Besides lining baking sheets and cake pans, this inexpensive paper can be used for a range of tasks, from pouring ingredients to steaming fish.
Parchment paper is treated with silicone, so it is nonstick; it is also heatproof and grease-resistant. It's available bleached (white) or unbleached (brown).
It protects pans, aids cleanup, and prevents food from sticking. It also makes a handy funnel for transferring dry ingredients. You can bake fish or chicken in it for a low-fat cooking method.
Rolls of parchment paper are available in the baking section of most supermarkets. Precut sheets and rounds can be found in baking-supply stores.
How To Work with Parchment
Lining a Cake Pan
Using the bottom of the pan as a guide, trace a circle on the paper, then cut out the round and fit it in the pan. This will keep cakes from sticking.
Sifting, Then Pouring
When sifting dry ingredients, sift them onto the parchment, then fold the paper to form a funnel for easy pouring.
Lining Baking Sheets
Rub softened butter on the corners of baking sheets to help the paper adhere. This will also prevent rolled paper from curling up at the edges during baking.
Foods baked on parchment paper release easily from the pan. This is especially helpful when baking thin cookies and other delicate pastries.