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How to Make an Egg Wash

Today’s Best Recipe is  Egg Wash. Learn about the different types of egg wash and how they affect baked goods.

Many recipes call for egg wash.

It’s a mixture of an egg and a liquid.

It is commonly used on a pastry or bread before it goes into the oven to bake.

It is used to seal pastry, add sheen, and produce golden color.

Egg wash is pretty general as there are several types of egg wash, each creating its own result.

The ratio is usually no more than 1 tbsp liquid per egg, but recipes do vary, so always follow the recipe’s directions.

Why Use an Egg Wash?

While simple to create, an egg wash has two purposes.

The first is appearance. 

An egg wash makes your baked goods golden and gives them a beautiful sheen.

The second purpose is it works as an adhesive. 

It helps the sugar, sesame seeds, or pastry stick.

egg wash with pastry brush


Egg Wash Types:

The egg will be the star ingredient no matter which type of egg wash, but the amount of egg or the liquid it is mixed with will yield different results. 

Basic egg wash recipe:

  1. Crack an egg into a small bowl and beat it thoroughly with a fork.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of water and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. Brush the egg wash onto the surface of your pastry.

Other Egg Wash Recipes

The Only Egg:

Whisk one egg to create the darkest golden brown with a medium sheen.

 If you want to avoid a dark color, apply 10 minutes before you remove the baked good from the oven.

The Only Yolk:

Separate the egg white from the yolk and then whisk the yolk. This will produce a deep golden brown with a good sheen.

Apply this one 10 minutes before you remove the baked good from the oven to avoid browning it too much.

The Only Whites:

Want a paler-baked good and incredible sheen? 

Whisk only the egg white. 

It’s most commonly used to create a liquid-tight barrier between the crust and the filling on a blind-baked pie

Use it also to help sugar stick to pastry, like pie.

The Egg and Water:

This is probably the most common egg wash.

Egg whisked with water will create a golden brown finish with a medium shine.

The Egg with Milk

Whisking eggs with milk or cream will create a light golden brown finish and a fair shine.

The Milk Wash

This one leaves the eggs out.

It’s commonly used on some pies and top of biscuits.

It gives a shimmer without adding the browning of the baked good.

Pastry Brushes:

Silicone pastry brushes are often used because they can be cleaned easily and are dishwasher safe.

A natural bristle brush can also be used, but the bristles may be more challenging to clean after an egg wash.

How to Clean the Pastry Brush:

Avoid using hot water on the pastry brush as it will coagulate the egg–especially on a natural bristle pastry brush.

Wash the pastry brush with cold water immediately after use.

If using a natural bristle pastry brush, you’ll want to sanitize it by using a pint of water with a teaspoon of bleach.

Leave the brush for 15 minutes in the water, and then rinse the brush once again with warm water.

Blot with towel and lay it flat to dry.

woman egg washing croissants

Egg Wash Application

It’s important to make sure your eggs are whisked well. 

This is true whether it is only egg or eggs whisked with liquid. 

Whisking well allows it to be applied evenly with even results.

A little goes a long way.

Use thin layers of wash. 

The thicker the layer, the more uneven the shine and the more likely you can have brown patches on the finished pastry.

Looking for extra color? 

Apply your egg wash at the beginning in thin layers and then a second layer 10 minutes before the baking is to be done.

How Long Does Egg Wash Last?

If you have leftover egg wash, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

An easy way to use the egg wash is by adding it when making scrambled eggs

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