It’s handy to know a quick and easy method of lining a rectangular or square baking pan, particularly at this time of year, when thoughts turn to making holiday fruitcakes. Many of these recipes require more than greasing and flouring the pan to keep the cakes from sticking.
Parchment paper is sold by the roll at some supermarkets and in rolls and sheets at most cookware specialty stores. Brown paper bags should not be substituted--many of these are now made with recycled paper that contains chemicals that could be hazardous to your health.
Cut or tear off a piece of paper longer than the combined measurement of the bottom and sides of the pan. For example, the sheet for a loaf pan eight inches in length with 2 3/4-inch sides needs to be more than 13 1/2-inches in length.
Fold the paper in half lengthwise and with the pan turned upside down, place the paper so the fold runs down the center of the pan. Holding the paper in place with one hand, use the other to score the paper along the bottom lengthwise edge and ends (Step 1).
Also score the paper where the top edges of the pan come in contact with the work surface (Step 2). Remove the paper and reinforce these score lines by refolding them on a flat surface.
Using scissors, cut off any paper that extends beyond the outer score lines (Step 3). Next, cut along the four lines that denote the corners of the pan (Step 4), being certain not to cut into the portion of the paper that becomes the lining for the bottom.
Finally, fold the two corner sections on each end behind the center portion (Step 5). If these directions are followed carefully, the completed lining should fit perfectly inside the pan (Step 6). This same technique may be used for any size of rectangular or square pan.