Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baking Egg Free

My son was diagnosed with a severe egg allergy when he was just a baby.  Wanting him to enjoy some of the foods that we enjoy (pancakes, birthday cake, cookies etc) I've had to learn and experiment baking egg free. At first I searched the internet for specifically "egg free" recipes but soon learned that I could convert most of my favorite recipes to be egg free as long as I followed a few simple guidelines:
  • The fewer eggs the recipe calls for, the more likely egg substitution will be successful.  I don't ever substitute more than 3 eggs.  If a recipe calls for more, I just makes something else.  Alas, some things you just can't make egg free. (scrambled eggs anyone? Jk)
 I've found through trial and error that some substitutions work better for certain recipes than others:
  • For cupcakes and quick breads: 1-2 Tbsp cornstarch for each egg,  2 Tbsp - 1/4 cup applesauce (some time too much applesauce makes the product too dense or soggy), or 1 tsp baking soda plus 1 Tbsp vinegar for each egg -- this works well to help them rise, but I've found I need a "sticky" ingredient to help bind the ingredients as well like 1 tsp honey or corn syrup. I've used this substitution before, but it is not my favorite.
  • For pancakes and waffles: 2 tbsp- 1/4 cup mashed bananas or applesauce for each egg
  • For crepes, granola and things that need more binding than leavening: 1 Tbsp flaxseed with 3 Tbsp warm water for each egg (AKA "Flax egg") Great in muffins too.
  • For cookies: cream cheese -- and I'm still trying to figure exactly how much cream cheese per egg.  2- 4 oz maybe? or 1/4 cup applesauce per egg
  • For Brownies: 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt = 1 egg 

  • DON'T OVERBAKE!  Especially in the case of quick bread, muffins and cupcakes.  You will be sad if you do.  It destroys the texture.
  • I've also found when baking cakes and breads and cookies that allowing them to cool for awhile in or on the pan (longer than you would with traditional baking) helps keep things together.  Also with these kinds of baked goods, they taste the best once they are fully cooled.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again! :)
Eggs serve 2 functions in baking: binding and leavening so depending on what you need your eggs to do will determine what kind of substitution you use.  There are commercial egg replacers out there (like Ener-G) but I have not experimented with those yet. 

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