Egg wash has a lot of potential meanings. So, let’s examine what it is, how to prepare it, and why it will soon become your go-to kitchen secret weapon.
A basic egg wash is just three ingredients: eggs, water, and occasionally milk. You can use it to coat cake batter, frosting, or even cookie dough. Here’s how to make one.
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What is egg wash?
Egg wash, in its simplest form, is a mixture of raw egg and a liquid, such as milk or water. The egg wash is used to provide colour and hold the baked goods together. Adding an egg wash before deep-frying helps the breadcrumb coating stay put on the meat or vegetable.
Think about some tasty panko-fried chicken, and then ponder how the breading managed to stay on. What is it? Using an egg wash.
Uses of Egg Wash
The egg wash can be used for a variety of purposes.
- Puff pastry, croissants, apple pie, and other baked foods get their delicious golden hue from an egg wash.
- Second, it’s useful for preventing filling from oozing out of hand pies like empanadas while they bake or fry.
- Egg wash can be used to help brown and adhere seasoning to meats (like oven-roasted chicken) in savoury baking applications.
- On the frying side, egg wash is used in a wide variety of pan-fried and deep-fried foods, including wiener schnitzel, pork chops, and many more.
How to prepare egg wash for frying?
An egg wash can be prepared by beating eggs with water or another liquid. Egg whites and/or egg yolks may be included in the term “egg was,” depending on the use. A standard egg wash recipe calls for one tablespoon of liquid per egg, or half a tablespoon per egg yolk or egg white. Simply combine the liquid and egg in a bowl and beat to create the egg wash.
Popular Ingredients for an Egg Wash
There is a wide range of possible outcomes depending on the type of liquid used and the quantity of egg used.
Here are a few examples of egg wash recipes and some potential applications.
- One entire egg and a cup of water: You’ll get protein from both the egg white and the yolk, plus some healthy fat from the egg’s fat. This method of using an egg wash produces a golden brown and slightly glossy finish, ideal for frying meat.
- Two whole eggs and a cup of milk: the protein and fat in the milk cause the batter to brown more evenly and give the final product a satiny sheen. This mixture can be used to achieve a buttery, flaky, textural impression.
- To produce the best browning and shine, use an egg wash made with a combination of whole eggs and heavy cream, which provides the highest possible protein and fat content. If you want your pastry to look extra glossy, this is the one to choose.
- Light browning and a lovely sheen result from using egg white and water in the fourth step. Pastries that will be sprinkled with sugar will look especially attractive with this finish since the sugar will reflect the gloss and create a sparkling effect.
- Egg white and milk is a reliable matte alternative that permits minor browning without a gloss. Make dinner rolls or pizza crusts with this.
- Egg yolk and water create a vibrant yellow with golden undertones, which brings us to number six on our list. This flavor profile is lively and delicious, and it works particularly well with biscuits.
- The combination of milk’s protein and the egg’s fat creates a glossy sheen, and the yolk’s fat gives a beautiful, light browning. If you want your pie crusts to really stand out, this is the way to go.
Instructions for Using Egg Wash
Instead of brushing on egg wash for frying, simply dunk the food to be fried into a small bowl of egg wash before dredging it into your crumb mixture.
Here, the egg wash is used as a binding agent, but a heavy coating isn’t what you’re going for. In order to avoid soggy crumbs, shake off some of the coating before dipping.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Egg Washes
Keep in mind that since egg wash is created with raw eggs, it may contain salmonella. Even though the heat of baking or frying will kill any bacteria, you should also carefully wash the tools you used to apply the egg wash, as well as any utensils you used, and your hands.
Two Alternatives to Egg Wash
Since eggs are an animal product, vegan bakers find other ways to get the same golden hue and binding effect. For vegan (or egg-free) alternatives, think about using:
- Vegans without access to eggs can use coconut oil as an egg wash to get a golden brown color; this is especially suitable for savory baked products. Almond or coconut milk combined with agave nectar makes a delicious sweetener.
- Nut milk’s proteins make for a glossy finish, while agave gives it a warm brown hue. Browning and sweetness can be achieved using natural sugars like agave or maple syrup.
- Make a “flax egg” by mixing 1 part ground flax with 2 parts water as a vegan egg wash. Egg wash can be replaced with a “slurry” of water and vegetable starch (such as maize starch, potato starch, or arrowroot starch), or even vegetable oil.
As you’ve seen, there are many different options available when it comes to creating a golden brown crust. The most important thing to remember is to experiment. You don’t need to follow a recipe exactly, so feel free to play around until you come up with something you love.
Meet our air fryer recipe expert, Jenny J. Brown. Jenny is a culinary enthusiast with a passion for creating healthy, delicious meals using the latest kitchen appliances. As an experienced home cook and food blogger, Jenny has spent years experimenting with air fryer recipes and perfecting her techniques to create meals that are both nutritious and satisfying.