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Yes, You Can Reuse Parchment Paper

You might think that parchment paper is a one-and-done deal. It’s not.

Published Oct. 15, 2021.

We love baking with parchment paper. We use it to line baking sheets and cake pans, and to transport bread dough to and from our Dutch ovens. Coated in silicone, parchment paper allows finished cookies, cakes, and breads to release easily, without sticking. 

Because parchment paper is, well, paper, it can seem disposable to many home cooks, who use it once and then toss it. Don’t do this! There’s good news: it’s safe to reuse parchment, reducing your waste and cost per bake.

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As long as the parchment itself isn’t too messy, you can use it for at least another round in the oven. Avoid reusing parchment that has gotten overly greasy, messy, or wet with anything that might burn on a second trip through the heat—that won’t improve the flavor of your food.

Test cooks at Cook's Country put this to the test, and found that they could make at least five batches of cookies on a single sheet of parchment with no sticking (they used a cooled baking sheet every time, though).

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You can also reuse most parchment with recipes baked at higher temperatures, such as our Pain au Levain, which bakes at 425 degrees. Because parchment degrades faster at higher temperatures, its life expectancy is a little shorter here—two uses is about the maximum, and we recommend sticking a four- to five-inch-wide sling of aluminum foil under it to help support the dough on the second use.

You’ll know when you can’t use the parchment any more because it’s gotten dark and brittle. 

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