What Makes Challah Bread Yellow?

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread enjoyed by many around the world. It is often recognized for its golden hue and unique sweet flavor. But what is it that gives challah bread its signature yellow color? In this article, we will explore the different ingredients and processes that come together to create a loaf of classic yellow challah bread. From eggs to saffron, we’ll explore the various flavors and colors that make up this beloved bread. We’ll also explore the history of challah bread, as well as different recipes to try out. So if you’ve ever wondered what makes challah bread yellow, read on to find out!

The flour used to make bread at home is usually yellowish, which is the result of baking. Very white bread, like the muffins you buy in the supermarket, is made by extremely intensive, fast mixing, which produces a fluffy texture and exposes a lot of air.

Because yellow sweet potato flour acts as a natural dye, it aids in the formation of carotene in sweet bread, which is maintained over time, and the crumb’s yellowish color, which aids in the formation of carotene.

Challah bread, which is traditionally made with no dairy, is a Jewish bread. In contrast to brioche, a French bread is a mixture of similar ingredients that includes butter rather than vegetable oil. They have some of the same flavor, though slightly differently.

To improve the quality of the yellow bread, semolina is added, along with water and natural yeast prepared by the company. This bread is not made with salt.

Why Is Some Challah Yellow?

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Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that is often found in a variety of colors. One of the most common colors is yellow. The yellow color of challah comes from a combination of egg yolks and butter being used in the recipe. Using these ingredients makes the dough a golden yellow color, and when it is baked it creates a soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet loaf of bread. In addition, some bakers also add turmeric or saffron to the dough to give it an extra boost of color. All of these elements work together to give challah its unique yellow hue, making it a welcome addition to any meal.

The Timeless Taste Of Jewish Tradition

Challah, a unique, delicious, and symbolic bread, has been part of Jewish culture for centuries. This bread, which is made with eggs, water, flour, yeast, and salt, is typically braided before baking. The bread has a yellow hue due to the high egg content, and the flavor is very similar to that of brioche, with a rich and spongy texture derived from egg yolks and honey flavor with a little tang. Challah differs from other breads in that it is usually composed of pareve bread, which is devoid of dairy and meat, as opposed to other European enriched breads. In addition, the mitzvah of hafrashat charrat, or dividing dough portions for the Kohen, is a significant part of the custom. Challah bread, which is a delicious reminder of the importance of preserving our family traditions, is a staple of Jewish culture and cuisine.

What Makes Challah Bread Different?

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Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread that is often used during special occasions and holidays. It is unique in that it is made with a richer egg and oil-based dough and is often braided or shaped into a round loaf, making it distinct from other breads. It is also sweeter than most breads due to the addition of honey, sugar, and other sweet ingredients. The dough is also much denser than regular bread, making it a great option for toast or sandwiches. In addition, the egg-based dough allows the bread to stay fresh for longer periods of time. The combination of ingredients and techniques used to make Challah bread makes it a unique and delicious bread that can be enjoyed for many occasions.

Challah is an important part of Jewish tradition as well as Jewish culture. Challah, a symbol of holiness and blessing, is found on both the Sabbath and other holidays. The act of separating Challah serves as a mitzvah, a commandment from God, and it provides an opportunity to bless others for God’s blessings. While Challah is a crucial part of religious life, some people are unsure whether it is healthy to consume. There is more to the answer than simply “yes” and “no.” Each ingredient in a Challah recipe has an impact on its nutritional value. Challah can be a good source of whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and fiber if made with whole wheat flour, eggs, and oil. Challah, on the other hand, can be made with refined white flour, sugar, and butter, which can be high in fat, calories, and added sugar. If you want to feed your children a healthy diet, you should consider the ingredients used in the recipe as well. For a healthy and delicious challah, you can use whole wheat flour, eggs, and oil. A mitzvah of separating Challah with healthier ingredients can be performed while also adhering to tradition.

How Do You Make Challah Brown?

