Testing out zero-waste baking products
Seed & Sproud is an eco-friendly kitchen and home wares shop based in Australia. Founder Sohpie Kovic started the company with an idea for a non-plastic lunchbox, and the company has since grown to offer a wide array of re-useable and non-plastic products. The items all work to help you reduce the amount of plastic in your life – a worthy cause I’m very happy to get behind!
One of the products that they feature most in their advertising (at least to me, on Instagram) is the ‘Un-Baking Paper‘. Beyond the catchy title, let’s take a look at how well these perform when put to the test by a very amateur baker/cook (me!).
So what’s the deal?
Despite the unusual name, these are actually fairly familiar products. They’re thin, roll-able sheets of silicone, designed (obviously) to replace the one-use baking parchment or grease-proof paper that most of us have in our kitchens. They come in standard sizes that are likely to fit your normal baking sheets and trays. They’ve also brought out round sizes for cake tins, although I haven’t tried these. I’ve got two of the standard rectangular sheets, which suit most if not all of my needs.
Do they work?
Put simply, yes they do! They’re good quality silicone which doesn’t stick to your batter, and glides off nicely when you’re unleashing your latest baked goods. I’ve used them for a variety of recipes, from lemon drizzle cakes to brownies, and the only issues I’ve had are the thin, burnt pieces you get at the edge of brownies. But that’s understandable, and to be expected no matter what you use or how well you grease it. I’ve also used the sheets with savoury dishes, like roast potatoes, salmon and more, and again had no issues.
The one area I would say these cause trouble is in the cleaning. They’re really flexible, and cling to any grease or oil that ends up on them, so they can be a real pain to wash-up. By hand they flop all over the place, and it’s hard to get a purchase; in the dishwasher it’s difficult to arrange them so they don’t fall in on themselves and come out needing another round of washing. So I wouldn’t say they’re the most user-friendly option. When I first bought them I used them for roasting veggies, but I just found it too much of a faff to clean them afterwards. Olive oil seems to take forever to wash off, and the process of doing so feels like grappling with a live fish very determined to escape your grasp. In the end, it was just easier to soak and scrub tins, so now I reserve the Un-baking sheets for actual baking and things that definitely require a non-stick surface.
Should you buy them?
Ultimately I think this question comes down to your individual priorities. If you’re most interested in reducing your household waste, these are a great option. Regardless of how annoying I find them to clean, they’re still one of the best products I’ve come across for baking.
If on the other hand you’re happy to use one of the various organic or eco-friendly paper products out there, you may find these end up languishing at the back of your cupboards.
So if you’re a big baker and feeling guilty about the amount of paper you get through, or don’t want to repeatedly fork-out for eco-friendly versions, these could be what you’re after.
I hope this review was helpful. It’s a product I really wanted to love, and I do for some things, but when it comes down to it I just haven’t figured out how to get the best use out of them. Please, if you have any tips for how to wash them, leave a comment and let me know! What are you go-to eco-friendly kitchen options? Please do share any recommendations in a comment, and thanks for reading!