Every ingredient in baking packs its own unique power. January is perfect to focus on the simple but powerful egg. Here to help is the 2016 Home Baking Association educator award winner, Delaine Stendahl. Her new lesson, The Power of Eggs, is now available online. In her award-winning lesson, bakers explore how eggs function to:
- Leaven, or add air spaces. Long before we had baking soda or powder we relied on beaten whole eggs or whites to add air to batter. Waffles and angel food cakes are perfect examples of beaten egg white foam used to leaven in recipes.
- Bind, or hold together ingredients when baked, like cracked wheat and lean beef meatballs, soft cookies, cake or muffins.
- Coagulate and hold the shape and open texture of baked goods, like cream puffs and popovers. Meringue can stand alone when baked as a gluten-free cookie like the Forgotten Cookie (Baking with Friends, HomeBaking.org ) or topping a pie or even as a pie shell. My mother made meringue as a savory egg-in-a-nest entrée.
- Emulsify or hold together in suspension two ingredients that don’t like to mix, as liquid and fat in a pudding or a lemon curd .
- Provide smooth texture in the pound cake or egg-rich yeast breads, and Portuguese Sweet Bread.
- Add color and browning with egg as an ingredient or by using an egg wash brushed on the surface of breads just before baking. View How to Use an Egg Wash. Also, check out our Dough Sculpting 101 lesson– Learn to egg wash, p. 3
- Nourish morning, noon, snacks or night. Eggs, at only 70 calories each, add 13 essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B12, D and E, choline, and iron, 6 grams protein, and minimal sodium and sugars.
The Power of Eggs as a baking ingredient is delivered via foods we love. Eggs are great to “use what we have on hand” for family meals, crepes, egg noodles, omelets, frittatas, make-ahead stratas, hard-cooked in sandwiches or tossed salads and for nutritious desserts like early colonial puddings , custards, and flan.
Want to learn more? Check out A Bakers Dozen DVD Lessons for Better Baking or A Bakers Dozen Lab Manual for more about eggs as the super baking ingredient.
Don’t forget to enter YOUR great baking lesson. You may receive the 2017 Educator Award. Go to HomeBaking.org for more info.