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QUESTION: How does parchment paper compare to waxed paper?

In certain recipes, it calls for parchment paper. How does that compare to wax paper, can I use that instead of parchment paper?

ANSWER:

Although parchment paper and waxed paper can sometimes be used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Waxed paper is actually tissue paper which is coated on both sides with a paraffin wax. The wax helps the paper resist moisture and grease. Waxed paper will melt or burn if it comes in direct contact with a heat source.

Parchment paper is paper that is coated with silicone, making it moisture and grease resistant. It is commonly used to line cookie sheets. Unlike waxed paper, it can withstand exposure to temperatures up to 420°F (210°C) in the oven, so it is used in cooking e n papillotte, which means cooked in paper. The paper will brown when exposed to direct heat, but won't burn. However, it should not be used above 420°F (210°C) or under the broiler.

Both waxed paper and parchment paper may be used to line the bottom of cake pans to make it easier to remove cakes from a pan, especially since the paper will be greased and floured, but I would not recommend waxed pan for lining cookie sheets.

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