Monday, December 14, 2009

Culinary Q&A: Parchment Paper Substitution

Holiday Baking Question: Can you use foil when a recipe calls for baking on parchment paper? If yes, do you spray it with non-stick cooking spray?

Answer: Yes. Parchment paper is paper that has been treated with sulfuric acid and coated with a very thin layer of silicon. It can withstand direct exposure to high temperatures and provides a non stick surface. It is mostly commonly used in baking for two reasons, (1) prevent bake goods from sticking and (2) it prevents the bottom of bake goods from over-browning by acting as oil and moisture resistant barrier.

If you are baking cookies and the recipes calls for parchment paper simply spray your cookie sheet with a non-stick cooking spray and you are good to go. If you are concerned about the bottom of your cookies over-browning you may need to decrease your cooking time or oven temperature. The only benefit of using foil would be to expedite the clean up process.

Wax paper was invented by Thomas Edison and is paper that has been covered with paraffin wax. It can be substituted for parchment paper when the paper will be completely covered (i.e. lining cake pans), the wax will melt if directly exposed to high heat.

~Happy Baking!~