How To Substitute Parchment Paper In Baking
Parchment paper, also known as baking paper or baking liners, is a useful tool in baking which prevents baked goods from sticking to their baking surface. If we go to the cupboard and find that our seemingly never-ending roll has ended, then we might not be able to buy some new parchment paper. Either we don't have enough time to go to the shop or it is too late to do so.
At oneHOWTO, we explain these how to substitute parchment paper in baking. We find the parchment paper alternatives which can save your basked goods from destruction. We also show you what substitutes we need to avoid, even if they look like they could help us with our baking.
What is parchment paper?
Parchment paper is a coated paper made from cellulose. The treatment of this paper is most commonly with sulphuric acid or zinc chloride. This process causes the molecules in the cellulose paper to change their structure, giving it amazing properties which allow it to withstand high temperatures. How much temperature parchment paper can withstand may depend on the manufacturer, but it is generally around 230 ºC/450 ºF.
These non-stick sheets are used to line baking trays and other kitchenware. In doing so, the raw dough of baked goods can be placed on the sheet and removed from the tray with ease. Otherwise, the food might stick and it can be almost impossible to maintain the integrity of its structure.
Parchment paper has many uses in baking, including meats, vegetables and almost any food. A common technique is called an papillote, whereby food is wrapped in parchment and baked to seal in moisture. The moisture then steams the food to give it a different texture to normal baking.
1. Aluminium foil substitute for parchment paper
Whether you are using a pan, mold or baking tray, you can line it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Parchment paper and aluminium foil are not completely interchangeable and the food can still stick. For this reason, you will have to spray the aluminium foil with non-stick spray or even put some vegetable oil on it.
When the oily product is placed on the foil, it should prevent it from sticking as a good parchment paper alternative. However, we still need to be careful when removing them from the oven. The longer they have baked and the higher the temperature, the more likely they will stick. Be careful and make sure to pick off any of the foil if it tears.
Take a look at our article on how to make a cake pan out of foil to learn more about how useful it can be in the kitchen.
2. Silicone baking mat substitute for parchment paper
If you are using a flat tray for baking, then you can substitute parchment paper for a silicone non-stick baking mat. This type of mat is a heat-resistant sheet for baking, which often proves to be an even better substitute for parchment paper than aluminum foil. It shouldn't need to be sprayed with any lubricant as they are designed to be non-stick and, unlike parchment paper, reusable.
Our article on how to use a silicone baking mat will explain all you need to know.
3. Oil or butter and flour substitute for parchment paper
Some recipes which use baking molds will call for parchment paper to line the mold. The reason for this is because it will allow us to remove the baked good easily and let it cool. However, if we don't have parchment paper, we may be able to use oil and flour to prevent sticking. Simply rub oil all over the mold and dust it with a suitable fine flour. This should help us to tap out the cake, bread or other baked good easily. If we don't have oil, we can rub butter over the inside of the baking tin or tray as another alternative.
If we do have parchment paper, we can actually use these to create cupcake molds if we have run out. Our guide on how to make cupcake molds with parchment paper explains how it's done.
Can I substitute wax paper for parchment paper?
Wax paper may appear similar to parchment paper, but they are actually have completely different uses. Parchment paper is designed to withstand high temperatures, whereas wax paper was created as a form of water resistant paper.
Wax paper is coated in wax which means it can be used to line different surfaces and protect them against moisture. It is often used to wrap food such as sandwiches and cheese. It can even be used as food given as gifts or presents. If you were wanting to use parchment paper to wrap something, then wax paper is a great substitute. Not only does it protect very well, but it provides a great homemade look. Add a bow or ribbon to complete the design.
However, if you want to substitute wax paper for parchment paper in baking, you are out of luck. The wax treatment will melt and cause the food to stick to it even more strongly. This is if the oven is on a low temperature. On a high temperature, the wax paper will likely smoke and may even burn.
Can I substitute a paper bag for parchment paper?
Although a brown paper bag may look similar to parchment paper, they are not the same thing. They have not been treated with acid and they are not heat resistant. On the contrary, if you try to use a brown paper bag for baking, it will burn easily at a high temperature. As with wax paper, it can cause a fire hazard.
Brown paper bags make great food wrapping and are great to carry our lunch. However, they are not suitable for oven cooking and may even provide a hygiene issue if they are not a food grade standard.
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