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Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread, typically made for the Sabbath and other special occasions. To make the bread nice and golden-brown, you’ll need to use an egg wash. Simply whisk together an egg and a tablespoon of water and brush the mixture over the top of the bread before baking. The egg wash will not only give the bread a lovely golden-brown hue, but also help to keep it moist and soft. If you’d like a deeper, richer color, you can even add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the egg wash. Once the bread has been brushed with the egg wash, it’s ready to be baked in a preheated oven at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy the delicious, golden-brown challah bread!

Bread is a difficult task to master at home. Ina Garten’s top recommendation for Challah loafing is to brown it thoroughly. It is also a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish bread dish that contains eggs and yolks. Braid it into a pretty plait before baking the bread. According to Barefoot Contessa, more egg wash is needed to ensure perfect browning and spreading of the dough. She advises avoiding using the egg wash while baking Challah at home.

What Is Special About Challah Bread?

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The mitzvah of challah (a blessing or good deed) entails breaking a portion of the dough in order to braid as a contribution to the Kohen (priest). Hagar Hat Challah is the name given to this commandment.

Chompie’s is one of Arizona’s most well-known New York-style delis. Challah is the mitzvah (a blessing or good deed) of dividing the dough before braiding it as a gift to the Kohen (priest). It is known as the hawageshat challah commandment. We have a New York Style menu where you can get bagels, mile-high sandwiches, salads, and colossal Reubens, among other deli items. Challah bread is available in a variety of sizes and shapes, each with its own set of meanings. The name challah is derived from the Hebrew word for portion, which is found in the biblical commandment.

Challah Bread Texture

Challah bread has a unique texture unlike any other bread. It is slightly denser and chewier than regular white bread, yet still has a soft and light texture. The bread can be slightly sweet and is often braided or woven in a ring shape before baking. Challah bread has a golden crust which provides a nice crunch and contrast to the soft, airy interior. The bread is also quite moist and flavorful, making it a favorite for toast, sandwiches and French toast.

The density of your loave during the second rising period will be determined by how much you let it rise. Challah is a low-key loaf in Northern Europe that should have a crumb like cake. As a result, there should be no large holes found in high hydration loaf made in southern Europe. It is possible that honey has interfered with yeast growth, resulting in heavy centers. When the bread comes out of the oven, it will be extremely dense and steaming. Allow the bread to cool before turning it out. The fact that it took a long time for heat to penetrate the core of the cold dough until it was fully set may also be related to the fact that once the bread was in the oven, the length of time it took for heat to penetrate the core may have been adequate.

When the bread reached 204 degrees Fahrenheit, it should have been completely cooked. This loaf has a consistent crumb texture, rather than varying from center to center as in the picture below. For the High Holy Days, when the loaf is round and the challah is braided, the most difficult Challah is one made from a round loaf. Beautiful loaves, and great bread maker Suzy. I can’t believe how excited I am at this news! My bread is starting to appear and taste like bread. Rich: it was the second time that I had to approve it.

Most of the time, it is due to the density of the material. My bread baking problems were most likely caused by a lack of proper technique in the second proof, which I don’t understand, and a lack of judgment in determining how much dough doubled in size. You can experiment with honey now that you’ve defined how to proof it. As I kneaded the dough, the blisters under the dough skin that were described in the recipe appeared to me. It may have been more beneficial if I had added more water to the dough than I did. You will learn to like and appreciate the result as you practice. Challah with a ropey/strand structure was a childhood favorite of mine.

When you cut the bread, you could see the structure of the strands (rather than the pieces). The glazer’s sourdough 6 braided challah I made came out extremely delicious, but I would like to see the internal strands. Chhomah is layered with sheets of tender gluten, allowing it to almost unravel rather than being broken apart like bread. Most recipes call for bread flour, but I believe that bread flour is more suitable for creating a ropey texture than all-purpose flour. You can get more gluten out of bread by doing this.

What Is Challah Bread Used For

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When paired with savory sandwiches and bready casseroles, it adds an extra layer of decadence to sweet treats like French toast and bread pudding. You could easily make a loaf of challah into a delicious meal and dessert by keeping it in your drawer.

It has a fluffy texture and a rich egginess that makes it suitable for a wide range of dishes, including kosher. The nine recipes below make you want to make your own challah. Challah has an eggy, bread-on-egg flavor that works well here.

