a quick washup and rinse, followed by rolling it in a dishtowel; then I put them someplace out of the way so they can finish drying (like on an oven shelf) before I put them away.  The Roulpat is stored rolled up around the rolling pin.


Baking?  Sometimes.  But I like my nonstick cookie sheets better.


Rosalie


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I did the crackers on a silpat (rolled them out and baked them) and it worked great. I have two of them although one is not in the best shape owing to the fact that my husband cut the bar cookies that I made in a 1/2 sheet pan when they were still in the pan and the silpat was on the bottom. It still works but is too fragile for rolling out on now.



--Pamela

ejm's picture
ejm

Don't they say not to use a damaged silpat because of the fiberglass?


Aha!! Yes. Here it is on the Silpat site:




  • Do not use scrapers or brushes to clean SILPAT.

  • Never cut the SILPAT or cut ON the SILPAT.

  • Do not fold the SILPAT.

  • Do not grease the SILPAT. It doesn’t need it.

  • Never use a cut or ripped SILPAT as the fiberglass mesh material could migrate into the food.

  • Avoid using automatic dishwashers, as they may harm the SILPAT.

  • Do not use SILPAT with a broiler, a grill, or place directly on the bottom of an oven.



Of course, it could be that the silpat company just wants you to buy a new one. But I'd be a little nervous with the possibility of fiberglass contamination. That's one of the things I really dislike about silpat and why I prefer those silicone mats. I don't know for sure, but don't think they can be harmful when they start to tear.


I have one that was tearing at the edges; I just used scissors to cut away the tear so it wouldn't continue ripping. I would never do that with my Silpat. (In fact, I'm quite nervous of the silpat and hardly ever use it.)


Elizabeth

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Thanks for this information. I'll throw my cut one away.


--Pamela