What Happens When Adding An Egg To Bread Dough?
Eggs should always be added to a bread dough as the protein in it provides gluten and assist in binding the dough together, in turn making it easier for bread to rise and also gives it a soft texture. Eggs also help in strengthening the browning process of the bread when it is being baked.
Adding eggs to the bread mixture helps strengthen gluten fibers, giving bread better structure. If you add one extra egg to the bread dough, not only does it provide a soft texture, it improves the flavor of the bread. When eggs are added to the bread dough, it makes bread nice and rich, helps to give colour and bulk, and holds ingredients together. Generally, eggs help to give bread that nice golden color that we associate with delicate, tasty baked goods.
As the dough (like pies) cooks, eggs turn golden and provide the beautiful color of a crust, which is appealing and tempting. The egg wash softens the crust, creating a subtle barrier as it bakes, as well as giving it a beautiful, golden sheen. The egg wash acts like glue, helping to hold seeds in place on bread throughout the bake, and most importantly, as the bread is being cut. You can either apply the egg wash while the dough is still uncooked prior to baking, or you can do so at mid-baking.
Adding an egg wash to your bread is totally optional; usually, a recipe will give you a choice to add one or not. Not using the egg wash will produce pale bread, while a loaf with the egg wash will be brown. If you compare the egg-washed loaf with a loaf that is not, the main difference will be in bread color.
The quality of the bread dough is unaffected by the absence of egg washing; neither is the flavor. Never dump a mix onto bread dough, always spread evenly, to avoid having a dense eggy crust on one side of the loaf, with no crust at all on the other.
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If it is not too sticky to handle, just work it out with your hands or with your dough hook; if it is still very sticky, just throw in an extra 1/2 cup flour. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, then mix in just enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Place in oiled 8×4 loaf pans (or 1lb Williams Sonoma loaf pans); repeat with remaining dough.
We must properly combine ingredients, properly mix the bread dough, properly prove dough, form the dough in specific shapes, rest dough, and finally bake dough. Now that you know the functions of all bread ingredients, the process for making them, and you have got a nice, really basic recipe with which to practice, it is time to get hands-on with the practice, and to get the feeling of a dough that is ready for kneading, and one that has been kneaded just right. As I described in How to Make Bread, then again in Basic Bread Recipes, most bread recipes involve 4 ingredients (not counting sugar, which the yeast will eat) and a very simple mixing method.
|Egg component||Water content||Fat content||Resulting baked bread|
|Whole egg||75%||9%||Using whole egg in the bread dough will make the bread brown and crispier.|
|Egg yolk||50%||30%||Using only egg yolk in the bread dough will make it more brown and crispier and rich in texture.|
|Egg white||90%||0%||Using only egg whites will make the breadcrumbs bouncier and chewy.|
Some types of flour, like rice flour and corn flour, contain no gluten, so in order to achieve a decent rise, you need to use at least part white bread flour. Keep in mind that white bread flour will have the highest amount of gluten, so bread made with other flour blends will be denser and not rise quite as much. Unless you are planning on adding extra gluten to your dough (in the form of vital wheat gluten or gluten flour), limit your sugars to a maximum of 2 tablespoons/cup in your flour recipes.
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Without eggs or egg substitute, baked goods made with gluten-free ingredients or flours do not hold together. The reason for this is that the protein in eggs binds with that of flour, making bread dough hard.
If you add more eggs to the recipe, your batter or dough will have a higher volume, which results in thicker batter or a denser dough. A bread dough that is heavy on eggs will rise extremely tall, as eggs are the leavening agent (think genoise or angel food cake). As a leavening agent, eggs help a bread dough rise higher than a bread made without eggs in the kneading process.
Because emulsifiers keep the water and fat together, adding an extra yolk to the dough allows the batter to retain more liquid, as well as more sugar. The fat in the yolks helps to shorten gluten chains in bread dough, increasing the elasticity of the gluten. Adding the yolks as a fat helps tenderize the crumb; additionally, adding some cream further softens the texture. Also, by adding oil from yolks, the crumb will soften slightly, and the texture will be lighter.
Egg yolks in combination with the flour are supposed to give you the best intensity, whereas the sugars and fats will add to the texture of your baked goods. However, failing to balance eggs with proper softeners such as fat and sugar may result in stiff, chewy baked goods. While you do not need to use eggs to make a shortener, they can be extremely helpful when making baked goods that are low in solid fats, such as butter.
If you are trying to make a loaf of bread using an egg substitute, you will want to use roughly one-half of the number of eggs called for in the recipe. Most recipes will only call for one full egg, but if you find that is a little dry, try adding one additional egg white the next time. Egg yolks produce a rich, tender baked goods, whereas the whites will provide a lighter, more airy result. Most recipes will call for one traditional big egg when making baked goods.
Just an egg white, however, acts as the coagulant and sets your breadcrumbs, making them bouncy and chewy in the best possible way. To get that bouncier crumb an egg white would give, you can incorporate a little potato starch or cornflour into the flour mixture. A very fine, soft crumb of the flour, and the fat coating, comes from watering the flour before adding the other liquids.
The purpose of an egg wash is to make the end result look a little nicer; however, it has no effect on the texture or flavor of the bread–only on the look. Breads that include eggs should not be baked very hot, because the crust can become too dark too quickly. Adding too many eggs will make your bread or pie have an obvious eggy taste, making it more similar to custard or a pudding than to cake or ordinary bread. Eggs provide structure and stability to your batter, making your pie stand up wonderfully tall and achieve that ideal balance between moist and delicate.
Do you put eggs in bread dough?
Eggs are a substantial protein source that works with gluten to bind the dough. By doing so, the bread rises and becomes soft and fluffy. Eggs increase the amount of browning that occurs in baked goods. Any baked good they add will have a distinctive, rich flavor and a longer shelf life.
Is egg necessary in bread?
Dough that has eggs added to it rises better. Due to the fact that eggs are a leavening agent, bread dough rich in eggs will rise quite high (think genoise or angel food cake). The lipids from the yolk also aid in slightly lightening the texture and tenderizing the crumb. Lecithin, an emulsifier, is also present in eggs.
What happens if you leave out eggs in the baking?
Eggs add the liquid that the flour needs to absorb, while the proteins give the food structure and the fats and emulsifying agents give it texture. Simply omitting the eggs would have the immediate result of making the batter overly dry. That’s worth attempting, but you might also want to look into egg alternatives.