Best Flour For Challah

You should use 100% whole wheat flour for challah, as 100% whole wheat flour will be heavier than 100% all-purpose flour, but it will still be soft and delicious. If you want the best flavor, you can substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour.

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread that is made to be eaten on Shabbat. To represent the two portions of manna that have fallen from heaven, two loaves are placed on a table. It is critical to use the appropriate flour to achieve the best light and airy inside as well as crispy exterior results. If you have already prepared your flour, you only need a few more things to get started. Practice is more important than science in this part because it is more of an art. You have the option of braiding it and baking it right away, or you can keep it as dough until you are ready to bake it. A three- strand braid is used to make a standard loaf of challah bread.

If you’ve used strong flour, you’ll find that you’ll have plenty of elasticity. Do not waste any dough; instead, recycle it. If you have leftovers, you can make small dinner rolls out of baby challahs. Challah bread is braided to represent the twelve showbreads that were placed on the table of the Holy Temple during Shabbat. A riache is a French bread that is high in fat and contains a lot of milk and butter. Challah, a kosher Jewish bread, is made without the use of dairy.

Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread that is served on the Sabbath and other holidays. It is a braided egg bread that is typically made with wheat flour, eggs, water, yeast, and oil. The dough is usually braided before baking to give it its distinctive shape. The dough is then coated with an egg wash before baking to give it a golden-brown crust. The flavor of challah bread is slightly sweet and it has a soft and fluffy texture. It is often served as part of a meal or as a snack.

Buzzfeed compiled a list of the 20 best 5 ingredient bread recipes. Challah bread is a type of Jewish bread with no dairy and is kosher. It’s similar to brioche, but without the carbs, and is ideal for sandwiches and French toast. If you want to get rid of stale bread before it starts to rot, make it a week ahead of time. Because it can be topped with both sweet and savory toppings, it is extremely versatile. If you want to substitute a light and fluffy white bread for challah in a recipe, you could try brioche or another light and fluffy bread.

Taste The Difference

Challah has its own distinct flavor and texture, which distinguishes it from other types of bread, such as brioche. In the kosher world, it is known as Shabbat, and Shabbat is a Jewish bread that does not contain dairy or meat and is considered kosher. Challah has a rich and spongy texture as a result of the addition of egg yolks, as well as a hint of honey sweetness. Challah and brioche are both similar in some ways, but they are distinct in others. A riache is a French bread that contains only butter, not vegetable oil. Challah bread is a distinct type of bread that is soft, sweet, and delicious in every way.

Best Challah

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that is enjoyed around the world. It is fluffy, slightly sweet and makes for a great snack or side dish. The best challah is made with love; it requires a precise mix of ingredients and great skill. The dough is often kneaded for several minutes to give it a unique texture and flavor. When it comes out of the oven, it should have an airy and soft crumb, with a golden, glossy exterior. The perfect challah is both visually stunning and delicious. It is a wonderful way to bring family and friends together, as it is a symbol of peace and unity.

The Secret To Perfect Challah

Coloring dough using natural ingredients is one of my favorite ways to experiment with the nostalgic recipes of my childhood. It’s a technique my grandma always used for noodles, extracting the juice from vegetables like spinach and carrots and kneading it into noodle dough to make brightly colored strands. It’s that memory that empowered me to experiment with using a wide variety of vegetables and fruits to naturally color classic bread and bun dough.

By simply replacing the water or milk in dough recipes with the same amount of colored fruit or vegetable juice, you can make a rainbow of brilliant doughs. This method can be used to make almost any kind of bun: For steamed buns, I add blended carrots to these Carrot Buns with Fresh Ginger Custard to create a stunning bright gold color. Try swapping in other fruits or vegetables in place of the carrots for other color possibilities (see my guide below), or use this method to color the dough for any of the steamed and baked buns available in this buns recipe collection.

Photography by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne

My Steamed Carrot Buns with Fresh Ginger Custard use carrot juice to achieve their warm golden-orange hue.

