Parchment paper, baking paper, or bakery release paper is cellulose-based paper that has been treated or coated to make it non-stick. It is used in baking as a disposable non-stick surface. It should not be confused with wax paper or waxed paper, which is paper that has been coated in wax.
Modern parchment paper is made by running sheets of paper pulp through a bath of sulfuric acid (a method similar to the way tracing paper is made) or sometimes zinc chloride. This process partially dissolves or gelatinizes the paper. This treatment forms a sulfurized cross-linked material, with high density, stability, and heat resistance, as well as low surface energy — thereby imparting good non-stick or release properties. The treated paper has an appearance similar to that of parchment and, because of its strength, is sometimes used in legal documents for which parchment was traditionally used. (However, parchment paper is manufactured with acid, and has a low pH, making it inappropriate for archival documents where acid-free paper is the better choice.)
Bakery release paper
The non-stick properties can be also achieved by employing a coated paper, for which a suitable release agent—a coating with a low surface energy and capability to withstand the temperatures involved in the baking or roasting process—is deposited onto the paper's surface; silicone (cured with a suitable catalyst) is frequently used.
A common use is to eliminate the need to grease sheet pans and the like, allowing very rapid turn-around of batches of baked goods. Parchment paper is also used to cook en papillote, a technique where food is steamed or cooked within closed pouches made from parchment paper.
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- Mayer, Ferdinand F (May 1860). "Technical Intelligence—Vegetable Parchment—Papyrene". The American Journal of Science and Arts. XXIX (LXXXVI): 278.
- "Silicone Coated Baking Sheets | Sierra Coating". Sierra Coating. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
- "Blank Parchment Paper 135 GSM (Pack of 50)". Archived from the original on 2011-04-10.
- "Parchment Paper vs. Wax Paper". Martha Stewart. Retrieved 2016-02-19.