Parchment paper has revolutionized the baking world. If you’ve never baked with parchment paper, you might be rolling your eyes and wondering how thin brown paper can be so amazing as to gain such a title, but trust us. Parchment paper will open your eyes to a whole new love of baking.
You can use parchment paper on cookie sheets, in cake tins, and even pie dishes. Now that we’ve got our parchment paper praises out of the way, there are still some questions around the topic. One of the most commonly asked questions is: do you need to grease or spray parchment paper?
Some bakers say absolutely not, and others swear by greasing the parchment paper before using it. Below we’ll look at both sides and try to determine whether greasing the paper is best for you or not.
Not Greasing Parchment Paper
The majority rules that you do not need to grease the parchment paper when using it to bake. This is because the parchment paper is coated with a thin layer of silicone, creating a non-stick base for your baked goods. For this reason, you can safely use parchment paper without any grease at all.
In fact, if you were to use grease on parchment paper, you might find that your cake or cookies come out of the oven with a greasy texture. This is far from desirable, so make sure that you don’t over grease the paper if you’re planning on doing so.
Parchment paper allows you to cook almost anything without worrying about losing half of the sweet treat thanks to it sticking to the pan. Simply cut it to size, add it into the pan, and cover it in the baking mixture.
Once the cooking time is up, you can remove the baked good from the tin and peel the parchment paper right off.
It’s that simple!
Greasing Parchment Paper
Now you might be wondering why we’re talking about greasing the parchment paper when we’ve just told you that it’s unnecessary. Well, there is one use for grease that can be very beneficial during the baking process – an adhesive.
That’s right, a small amount of grease can be added to the parchment paper to ensure that it stays in place while you pour the cake mixture into the tin. This isn’t always necessary, but it often helps to prevent the paper from folding under the weight of the mixture.
If the parchment paper bends or folds once you’ve put the mixture into the cake tin, you’re going to have a very difficult time of rectifying it. Moreover, the cake mixture will more than likely find its way underneath the parchment paper and stick to the tin, rendering at least some of the paper useless.
To avoid this, a lot of bakers like to add grease to the tin itself before sticking the cut parchment paper to it. Once you’ve done so, you can pour the mixture confidently without worrying about the paper failing at its job. This just makes the parchment paper even more impressive.
Types of Grease to Use
There are plenty of types of grease that you can use to attach the parchment paper to the baking tin or sheet that you’re using.
One tip that we have is to make sure that your grease is liquified before you get started. This will ensure that you get even coverage without having to waste too much grease.
Let’s go through the most commonly used types of grease.
Butter is a very popular type of grease as it’s inexpensive and a little goes a long way. You can either use butter melted or not, by adding a little dot of butter around the edges of the tin.
As you’re only using the butter as an adhesive, you don’t need to be that precise.
Shortening is the umbrella term used to describe a type of fat that’s used in baking and resides in a solid form. Lard, vegetable oils, and margarine are considered as shortening.
Shortening is cheaper and lasts longer than butter, and many people actually make their own shortening to lower the cost even more.
Everyone is bound to have some form of oil hanging around their home, and you only need a splash to successfully stick the parchment paper to the baking tin.
Oil can also come in spray bottles as well, which is a very quick method of spraying the pan before adding the parchment paper.
How to Cut Parchment Paper
Parchment paper is only effective if you cut it to shape properly. Unfortunately, stuffing the paper in the tin and hoping for the best is only going to result in dents and visible creases in your sweet treats, so it’s important that you know how to cut the parchment paper.
Baking tins come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the shape that you want the end result to be. The first thing to do is cut out the correct shape to cover the entire bottom of the tin. Lay your parchment paper out on a flat surface and place the tin over top. Use an edible marker to draw a rough outline of the bottom surface.
Remove the baking tin and cut this shape out. You want to make sure that the lines are as straight as possible and fit the entire bottom of the pan. Next, cut out a long rectangular piece of parchment paper to cover all of the sides. If you need to you can cut separate pieces for the sides, but keeping it as only one long piece will prevent the corners from becoming warped in the cooking process.
The above method is for baking tins that have perfectly vertical sides. If your baking tin has angled sides, you might find it easier to take the bottom piece of paper before cutting it out and adding some tabs to tuck behind the edge pieces. This will ensure that the paper remains together and no mixture slips between the cracks.