First, extract color from fruits and vegetables

Extracting color is as simple as blending an ingredient with liquid and straining to get its juice. You can use a blender or a food processor to blend everything together. I like to use a powerful blender like a Vitamix because it allows me to blend all kinds of produce into a fine purée, including tougher ingredients like beets and cabbage. Some recipes use milk while others use water, but both work great and have nearly identical results when blended with an ingredient. If your dough recipe calls for milk, use milk when blending the ingredient; if it calls for water, use water instead. In both cases, the liquid you extract from the vegetables will replace the milk (or water) called for in the dough recipe

To start, blend the fruit or vegetable (see below for specific amounts!) with water or milk until it’s smooth, adding more liquid as needed to help the mixture blend completely. In batches, pass the blended mixture through a fine mesh metal strainer, using a silicone spatula or spoon to press down on the solids and extract every last drop of colored liquid, which you’ll use to make your colored doughs.

Here’s a (partial) list of ingredients that I’ve loved experimenting with to add color to my doughs:

  • Green: Spinach
  • Pink/magenta: Red beets
  • Yellow: Yellow bell peppers, golden beets
  • Red/orange: Red bell peppers
  • Purple: Red cabbage

Steamed buns colored with red bell pepper are much more vibrant than their classic counterparts.

Tips for extracting color

Color concentration: The proportion of the ingredient relative to the liquid you use dictates how concentrated the liquid will be and, in turn, how vibrantly it will color the dough. For example, if I want a lighter shade of green, I may blend just one handful of spinach with a cup of water to create a subtle mint green. Whereas if I want a deep emerald green, I’ll put in the entire bag of spinach along with the same one cup of water. The more of the ingredient you use in proportion to water, the darker your dough color will look once cooked.

Save leftovers: You’ll most likely have extra juice when making colored dough. Extra juice can be easily frozen and stored for up to a year. I typically make large batches of colored juice, then freeze in ice cube trays and store in a freezer-safe container. It allows me to pull a few cubes at a time (rather than a whole container) to thaw and use whenever I need.

Then, incorporate color into your steamed dough

Coloring dough simply involves replacing the milk or water in your bun dough recipe with the same amount of strained fruit/vegetable juice. Once you pour the colored juice into the flour and begin to knead, the color will become lighter as it gets incorporated into the dough. Because the amounts of the actual ingredient are so small relative to the flour, naturally dyeing the dough this way has little to no effect on the flavor.

When steaming colored dough, some ingredients hold their color better than others. Time can also play a factor as well, as the color can dull the longer the dough is cooked. Dough made with beets, for example, holds its color the least, transforming from a bold, deep magenta into a lighter pinkish red the longer it is cooked. Spinach and other leafy greens, meanwhile, hold their green color, more or less retaining their earthy emerald hue throughout the steaming process.

Your bolder bao color guide

The recipes below are for a few of my favorite colored doughs, but feel free to play around and try mixing different colors together to create your own shades.

A few handfuls of spinach create bright green dough.

Green dough

  • 1 to 3 heaping handfuls of raw spinach (use 1 handful for a lighter green, and 2 to 3 handfuls for a darker green)
  • 1 cup (227g) of water or milk

In a blender, combine the spinach and water or milk. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh metal sieve; you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

Beet-dyed dough is deep magenta; once cooked, the color will lighten.

Magenta dough

  • 1 to 2 raw or cooked beets, peeled and chopped into rough chunks (use 1/2 beet for a lighter pink and 2 for magenta)
  • 1 cup (227g) water

In a blender, combine the beets and water. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh metal strainer, reserving the juice; you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

Yellow dough can be made with either yellow bell peppers or golden beets.

Yellow dough

  • 3 to 4 yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • Alternately, 1 to 2 raw or cooked golden beets, peeled and chopped into rough chunks (see the “magenta” section above for how to prep beets)

In a blender, blend the peppers until smooth. (Bell peppers hold quite a bit of water so you don’t need to add any extra liquid, but if they aren’t blending smoothly, feel free to add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture begins to blend smoothly.) Strain through a fine-mesh metal strainer, reserving the juice; you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

Red bell peppers lend a deep orange color to this dough.

