There's An Easier Way To Line Loaf Pans With Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is one of those things that you wonder how people ever lived without. Cakes and bread ending up fused to your loaf pan is a source of such sad frustration and a problem that can seemingly strike at random, no matter how nice the pan or how much you greased it. Looks aren't everything, of course, but watching the bottom of your cake tear off as you try and lift it out is still a huge disappointment. What was supposed to be a picture-perfect dessert is instead scraped off a pan and mashed together in the hopes some frosting can cover it up.

The good news is that parchment paper solves all of that, and solves it easily. Even the most stubborn baked goods will slide off a piece of parchment paper without the slightest protest, despite the fact that the paper is so thin it doesn't disrupt the heat transfer from your pan. For any home baker, parchment paper is essential, and you use it anywhere you can. It just has one frustrating problem of its own: It doesn't fold very well. Parchment paper can't get that loaf of bread out of the pan if it doesn't fit into the pan to begin with, and just trying to stuff it in the pan and fold it like tinfoil doesn't work very well. Luckily, there is a measuring trick to get perfect lines on your parchment that will easily conform to a loaf pan.

It's a matter of measuring

Loaf pans are an awkward shape for folding up parchment, but with just a few simple steps you can do it perfectly every time. Start by flipping your loaf pan upside down, and then tearing off a piece of parchment big enough to fold over all four sides. Place the parchment over the bottom of the pan and then fold it down over each side, creasing the paper along the edges to form a rectangular outline of the pan's base. Repeat this a second time, only this time making a fold in the paper where the top lips of the pan meet the counter. Then trim the paper back to where you made the folds marking the top of the pan.

Your parchment should be left with four folds, forming a rectangle in the center and four squares in each corner. Using scissors, make a diagonal cut across each of the squares, from the corner of the paper down to the outline of the rectangle. Now you can stick the parchment into the loaf pan, with the four cuts lining up to each corner of the pan. The paper will overlap slightly at the corners to prevent any cakes or bread from sticking there. And that's it — a quick and foolproof way to shape your parchment and end the fear of sticky baked goods once and for all.