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Baking Tips

This Simple Trick Changed the Way I Bake

Parchment paper is one of the most important tools for baking. Here’s how to make it work with you, not against you.

Published Dec. 14, 2022.

When I spent a summer in college working at a bakery, I got the baking bug. Now, my typical weekend plans consist more of baking projects than social events and my home is stocked with baking ingredients—I have a bin full of flour (eight varieties), multiple types of butter, and an overflowing drawer of spices. 

But one of the most underrated key ingredients for many baking endeavors is actually an inedible one: parchment paper

It prevents sticking when baking cookies or cakes, and it helps when loading bread dough into a Dutch oven or pizza pies onto a piping hot baking stone with ease. 

But parchment paper sold in roll form has a major downside: It is impossible to keep flat. Baking well is difficult enough, but keeping a piece of parchment paper unfurled is even harder. No matter what you try, it just wants to curl right back up. 

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We love our winning parchment paper as it comes in sheets perfectly sized to fit a rimmed baking sheet, but it needs to be ordered online and can’t easily be stored in a kitchen drawer with our zipper-lock bags and rolls of foil.

When shopping for parchment paper at the average supermarket, you’re usually stuck with the rolls.

When Dan Pelosi (better known as @GrossyPelosi) shared this extremely simple trick on Instagram, it immediately made baking with parchment worlds easier.

Commenters agreed, leaving hundreds of comments thanking Pelosi for changing their lives, and I feel the same.

Pelosi's trick couldn’t be easier. When you cut a length of parchment paper, crumple it into a ball just as you would a scrap of paper. Then, gently uncrumple it and it will lay reasonably flat, not budging on your rimmed baking sheet or pizza stone.

An uneven piece of parchment paper isn’t just annoying but can also sacrifice the quality of your baked goods, such as by denting otherwise picture-perfect loaves

Now you can focus on improving the quality of your baked goods instead of wrestling with a piece of parchment. And once you're finished with it, don't throw it out—depending on the recipe, we found you can reuse parchment paper up to five times.

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