Orange dough

In a blender, blend the peppers until smooth. (Once again, bell peppers hold quite a bit of water so no need to add extra liquid, but if they aren’t blending smoothly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture begins to blend smoothly.) Strain through a fine-mesh metal strainer, reserving the juice; you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

This lavender color comes from red cabbage.

Purple dough

  • 1/2 red cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (227g) water

In a blender, combine the cabbage and water. Blend until completely smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh metal strainer, reserving the juice; you should have about 1/2 cup of liquid.

These colored doughs can be used many ways. Sometimes I’ll want something bright and go for red bell peppers or maybe carrots, which will later become the bright golden orange wrapper for a steamed bao featuring marinated chicken thigh and carrot. Other times I’ll want a visual contrast, so I go for two complementary colors like red cabbage (which dyes the dough a lavender purple) and spinach (which dyes the dough a bright natural green) that I’ll pair together for a striking dual-toned steamed bun. You can even get creative by extracting multiple juices from different vegetables and mixing the colors together to create a whole new shade. The joy of naturally coloring dough is that you really can’t go wrong — experiment, be playful, and have fun.

From brightly colored Carrot Buns with Fresh Ginger Custard to crispy, crackly Pineapple Buns (Bolo Bao), see all of the steamed and baked buns available in this new buns recipe collection.

Layer cake, cupcakes, or loaf cake? Our basic yellow cake batter recipe makes all of these crowd-pleasing desserts and more, including Raspberry-Cream Layer Cake, Cappuccino-Chocolate Cupcakes, and Chocolate-Vanilla Marble Cakes. The secret ingredient is the buttermilk: It doesn’t just enhance the batter’s flavor with its subtle tang, but keeps the cake moist and tender, too.

Be patient when mixing the butter and sugar. This important step is called creaming and aerates the batter, creating a light, fluffy texture.

How you use the batter is entirely up to you—but whatever you decide, you’ll have plenty to work with. The recipe makes enough for a sheet cake, several layer cake layers, or a batch of cupcakes, among other uses.


  • Bring cold ingredients to room temperature. Butter should be soft enough to hold a thumbprint, but still keep its shape.
  • Beat in 4 eggs plus 2 yolks, one at a time, until combined. Beat in vanilla extract.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture, beating to combine.
  • Beat in 3/4 cup buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, another 3/4 cup buttermilk, and remaining flour mixture until just combined. Scrape down bowl as needed.

Using Classic Yellow Cake Batter

Use our Classic Yellow Cake Batter whenever you need a yellow cake—for a sheet cake, trifle, birthday cake, cupcakes, or just for snacking. The recipe yields 8 cups of batter, enough for a 9-x 13-inch sheet cake, four 8-x 2-inch round layers, or about 24 cupcakes.

We recommend baking all the batter when you make it; it will not rise as well if baked later.

Egg wash is a magical yet really simple technique, the reason why pastries look so perfectly golden brown with a beautiful glossy finish in professional pastry shops and bakeries.

And if you prefer egg-free or vegan, don’t worry! I’ve also tested 7 substitutes for egg wash that include both egg-free and vegan variations to suit any dietary need. There is an egg wash or substitute for everyone!

What is egg wash

Basically, egg wash is simply egg (either whole egg, yolk only, or white only) that has been whisked together and thinned out with either a bit of water, milk, or cream and then brushed on top of baked goods right before they are baked. It’s used to add golden brown color and shine to baked goods and in some cases to seal the edges of pastry or enforce the structure.

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There is egg wash for bread like brioche and egg wash for pastry like hand pies as well as egg wash for pie crust like pumpkin pie and many other types that are used to help achieve a beautiful golden brown and professional glossy look. Egg wash for puff pastry is what gives the baked dough its pretty shiny finish.

The science of egg wash

How egg wash impacts the final baked good is dependent upon the type of wash that you choose. This is because the fat and protein in eggs can cause different results. For example, the protein in egg white is what creates a glossy effect and the fat in the yolk is what produces a golden brown color.

The egg white alone will promote a shiny baked pie but without the yolk a much less browning. So if you want a finish that is both golden brown and glossy, you must use an egg wash that contains both egg yolk and egg white.

