Leaving a pastry without an egg wash will make the crust look pale and doughy, thus giving it an unfinished look. There are several alternatives that can be used as substitutes for an egg wash.
Lightly dust your desserts with powdered or granulated sugar. This will caramelize the sugar and give it a slightly darker crust in addition to lending a tinge of bitterness to the recipe.
For those of you who don’t know what an egg wash is, it’s a light coating of diluted egg. It is brushed onto the dough/food prior to popping it in for baking.
We know there are very few things comparable to that gorgeous honey golden hue of any baked or deep-fried dish. The crisp brown exterior and soft delicious interior of any pie or puff pastry, is not just inviting but next to divine. However, there are times when one cannot use eggs either due to its unavailability, allergies, or because one chooses not to consume any eggs. Leaving the dish untouched without a wash is almost as painful as not eating it at all. What to do then?
When it comes to baked confectioneries, you know that the egg wash gives it the tempting fresh look. Alternatives will do the same trick as egg wash. All you have to do is use them the same way as you would have used the latter. That is by giving your food a light and thin coat with the help of basting brush. You can use that alternative ingredients to get the same desirable look for your pies, pastries, or any delectable delights that are baked and require a crunchy-glazed crust.
Milk or Cream
You can brush some cream or milk to get a crisp golden color.
Melt some butter in a bowl and lightly coat your food with it. The butter will melt as it bakes. In fact, some butter which seeps through the exterior will enhance the taste and give it a light buttery goodness.
Honey, Maple syrup, Malt syrup, Molasses
These liquid-gold sweeteners will to do the same trick. They will varnish the crust of your food with their color, leaving behind a light nutty-caramelized taste to it. This goes perfectly well with breads and fruit-base baked delights.
Egg White Only Wash
If you don’t wish to use an entire egg, you can always choose the egg white only wash.
If you wish to give your puff pastries a bolder glaze and color, skip the white and go straight for the yolk.
Almond milk will give a similar glaze as milk, with a light hint of almondy nutty taste.
Combine 1 tsp. custard powder with 1 tbsp. water, and glaze the exterior of your bread or puff pastries.
Flavorless oil or olive oil wash will give the food more of a shine along with the golden brown crisp exterior.
Use 1 tbsp. of flaxseed powder combined with 3 tbsp. of warm water, and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will turn the flaxseed powder into sticky and gooey consistency. This goop will easily replace 1 egg worth of wash.
Nothing beats fried food – the sound of the food sizzling in hot oil and the instant aroma – a tantalizing experience to say the least! And eggs play an important role in making the food really crunchy. Don’t be disheartened if you want your dish to be egg-free, there are substitutes for the egg wash that will maintain the crunchiness intact.
An easy way for frying meat is to season it well and roll it in flour. This will give it a light coating, which will become brown and crispy. For an even more crunchier coating, dip the pieces in water or milk and then roll it again in flour for a thicker coverage.
Breading With Crumbs
For the crunchiest coating, roll the meat in flour, then dip it in milk or butter and later re-coat them in breadcrumbs. This coating goes really well with boned and boneless pieces, and with vegetables.
There is a range of batters you can try. With a simple flour, salt, pepper or paprika (optional), mixed with a teaspoon of oil, a little baking powder or carbonated beverage like beer or sparkling water, you can make a sticky batter. Dip the seasoned meat or vegetables into the batter and coat them well. Then place the piece into hot oil for frying. This will give you a seasoned, crisp, batter-fried food.
Coat the marinated meat or vegetables in oil or yogurt or butter, and roll it in breadcrumbs. Transfer on a baking tray and cook them till they are crispy golden brown and cooked well.
For Deep Frying Chicken
It is an excellent alternative to egg wash. Brush a thin coat of mayonnaise onto the chicken and roll it into the flour. You can even choose to dilute the thick mayonnaise with a little milk or cream. Not to worry, the tart mayonnaise flavoring will disappear once the chicken is fried.
Be it any kind of milk from a simple cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, to even buttermilk; it will do the trick for you. However, you would want to avoid sweetened and flavored milk for deep frying chicken in it. Simply dip the marinated chicken chunks into the milk of your choice and transfer the pieces one-by-one into hot oil for frying. Be careful as it will sizzle and splatter due to the water content present in the milk or buttermilk, so as to avoid any oil burns.
♨ Non-flavored vegetable oil
♨ Non-dairy milk
♨ Soy milk
♨ Sugar and water syrup
♨ Butter substitutes
♨ Soy powder mixed with soy milk/milk/water
Now that you know how to make your food crisp and golden without any egg wash, you can employ any of the readily available alternatives at home without being stuck for choices.