Last year for my birthday I requested a rather unusual item. Instead of picking me up passes to the movies or even a new tech toy, my parents took me shopping at the new Restaurant Depot that opened up here in town, and they bought me exactly what I wanted — a case of sheet pan liners — or rather, giant sheets of parchment paper! I didn't know it at the time, but this style of flat pack parchment was going to become my new best friend. It would be used for literally everything in the kitchen and seem to never diminish. Parchment paper has always been a necessary evil in my book. You don't want your cookies to stick, but you don't want to keep the paper from curling up on the cookie sheet either.
It always seemed over priced and there was never enough on the roll to really get you through even half of our holiday baking. It was just one more way for Martha Stewart to tell me how I needed to spend more on my kitchen endeavors — that is until I found out what the pros use.
This large flat box seemed cumbersome at first (you can see it hiding under our kitchen island, propped on an IKEA basket, back in my previous kitchen tour) and needed a home... and fast! Once we found a good spot to keep it at hand yet out of the way, it became our go to kitchen tool. It's easy to pull out a sheet when needed and once you don't have to measure it off a roll any longer, it's amazing how many things you can use it for.
In our kitchen we use full sheet pans and half sheets, so the paper can either be used at it's standard size or folded in half. In a matter of a few days, we went from using this thin paper exclusively for the occasional baking to using it every day. We've pulled out a sheet or two to cover the counter in a jiffy when it might need a little protection, or use a folded sheet as a lid for an open pot or plate in the refrigerator. We place it at the bottom of our roasting pans for seriously simple clean up and even use it for craft projects.
If you are unable to find someone to take you to the Restaurant Depot or supply house near you, there are a few online options available. It's been the most well loved item in our kitchen from both my husband and myself and has made clean up and prep work a snap! If the house caught on fire and we could only grab one item (other than the dogs) parchment paper might be at the top of that list. What? You never know when you'll need to make some brownies!
• Quick Tip: How to Line a Cake Pan with Parchment
• Baking Tip: How to Line a Baking Pan with Parchment
• Quick Tip: Use Parchment Paper as Muffin Cup Liners
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)