This same concept pertaining to protein is true in relation to what liquid you choose to use to thin out the egg. Because milk is high in protein and has more sugar, egg wash with milk will promote more shine. Yet, cream due to its high-fat content like yolk will increase the browning effect as well.

What does egg wash do

Egg wash is a really versatile technique that is used not only in baking but in cooking as well. I’m going to focus on how to use egg wash for baking, but it’s important to note the role that it plays in other types of recipes.

So what is egg wash used for!?! What does egg wash do for pie crust?! Egg wash can be used merely for aesthetic reasons to add golden brown color and a nice shine. Or, for structural purposes to seal or secure edges of pastry or enforce the bottom of pie crusts. Its glue-like qualities also make it perfect for binding sugar crystals and spices to the tops of baked goods as well as on other types of food. In fact, it’s used in savory recipes to adhere breadcrumbs to dishes like chicken tenders or even Italian arancini.

Examples of how to use egg wash

  • Adds shine and golden color: Adds gloss and helps in browning enriched breads, dinner rolls, pies, puff pastry, danish, and croissants.
  • Acts as a barrier: Egg white versions are used to brush the bottom of blind-baked pie crusts to help prevent a soggy bottom by creating a barrier.
  • Seals and secures: Binds the edges together of hand pies, dumplings, eggrolls, empanadas, pierogies, ravioli, and many types of filled pasta.
  • Breading foods: Egg wash for frying is done to adhere breadcrumbs to dishes like chicken parmesan, schnitzel, pork chops, and eggplant.
  • Adds depth and flavor: It can be brushed onto roasted chicken or turkey to promote even more browning and help the seasonings stick to the skin.

Different types of egg wash

The most commonly used egg wash is a mixture of a basic egg and water or milk. Yet, there are many different types of egg washes that can be used for various purposes in baking and each one has a distinct effect on the outcome of the baked goods.

It can be just a whole egg, just the white, just the yolk, or a combination of any part of an egg mixed with water, milk, or cream. Some recipes even contain a small amount of sugar to aid in caramelization. Each ingredient plays a vital role and some egg washes are used for multiple reasons depending on the desired result.

I tested 15 different types of egg wash so you don´t have to! And I’m sharing my findings with you. Which ones I found the best to add a nice shine, improve browning, or worked the best for structural purposes.

  • Whole Egg + Water: Browned very well and created a lovely medium shiny finish.
  • Whole Egg + Milk: The best and my favorite egg was for pie crust , it adds wonderful golden brown color without burning and has a beautiful shine.
  • Whole Egg + Cream: A little too brown but has a good shine, and probably the smoothest of all
  • Whole Egg + Sugar: Browned too much and is very easy to burn. With this one you must pay attention and only add a dash of sugar.
  • Egg Yolk: Too thick without the additional liquid, resulting in way too much browning and caramelization of all the egg yolk versions.
  • Egg Yolk + Water: Worked okay and the best of all the egg yolk only combinations for adding gloss and browning. Overall, the outcome was a pale yellow color with less shine.
  • Egg Yolk + Milk: Less thick than egg yolk only, shinier than the water version and provides a similar shine to whole egg + cream
  • Egg Yolk + Cream: Browns too much, easy to burn, but super shiny
  • Egg Yolk + Sugar: Very easy to burn, caramelized very easily, and overall a bit too much, so you only want to add just a pinch of sugar.
  • Egg White: Lots of shine! Actually worked quite beautifully compared to what I was expecting. I usually apply egg white egg wash to blind bake pie crust
  • Egg White + Water: Doesn’t brown much at all, but works very well to seal the bottom of blind-baked pie crusts.
  • Egg White + Milk: Adds very little color but works very well to seal the edges of pastry and blind-baked pie crusts similarly to egg white only
  • Egg White + Cream: Produces a beautiful golden color and some shine. Cream sort of compensates the lack of fat (as no egg yolk in this) so no surprise that the overall outcome was probably the best
  • Egg White + Sugar: It will burn easily, but it did caramelize well and the overall outcome was quite pleasant

How to make egg wash

  • Whole Egg – balanced browning and shine
  • Egg White – shiny but less browning
  • Egg Yolk – adds the most color and glossy finish
  • Water – produces little to no shine and minimal browning
  • Milk – produces more shine and browning
  • Cream – adds the most browning and shine
  • Sugar – creates most caramelization

🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post


Making an egg wash is a very simple process that takes just seconds. Once you choose your ingredients, all you need is a small bowl and a whisk.

