If you bake at home like I do, I hope you have a silpat or two in the kitchen for your endeavors. I find them to be essential items that make my life so much easier whenever I bake cookies, tarts or any other kind of pastry. Silpats are those silicone-coated baking mats that come in a variety of sizes (quarter sheet & half sheet are the most common) and make any baking sheet nonstick. Although they are rather pricey to begin with, the thousands of times you will use them without having to replace them far outweigh their cost. Let me show you how to properly store them in the kitchen so that you get many years of effortless use from your silpats.
These are half-sheet silpats. The print side (top side) is where you place your baking item; it's the smooth, nonstick side. A new silpat will not sit flat like these two. Since they come rolled up (top side in) to protect their surface, when you unroll them for baking, they inevitably stay curled at the edges. A bit annoying if you ask me. There is a simple remedy for this.
Although the literature that comes with all silpats will tell you to store them flat, I find this rather impossible. Many of us do not have spare drawers that we can dedicate to storing a flat silpat.
Cut a piece of parchment paper just a bit larger than the silpat and place the mat on top of it, face down. If you have another silpat, repeat the process.
I find storing 2 silpats together a very handy thing. Simply place a second piece of parchment over the one silpat and put the second silpat over it, face down as well.
Begin to roll the silpats, sushi style.
Slip the roll into a mailing tube and seal them shut. These can now be stored flat in a drawer or upright in a closet. The mailing tube, along with the parchment paper will protect your silpats from scratches or nicks.
If you want to see where they are stored in my kitchen, click here.
Do you see what's happened? By rolling the silpats upside down, they will end up flat on the cookie sheet the next time you unfurl them. No more curled edges! A very essential thing and a very Good Thing.
If you're going to invest in a silpat or two (2 is better than 1 in this case!), take the time to store them properly. Although I do use parchment paper for baking certain things (it's a must when baking en papillote), I always reach for my silpats whenever I make cookies. To clean a silpat, simply run it under very hot water and pat dry before storing. The pieces of parchment paper used to sandwich the mats get reused over & over. Now that the holiday baking season is upon us, why not buy yourself or the baker in your life a silpat? Don't forget to include a mailing tube for storage. Enjoy baking!