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Leonors

Functions of Eggs in Baking

Hi everyone!

If you are a vegan or have an egg allergy, don’t run away from this blog post! It is very important to know the function of an ingredient, especially when you want to substitute it. Only so, will you be able to decide which ingredients you will need to add to a recipe, in order to substitute that one ingredient.

Because of eggs’ versatility, nearly all baked goods contain them. In addition to being used in baked goods, eggs are also frequently called for in sauces, dressings, and savory dishes. 

Eggs have six distinct parts, but about two-thirds of the weight of an egg is egg white, and about one-third is the yolk. Egg whites are a good source of protein. Egg yolks contain fats, essential minerals, and B vitamins.

Overall, most of the whole egg is moisture, with smaller but important amounts of protein, fat, and emulsifiers. 

In baked items, eggs provide a variety of complicated functions, some of which overlap. The capacity of eggs, for example, to bind components is connected to their ability to emulsify and build structure.

Providing Structure

Eggs are also as vital as wheat, if not even more in the construction of cakes. When coagulated, egg proteins are significant structural components in baked products and can be found in both egg whites and egg yolks. Most cakes crumble in the absence of eggs. They are frequently used as the foundation of fast breads, cookies, muffins, and some yeast breads.

Eggs are considered tougheners because of their ability to provide structure. Eggs are probably the only common baking ingredient containing significant amounts of both tougheners (proteins) and tenderizers (fats and emulsifiers).

The ranking of the structure-building abilities of egg components is egg whites, whole egg then egg yolk.

In pastry cream, egg proteins give a thickening and gelling type of structure and are critical to the construction of the cream, such as crème anglaise, cream pie, or custard. 

Aerating

Eggs are distinctive in that they are very efficient at aerating, forming a rather stable foam. Foams are made up of small bubbles of air or another gas trapped in a liquid or solid film. 

The foaming power of eggs refers to their ability to be whipped to a high level. Egg whites have strong foaming power and can be whipped up to eight times their volume. Whole eggs and egg yolks foam as well, but not as well as egg whites. The foaming power of eggs is ranked as follows: whites take precedence over whole eggs, which take precedence over yolks.

Eggs simply provide the froth that enables the incorporation of air into baked items. Eggs aid in the leavening process by aerating. Sponge, genoise, chiffon, and angel food cakes are examples of baked foods that rely significantly on the foaming ability of eggs for leavening.

Emulsifying

Egg yolks are good emulsifiers, which means they may keep oil and water from separating in emulsions. Due to their lipoproteins and emulsifiers, especially lecithin, egg yolks are excellent at emulsifying. Eggs would be ineffective at binding components in batters and doughs if they lacked this property.

In most cases, eggs are added to creamed butter or shortening. This emulsifies and stabilizes the mixture and aids in its mixing with the remaining components.

When combining eggs with creamed shortening, we need to be cautious. The emulsion splits if eggs are introduced too rapidly or while they are still cold. While the addition of flour and other ingredients looks to glue the emulsion back together, a badly emulsified batter bakes into a cake that may rise incorrectly and fall apart.

Contributing Flavor

The rich flavor of eggs comes mostly from the yolk, which is also where the fat is concentrated.

Contributing Color

The yellow-orange carotenoids in the egg give baked foods, creams, and sauces a bright yellow hue. Egg farmers may now manage yolk color with feed additions such as marigold petals, which were formerly very changeable from season to season. Eggs also contain protein (and a trace of glucose), which adds to the brown color produced by the Maillard process.

Adding Nutritional Value

The proteins in egg yolks and whites are of the highest nutritional grade. Eggs provide vitamins and minerals as well. The yellow-orange carotenoids found in egg yolks are crucial antioxidants for health. These carotenoids, in particular lutein, can lower the risk of macular degeneration, the major cause of serious vision loss in people who are over the age of fifty.

On the other hand, since egg yolks remain a substantial source of fat and cholesterol, people with related health conditions should be cautious and avoid having too many eggs.

Now, you will probably ask me: what about if I am vegan or egg allergic? How do I substitute eggs? What are the options? In which amounts? What are the consequences for my cake or dessert in terms of flavor or consistency?

You have several options: chia seeds, flaxseeds and aquafaba.

But I’ll explain the differences, how to use them, the right amounts and so on in another blog post! So stay tunned!

I wish you a sweet and healthy week!

Your Leonor.

Get free recipe books with delicious healthy desserts and cakes, here!

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