Do you use parchment paper? Parchment paper has upped my baking game immensely. It helps create the perfect bottoms for cookies. Parchment paper is invaluable when making sourdough bread. It makes clean-up a breeze and can get you the best looking bars/brownies you’ve ever baked. If you haven’t started using parchment paper, now is the time.
Why should you use parchment paper?
Parchment paper has the unique quality of being non-stick (it is NOT wax paper) which means that rarely do you have to grease a sheet pan or bread pan if you cover the pan with parchment paper before baking. Sometimes dark pans can leave the bottoms of your cookies very dark. Parchment paper helps provide your baked goods with an even bake. One of the worst things that has happened to me as a baker is mixing up a delicious batter, baking it and watching it fall apart when I turn it out because it’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is where parchment paper saves the day. That little extra step of lining a pan is worth the peace of mind and the perfect bake.
Lining Baking Sheets and Loaf Pans
I almost always line my sheet pans with parchment paper when baking cookies on them. A simple sheet with a little bit of overhang is fine, though I do like to cut it down if it’s hanging over the edges too much.
For a loaf pan, with a stickier batter, like this banana bread or the lemon blueberry bread that is pictured, I will often drape the parchment paper over the sides. I spray the paper and let it hang over the sides of my non-stick bread pan (affiliate link). This makes it simple to pull the bread out of the pan (you may need to run a knife along any edges that are not touching the parchment paper) without it sticking to the bottom.
How to: Make a parchment sling
I use parchment slings when I bake bar cookies or brownies in an 8 by 8 or 9 by 13 pan. I also use parchment slings for any quickbreads (banana bread, for example), and I line my sheet and cake pans with parchment paper when baking cookies and cakes, though those don’t require a sling. A parchment sling is a tiny extra step that will save you clean up time and give your bar cookies a five star rating.
- Set the parchment paper on top of the pan. Allow for an inch or two of overhang on each side.
2. In each corner of the parchment paper, make a cut from the edge of the paper to the edge of the pan, as pictured below. Remove the small corner squares that result from the cuts.
3. Press down on the parchment paper with your hand in the center.
4. Readjust the parchment paper as needed and fill with the batter of your favorite bar cookie, brownies or treat.
I hope this tutorial encourages you for your next bake. It’s never too late to up your game a little in the kitchen and parchment paper does just that! The recipe for those gooey chocolate chip cookie bars is coming soon. Promise!
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