Parchment papers are a staple in any kitchen. Being heat-safe and non-stick enables them to prevent food items from sticking to the baking sheet.
Whether you’re a professional chef, seasoned baker, or a regular mum, you need them in your cooking space.
But there will be desperate times when you have extra flour to bake but have no parchment paper left to use. What step should you take in such a situation?
In this article, we’re going to show you various substitutes you can use in place of parchment papers. So continue reading!
Parchment Paper – What Are They?
Parchment papers are called bakery release paper or baking paper. They are cellulose-based and come coated or treated to ensure they’re non-stick.
Being disposable make parchment bakery paper a wise choice for baking and cooking. Why? Its non-stick surface makes getting baked goods off your cooking pans a breeze.
Note – Parchment papers are quite different from wax paper or waxed papers. The former comes coated in cellulose while the latter is wax.
However, bear in mind that wax papers have a similar feel and look as parchment papers. But their performance is not the same.
Parchment papers are used by bakers as baking mats to line the flat tray and cooking pan. They’re also heat resistant, at least to certain degrees.
Parchment Paper Uses
As long as you bake or cook, no one can tell you how much you need parchment papers in your kitchen. With them, you don’t need to grease the baking tray now and then. They make cooking and baking more comfortable.
You must also know that certain recipes don’t sit well with parchment papers. But then, it’s only a handful of them. So that shouldn’t reduce the relevance of bakery papers in your kitchen.
Parchment papers serve multiple purposes. Hence, it’s wise to have them around. Let’s check out some of their uses.
For lining cake pans or baking sheets;
If you’re planning to make multiple cookies in record time, you can’t achieve that with constant manual greasing of the cookie sheet. But if you can ditch your cooking spray and opt for parchment paper, things would get much easier for you.
Parchment paper eliminates the need for constant greasing of the baking sheet. What’s more, it causes baked goods to come right off the cooking pan without stress or distortion of their shapes. You can also use a single baking paper multiple times.
Furthermore, if you’re baking a cake or bread, ensure the parchment paper fits the pan you’re using. There’s no need to leave an extra length on each side. This is to make baked item come off the pan without you breaking a sweat.
For separating sticky candies or cookies;
The parchment paper is relevant when making sugar candy or cookies. It helps to keep them from sticking together. All you have to do is place it in-between your sticky candies or cookies.
After using a parchment paper to keep your desserts from sticking together, do not just throw it away. You can reuse it for other purposes.
Prepare countertop for dirty work.
Rolling out your pastry dough or forming meatballs aren’t the neatest tasks to do in a kitchen. Your countertop will eventually get messed up by the time you finish what you’re doing. And cleaning up such messed up surfaces isn’t the easiest of tasks either.
Parchment papers can save you a ton of time and energy. How? Just cut to size and place on the countertop. Then use your masking tape to fasten each end to keep it firmly in place.
Once you finish doing your dirty work, loosen the tape and roll the parchment paper over the messes. After that, you can dispose of it in the trash can.
Steam cooking diverse food items;
Do you want to steam-cook? If yes, then give the parchment paper a shot. You can use it to steam-cook several food items. These include salmon, chicken breast, and seafood.
For funneling ingredients;
Parchment can serve as your DIY funnel in times of need. Just take a piece of it and fold it to size.
If you’re transferring cinnamon sugar or other food items into a shaker or small-sized bottles, parchment papers can come in handy.
Just fold to the size of the bottle you wish to fill up and start pouring your cinnamon sugar or others through it.
Furthermore, parchment can serve as your pouring spout. You can safely and neatly move ingredients from your counter or anywhere to a different spot in your kitchen.
Parchment Papers – Are They Safe To Use?
Though parchment papers are relevant in the kitchen, the safety of users or those that will eventually consume the desert or food is of utmost importance.
So, is parchment paper healthy for cooking or baking? You may have encountered such questions over and over. Now here’s the answer.
First and foremost, keep in mind that parchments come manufactured in two ways. They can be bleached or unbleached.
Now hear this; the chlorine-bleached parchments aren’t entirely safe for use as storage or cooking sheets.
Why? They contain harmful dioxin, which may leach into food items. The dioxin levels are too small to cause any health risk, but you need to be wary.
Don’t be complacent because you’re dealing with a smaller amount at the moment. Dioxins, in smaller quantities, aren’t harmful. But because of their persistence, they can accumulate to toxic levels, overtime.
Which parchment paper is safe then? Opt for the ones that have no chlorine constituent. These include the bleached and unbleached ones.
Parchment papers, both unbleached and those bleached with other substances besides chlorine, are safer. They pose no health risk whatsoever.
Note – Parchment papers coated with wax or silicone are also safe. Why? They come manufactured from food-grade materials. Thus, they’re non-toxic; neither would they build up to toxic levels over time.
However, the silicone coated parchments are non-biodegradable. That means the living organisms cannot break them down in the soil. Nevertheless, they do not release toxins. Neither can they lead to environmental degradation.
Meet The Parchment Paper Substitutes
Parchment paper might be challenging to find in some local markets. You may also run out of supply when you needed it the most.
The truth is no substitute can make cooking or baking easier than parchment paper. None can! But if you’re in need, you just have to go with the available alternatives.
Below is a list of substitutes for parchment papers.
The cooking spray is a wise substitute for parchment papers. It came into existence, even before we knew anything about parchments.
Using the cooking spray or butter, make a thin layer of grease on your baking mold or cooking pan. After that, sprinkle a tiny amount of flour on it and continue rolling until the grease finally clings to the cooking pan. So that’s it, your pan is ready for baking.
Silicone Baking Mats;
Silicone mats can withstand extremely high temperatures in a microwave oven. They’re better than parchment papers in this regard.
Another added advantage is that silicone mats are reusable, only that they’re more expensive.
Wax paper has certain restrictions and is never to be misused. Use it as a substitute only when the food item is wrapped with parchment paper.
You can also use wax paper to cover the counter or workplace while decorating a cake. Using it this way will help you avoid splattering the baked item.
Note – Wax paper has a shallow melting point. Hence they would easily melt under high temperatures. Its non-stick property is nowhere near that of parchment paper. It can also smoke and burn quickly when placed in the microwave oven.
Foils are widely used in baking. Most people use them to line their dishes to prevent messes that could be somewhat demanding to cleanup.
If you want to bake fresh foods, the quick release type of foil is your best bet. It comes coated with silicone and, as a result, can tolerate high temperatures.
Paper Grocery Bags;
This is not a based heat resistant baking sheet. So please take note. Paper bags are not ideal substitutes for parchment paper for use in cooking or baking. Only use them as food wraps for storage purposes.
Grocery bags can get ignited even under shallow temperatures and cause serious hazards. The ink they contain is toxic and can be extremely dangerous when inhaled or comes in contact with your food item.
In the real sense, no parchment paper substitute is a perfect match. None of them can take the place of a parchment paper. But if you’re out of supply, these substitutes can come in handy. You’ll be able to get your baking or cooking done and proceed to other tasks.
Again, if you’re using a parchment paper substitute, ensure you’re using it the right way. For example, don’t use wax paper to line your baking sheet. Otherwise, you could give your food item an extra flavor that will make it toxic and unpalatable.
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