Egg Wash for Baking
An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water that is used to brush on top of breads and pastries before baking to give them a shiny, golden-brown finish.
What is an Egg Wash?
In baking, many recipes call for an egg wash to be brushed on the baked good before it goes into the oven. The purpose of this is to give the final product a golden brown color that is slightly shiny.
This is purely for aesthetic purposes and does not really affect the final flavor of the baked good. Egg washes make the final product look more professional and appetizing.
How to Make an Egg Wash
An egg wash is made simply by whisking together an egg with about a tablespoon of water. Most bakers don’t actually measure the amount of water that is whisked in, they just eyeball it until it looks like it is the right consistency.
You want to make sure that the egg white and yolk are completely incorporated and thin enough to easily brush on your dough with a pastry brush.
What is it Used on?
Typically egg washes are used on pastries, like a danish or pie crust, or on enriched bread, like soft dinner rolls or sandwich bread. It is also sometimes used as a barrier on a pie crust before the filling goes in to help prevent a soggy bottom.
The main purpose of brushing the egg on your baked good before baking is appearance. If you see it in a recipe, it is almost always optional and will not affect the final texture or flavor of your baked good- only the appearance.
If you look at a baked good side by side with and without an egg wash, the one that did not get brushed before baking will look more dull or rustic. The one that did get brushed will have a brighter golden color. It tends to look a bit more professional.
TIP: Make sure that the consistency of the egg wash is fluid before brushing it on the baked good. If there are clumps of yolk that did not get incorporated fully in with the white, it can leave a blotchy look to your final product.
Substitute for Egg Wash
There are several subsitutues for egg wash such as using milk, cream, oil, butter, or even honey or agave thinned out with some milk. All of these options will give varying final results as far as the shine and final color.
How to Store
If you don’t use all of your egg wash for your bake, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. I often just throw it into my scrambled eggs the next day. But if you will be baking again in a few days, then you will have it ready to go!
Basic Egg Wash Recipe
This is a basic egg wash recipe that can be used to brush on scones, pie crusts, breads, and pastries.
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Combine the egg and the water together and whisk vigorously until well combined and very smooth. You can add a bit more water if needed to thin out.
- Brush on top of your baked goods before baking.
- If you have leftover egg wash, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. I typically just throw any leftover into my scrambled eggs the next day.
15 Comments on “Egg Wash for Baking”
Most baker’s don’t actually measure the amount of water that is whisked in, they just eyeball it until it looks like it is the right consistency.
I bake a lot, but I measure everything so that my results are always the same. Thank you to Baker Betty for exact instructions. I have seen different egg washes, but I like this one. My pie that is cooling looks great!
Most people aren’t bakers… Thanks for the recipe!
Tips for baking
I used the egg wash and I loved the shine it gave to my pies. I made sweet potatoe pie like apple turn overs. It came out great! I wrapped the pies in foil paper and it was soggy on top. What can I do about that?
Don’t cover it with foil and see how it goes
Thanks for the tips, I’m learning a lot from your blog.
I’ve used an egg wash the last two times I’ve baked dinner rolls. I like the results, however some of the rolls ended up “eggy” on the bottom. Did I brush too much on, or do I need to thin the wash a bit more?
I would suggest both. Add a bit more water and also use less so that it doesn’t pool around the sides of the rolls.
I’m making a dessert that calls for a sugar cookie crust. Could I use an egg white wash on that to keep the crust from becoming soggy?
Yes, you can!
Why does my egg wash crack? Like a dessert 🙁
I made buns for the first time and they are good but my wash is not even
Make sure you thoroughly whisk the egg and water together so it’s perfectly homogenous. You can also thin it with a touch more water if needed.
How long can egg wash sit on the bread while it’s proofing before baking it? I planned to have it proof overnight and then egg wash and bake in the morning but accidently added it tonight! Can I still wait till morning to bake?