Ever since I discovered it, I’ve used parchment paper for baking. I line cookie sheets with it, bake free-formed breads on it (I slide it right onto the bricks in the oven), and press it into the pan when I want to be able to unmold brownies or bar cookies. This last application has often given me trouble. It’s hard to get the parchment to stay in the pan, and it has a tendency to slide around when the dough is being scraped into the pan. (I did learn a trick recently to deal with this issue; read on to learn more.)
So I was excited to see a new product at the store: Reynolds Wrap Non-stick Pan Lining Paper. It has parchment paper on one side and foil on the other. The theory behind it is this: the foil makes it conform to the pan, while the parchment (which is the side touching the food) keeps things from sticking. And like other pan liners, it keeps the pan clean.
I bought a roll and put it to the test over the next several weeks. I began by using it to line a baking dish when making Pecan Spice Bars.
I thought the foil would make it press neatly into the pan, but the foil layer is quite thin. I found that it wasn’t much easier to get it to conform to the shape of the pan than plain parchment. And I was disappointed to see that I didn’t get nice, crisp edges and corners, either. It did make the bars easy to remove from the pan, and the parchment peeled away cleanly from the finished bars.
I tried using the parchment foil several more times for similar applications, but it never worked any better than the first time.
Next, I tried using the pan lining paper in place of parchment to line cookie sheets. Here’s what happened as soon as it hit the oven:
I found that unless I used a piece larger than the pan and wrapped it around the sides of the pan, the edges curled in. And in some cases, the pan liner actually baked into the cookies. Not what I was anticipating at all.
Like parchment, I was able to save the pan lining paper and use it again, although only one more time in most cases.
So, overall, I found this product to be a great idea that didn’t perform as I hoped it would. I still have part of the roll left, and I’ll finish using it to line baking pans when I make brownies or bar cookies. But I won’t buy it again. Especially since I can get parchment sheets at a great price at GFS.
Now for the parchment trick I alluded to in the first paragraph. This is a tip I picked up from Nick Malgieri, and for my purposes, it makes parchment foil superfluous. In order to get parchment paper to conform to the shape of a baking dish, turn the dish over and press the parchment around the outside of the pan. The paper will keep the shape of the pan, so all you have to do is turn the pan right side up and drop the parchment into it.
So save your money on parchment foil and just keep using parchment paper. It works better, costs less, and with Nick’s shaping trick, is easier to form in the pan, too.