An egg wash is a mixture of an egg and liquid that is most commonly brushed on a pastry before baking. This egg wash tutorial demonstrates how to make and use an egg wash to get your best-desired result.
How to Make an Egg Wash for Pastry
Have you ever encountered a recipe that called for an egg wash without any more directions and been totally confused? This guide to making and using an egg wash should answer all your questions! This is essential skill when looking to master that art of pastry and bread baking, and is really quite simple.
Reasons for Using an Egg Wash
An egg wash has two main purposes.
The first is that it creates a pleasing look to your baked goods! Brushing an egg wash on a pastry not only lends it a nice golden color, but it also gives it an appealing shine.
The second is that it acts as a glue. It can either help something stick to the pastry such as sugar, or help pastry stick together, such as in this Pop Tart recipe.
Types of Egg Wash to Make
Alright, let's get into all the different types of egg wash you can make, including some of them that don't even have eggs in them! I'll also share the go-to eggwash that I use for nearly everything.
Brushing on just a whisked egg will lead to a darker golden brown baked good, with a medium amount of shine.
Only Egg Yolk
Brushing on just a whisked egg yolk will lead to a deep golden browned baked good, with a good shine.
Only Egg White
Brushing on egg white will lead to a paler baked good with a very good shine. An egg white only egg wash is useful for brushing on the bottom of blind-baked pie crusts to create a watertight barrier between the filling and the crust. Or it can be used to help sugar adhere to pastry.
Egg and Water
Brushing on egg whisked with water will lead to a golden brown baked good, with a medium amount of shine. I consider this an all-purpose eggwash and it is the one I most frequently turn to.
Egg and Milk or Cream
Brushing on egg whisked with milk or cream will lead to a lighter golden brown baked good, with a good amount of shine.
Only Milk or Cream
This is commonly used for brushing on top of biscuits, or some pies. It leaves the baked pastry with a finished look that is slightly shiny without adding any browning.
Different Types of Pastry Brushes
It is best to use the more modern silicone pastry brush for one primary reason: it's easy to clean. While it's nice to use the traditional pastry brushes with natural bristles, it is difficult to consistently keep it clean, especially if you are using it for an egg wash. Silicone pastry brushes can go in the dishwasher and get thoroughly clean after applying an egg wash.
Tips for Applying Egg Wash
- Make sure to whisk your egg together very well, especially if you are using only an egg without any added ingredients. If you don't spend some time whisking it together well, it can be applied unevenly.
- Don't overdo it. Applying a thick layer of egg wash often leads to uneven shine, or possibly even burnt patches on your pastry.
- Take your time brushing it on. If you rush through it, you can make a mess, and get the egg wash everywhere. Lightly apply the egg wash and take your time to brush it evenly on all the areas you want it. Try to avoid dripping egg wash anywhere you do not want it.
- Want an extra golden brown color? You can apply a double layer of egg wash. One at the beginning of the baking period, and one about 10 minutes before the baked good is set to be done.
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