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The Mistake We've All Been Making When Tearing Parchment Paper

Parchment paper rolls
Parchment paper rolls - New Africa/Shutterstock

If you've ever ripped a sheet of parchment paper off the roll and the edge looks more like the Himalayas than the horizon, you may be making a rookie mistake that many of us are guilty of; failing to tuck the cardboard flap back into the box before tearing it.

But does it truly matter if the edge of your parchment is ragged? Well, using parchment paper with straight lines instead of unsightly jagged borders has a couple of useful benefits. Firstly, you won't need to spend extra time using scissors to cut a straight edge if you need an even length of paper to line the sides of a baking tin before pouring in the batter for a fudge cake. Simply rip off a neat piece of parchment and sit it against the circumference of your dish so it sits flush against the sides. The added extra? You won't be discarding any bits of paper that you would ordinarily have cut away, therefore reducing waste.

Secondly, a straight sheet of parchment makes for a pretty presentation when wrapping sandwiches, burritos, and more. It's easier to fold in the sides to hold the fillings better when the paper has neat edges, resulting in a hoagie that's well-protected and looks appetizing. Suppose you're preparing a fancier meal of fish en papillote using parchment paper — it'll look super-impressive when you open up your steaming parcel with its tidy perimeter at the dining table.

Read more: 11 Cleaning Tips For Keeping Your Oven Spotless

How To Tear Parchment Paper In A Straight Line

Parchment paper on board
Parchment paper on board - Tanya Sid/Shutterstock

To tear your parchment paper in a straight line, neatly open the box, taking care to avoid ripping the packaging; you must keep the cardboard intact because you will need the flap to help you dispense the paper. Then pull out as much parchment as you require, while the cylinder sits inside the box, and tuck the flap back in so the roll is contained and the paper is hanging out. Grip the box with one hand and use the other hand to tear the paper down at a slight angle against the sharp edge. The flap will hold the paper down to create some resistance, allowing you to initiate a precise tear as you run it along the 'teeth' of the box.

You should be left with a super-straight piece of parchment paper that you can use to line your baking tins, employ as a cartouche, or fold into a homemade piping bag. You can even use neat squares of parchment paper to make bakery-style parchment muffin liners — it's a super-versatile cooking staple that can be used almost anywhere in the kitchen. However, bear in mind that this heat-resistant material isn't 100% heat-proof, which means you should think twice about putting parchment paper under your broiler as it could burn.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.