Have you heardof silicone baking mats? These are silicone impregnated fiberglass sheets thatcan be placed on a baking sheet to replace parchment paper or aluminum foil.But that is not all they replace. They are not new. Professional bakers havebeen using them for years. Today, they are becoming a common piece of cookwareat home. Why are they better than regular baking sheets? Why should you usethem? There are several advantages to using silicone baking sheets over regularmetal baking sheets.
1. They ReplaceParchment Paper or Aluminum Foil
Parchment paper issilicone impregnated paper. When you use it to line baking trays to bakecookies and other baked goods on, you don't need any grease and there is nosticking. Siliconebaking mats replacerolls of parchment paper, and can be used over and over. Saving money andcausing your kitchen to be a little bit greener. They will also stand in nicelyat times when you would normally use aluminum foil liners. Not only do theyseem to have almost magical non-sticking qualities, they can be used up to 2000times. They are made to fit into rimmed baking sheets or to place on flatcookie sheets and they can withstand temperatures of up to 480°F but also betaken straight from the freezer to the oven.
Another advantage over silicone baking sheetsover metal baking sheets is that they can be used in the microwave! Check tomake sure your particular mat is safe for this use, though.
2. Easy toClean
Since nothing sticks to silicone baking mats, they are very easy to clean. A quick soap and water cleanup is all you need, there is no scrubbing, soaking, or other cleaning hassle.If you are baking something that is messy, with a lot of sugar or butter, for instance, you'll love them. They are perfect for turnovers or pocket pies. You do need to lay them flat, or hang them, to dry, though. They resist staining and odors.
3. You Need Less Cookie Sheets
Normally, if you wanted to make many batches of cookies, you'd be laying out your cookies on one baking tray while another one baked in the oven. You need at least two cookie sheets for that, and if you are baking a huge batch with two ovens, fore example,you'd need up to four. With silicone baking sheets, you only need one or two metal baking trays (depending on the number of ovens you have going). Several silicone mats can be used to line one or two cookie sheets. You just lay out your cookies on a mat while a batch is cooking on another mat, and when they are done, you slide off one mat as slide on the new one. Of course, they take up a lot less storage space, and they can even be rolled up for storage. 4. There Is Less Burning or Browning
Silicone baking mats have the same advantage that parchment paper can give you. There tends to be less browning on the bottom of baked goods, and less potential for burning. Silicone mats are especially good for baking fish on, as you won't have to worry about the fish sticking and tearing when you lift it off the mat. As well, if you are using any sort of sticky glaze, you'll appreciate the non-stick surface of the mat.
5. They Are Good Also Good For Kneading Dough
On A regular silicone baking mat can be used to knead dough on. It's great for kneading pizza, bread, or even pie dough. The dough doesn't stick to the mat and, although you still need to use flour to incorporate into the dough, you don't have t o worry as much about sticky dough clinging to the kneading surface. As well, silicone pastry mats are available with measurements, to use for rolling out pie and other pastry dough. Professional bakers use silicone mats for working with fondant,chocolate, sugars, and other sticky things.