Why you should start using egg wash in your baking

Brushing on an egg wash right before baking is one of the simplest ways to make your breads and pastries even tastier (and it'll make them look a lot more Instagram-worthy, too). But depending on what you're baking and what you want the final result to be, you might want to use more than a traditional egg wash. Though beating the white and the yolk together with a little water is the most common egg wash, it's not your only option. No matter what you use, this finishing touch will make your baked goods look like they came straight from a professional bakery.

If you want your pastries to have a gorgeous golden-brown finish and a little shine to them, you need to use an egg wash, according to Canadian Living. Once your baked goods are in the oven, the egg wash also bakes, browning the top of the pastry. It's possible to overdo it though – if you brush on too much egg wash, it'll just look like cooked egg on top, so a thin layer is best. Aside from making baked goods look more appetizing, you can also use egg wash like glue to stick pastry pieces together (like the top and bottom crust of a pie) or to help hold seeds in place on top of rolls or bread.

Different types of egg washes you can use

For pastries that look professional, an egg wash is a must. But what kind of wash should you use? It all depends on how you want your baked goods to look. For example, according to The Spruce Eats, if you make a traditional egg wash by beating a whole egg and brushing it on top before baking, it'll give the finished pastry a dark golden color and plenty of shine. Mixing in some milk will also create a rich brown color. But if you just want shininess without the deep color, you can add a splash of water to the beaten egg, or just use the egg white. Using beaten egg white (either on its own or with a little water mixed in) will result in shiny pastries that don't have much browning.

You can also use just the egg yolk for the wash. According to Epicurious, this will give the pastry a golden-yellow color and make it super shiny. But despite the name, you don't actually have to use egg in an egg wash at all if you don't want to. Another option is to just use milk, which won't make your pastry very shiny, but it will give it a crisp crust. Heavy cream will give you a similar result, but with a little more shine than milk. No matter what you use, if you're making pie, puff pastry, biscuits, brioche, or anything that should have a glossy, golden-brown crust, make sure you brush on an egg wash before baking.