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If I don't have parchment paper, can I substitute wax paper for baking recipes. What is the difference between the two?

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Short answer: NO – Chris Cudmore Sep 8 '10 at 13:15

As @MeltedPez mentioned -- melting. (coincindence in the name? I'm not sure)

Specifically:

  • Waxed paper is wax-coated paper.
  • Parchment paper is silicone-coated paper.

Waxed paper is basically a candle in sheet form -- it'll melt, it'll burn, and it'll make your food taste like you're eating crayons. It'll start to melt near 350F / 175C. Parchment should go up to 500F / 260C ... it might get a little crispy or char at the edges, but won't spontaneously combust.

If you had to use something other than parchment, I'd go with 'release foil'.

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The biggest difference is that wax paper melts and smokes in the oven, specifically when the wax paper is exposed.

If you cover it completely with batter, for example, you should be okay.

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NO!! It's called WAX paper for a reason. It will burn possibly even start a fire! Parchment paper is expensive. Even cheaper is using regular ole white computer printer paper sprayed with oil spray or baking spray. Toss it without feeling wasteful. I have used it up to 450 degrees. Will brown sligh, but has never burned. Try it yourself first with nothing on it so that you will be confident to use it with your breads.

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