Why make DIY Greaseproof Paper? Well, baking paper is a kitchen essential, but did you know it’s one of the many composite “papers” that are coated in plastic? For those of us keen to be zero waste chefs this is pretty annoying!
Finding a greaseproof paper alternative can be tricky. I have found silicone baking sheets to be fiddly, and finding an uncoated paper at stores has been nigh on impossible.
Even those papers that are marketed as “eco” and compostable are still coated in silicone. In other words, plastic. While they may be legally “compostable” and “biodegradable” they are directly contributing to the global microplastics crisis.
But there is an alternative! Here is an easy trick to make your own DIY greaseproof paper at home with simple ingredients you will already have in your pantry.
I discovered this trick from my grandmother, who used to wrap her famous Christmas cakes in this homemade greaseproof wrap. This is probably what most people used back in the day when papers weren’t coated in plastic. Like so many good things, it’s ridiculously simple. It uses two common ingredients:
- an old paper bag
- cooking oil
Paper bags have negligible eco credentials, and we avoid using them as much as we can. However, I find we end up with a little stash at home no matter how hard we try. So now I save up my paper bags for baking days. It feels great knowing they will eventually be a useful carbon ingredient for our compost bin. And in the meantime, they’ll help us make delicious pastries and cake!
Here’s how to make your own DIY Greaseproof paper
Step one: prepare your bag
Cut open your paper bag so that it lays flat, around the shape of a baking tray (or whatever size fits your purposes).
Step two: add oil
Pour about 1 Tbsp of cooking oil onto your baking paper. Try to use a mild flavoured oil, like light olive oil, grapeseed oil or sunflower oil. You don’t want your baked goods tasting too tangy.
Step three: grease it
Spread oil over paper quickly with a pastry brush. If your paper is very absorbent you may find you need to add a little more oil. Your homemade baking paper is now ready to roll.
So easy, right? And you can store rolled up baking paper in a large glass jar for reuse. It won’t last forever, but once its life is finished you can be sure it will break down completely and easily in your compost. No microplastic contamination from plastic silicone coatings whatsoever!
You can use this greaseproof paper as a baking sheet, to keep cakes moist, to roll out pastries and line the base of cake tins. It’s very soft and pliable and fairly strong. It is not waterproof, so to clean between uses brush off any crumbs before storing.
It also is not fire proof (no baking paper is) but in my experience it will bake cookies and scones no worries at temperatures up to 200 degrees celsius. Just ensure that it won’t come into contact with any heating elements and, as always, keep an eye on it. Using it to line cake tin bases is less of a worry, as it will be smothered by smooth, creamy cake batter. Yum!