Baking paper (baking parchment) is a cellulose-based non-stick paper that is used specifically for baking. It is coated with a release agent, usually food-grade silicone oil and can withstand the high temperatures encountered during the baking process.
A common use for baking paper is to eliminate the need to grease baking trays, allowing very rapid turn-around of batches of baked goods. Parchment paper is also used to cook en papillote, a technique where food is steamed or cooked within closed pouches made from parchment paper.
Baking paper may be coated on one or both sides. The shiny side is usually the treated side which has the non-stick properties so should go against the food.
Baking paper is a single use disposable product. See Bake-O-Glide for a multi-use product with the same properties.
Where wax paper is called for, baking paper may be used as a replacement product. The reverse is not true as wax paper is not designed for use in high temperatures encountered in an oven. It the wax would melt, smoke and taint the food.