How To Prevent Parchment Paper From Rolling Up

There's a reason that so many recipes call for you to line your baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. As The Pioneer Woman explains, this simple lining material helps whatever you're making bake more evenly, and it can also ensure your cookies don't spread out into flat pancakes. And, don't just think it's only used when making baked goods — several recipes for foods like salmon and poultry call for the protein to be wrapped in parchment paper because it creates a steamy environment that creates a tender final product, while still being breathable enough to keep the exterior somewhat crisp. Not to mention, it makes cleanup far easier and your food won't stick to a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment.

There's one issue that may lead you to trade in your parchment paper and reach for aluminum foil, or nothing at all, however — the fact that parchment paper will so often roll up when you're trying to line your pan. Especially when you're handling fussy items or trying to space things evenly on your baking sheet, it can be extremely frustrating for the paper to essentially disappear every time you turn your back as it rolls up on itself. Luckily, there's a quick and easy way to help combat the tendency parchment paper has to roll up and it doesn't require any extra ingredients or time-consuming steps. You just need to add a quick 10-second task to your baking sheet or pan lining process.

Stop your parchment paper from rolling up — for good

In order to prevent the dreaded rolling up and make your life a whole lot easier, there's one simple hack (via Food and Wine). Once you have the amount of parchment paper needed to line your pan or baking sheet, all you need to do is crumple it up into a ball. Then, uncrumple it and line your pan or sheet as you normally would.

The reason parchment paper typically rolls up is that it's stored in a tube, and unlike the malleable material of aluminum foil which holds its shape when you unroll it, parchment paper will try to get back in that roll-like shape, even once you take a bit of it off the roll. Crumpling the paper will provide you with a more malleable surface that behaves a bit like aluminum foil, so you'll be able to line your pan without the paper curling back up.

If this hack doesn't work for you or the idea of crumpling and smoothing out endless sheets of parchment paper sounds daunting for a big batch of holiday baking, there is one other alternative. As Southern Living points out, you can get pre-cut parchment paper sheets. However, those are only perfectly sized to standard half-sheet pans. If you're baking with any other type of pan, you'll have to trim or cut the sheets accordingly. If you don't have any handy you could also try one of these substitutes for parchment paper.