  • Add your whole egg, yolk, or white to a small bowl.
  • Now, add your water, milk, or cream to the egg.
  • Then whisk vigorously until the egg and liquid are well combined and very smooth.

💡 Top Tip: Be sure that your egg to liquid ratio is balanced. You don’t want the egg wash to be too thick and gloopy. For 1 egg you will need about ½ tablespoon of liquid

How to apply egg wash

Once you have made the egg wash, it’s now time to brush it on your baked goods. And the best way to do this is with a brush. I use my silicone pastry brush and find that it helps to coat all my baked goods perfectly.

To apply, all you have to do is simply brush the prepared egg wash in a thin even layer onto your baked goods prior to putting them in the oven to bake. Do be sure to cover the entire baked goods with egg wash. However, be careful not to overdo it and add too thick of a layer, which can result in uneven shine and browning, even burning in some cases.

💡 Top Tip: Try not to spill the egg around and under the pastry on the baking tray as it can result in an unpleasant omelet-style burning by the end of the baking time

What egg wash to use

After testing 15 different types of egg wash, I found that my favorite for pies and most baked goods is definitely the whole egg and milk combination. I discovered that it created golden brown caramelization that didn’t burn and a lovely glossy finish. So I think this will be my preferred, go-to egg wash that I use for most of my baking needs.

However, for structural purposes, I found the perfect egg wash for blind-baked pie crusts to be egg white and water or egg white and milk. This combination when applied to the bottom of blind-baked crusts helps to prevent a soggy bottom once the pie is filled.

So, as you can see, what mixture to use is also highly dependent on the recipe and what you are making.

Substitute for egg wash

Sometimes you just need an alternative to a traditional egg wash and wonder what can I use instead of egg wash. The reason could be allergies, dietary restrictions, personal preference, or even just the recipe at hand. But don’t worry! There are many options to choose from that will still create beautiful browning.

So you can easily find a substitute for egg wash and there are several to pick from. In fact, I’ve tested 7 different substitutes from vegan to just dairy or nothing at all to help you pick the best substitute for all your baking needs!

  • Sugar: Produces a deep golden brown color and a little crunch from the caramelization.
  • Cream: Creates the most gloss of the eggless versions and does turn a nice brown color. If you want to substitute egg wash with an eggless version, cream is your best option
  • Butter (after): Does not produce as much shine as when the same technique is applied on brioche bread or burger rolls.
  • Water: Doesn’t create much shine at all and turns pale brown in color.
  • Milk: Produces a very slight gloss, but browns okay.
  • Almond Milk: A great vegan alternative that adds some golden color, yet doesn’t add much shine.
  • Nothing: Creates the least amount of shine, but does brown a little.

Equipment notes

To apply egg wash properly it’s best to use a pastry brush, which will help you to fully and evenly coat your baked goods. It’s very important that all the dough is covered to ensure both even browning and a seamless glossy finish.

There are traditional pastry brushes made of natural bristles and more modern silicone pastry brushes. While both types of pastry brushes will do the job, I’m a big fan of silicone brushes. They are much easier to clean because they can go in the dishwasher and there are also no bristles that can sometimes fall out.

Expert tips

  • Whisk the egg and liquid together very well until it’s smooth. This helps to make sure it’s evenly distributed when brushed onto your baked goods.
  • Brush the egg on thinly and evenly all over the dough using a pastry brush. You don’t want to miss any areas.
  • Don’t apply an overly thick layer of egg wash as this can lead to burnt areas and uneven baking.
  • Apply your egg wash right before your baked goods go into the oven. You do not want to brush it on and then let them sit. This will result in a less desirable outcome.
  • To add a deeper color and even more shine you can apply a double layer. To do this, add the egg wash first right before baking and then once again 10 minutes before your baked goods are done.


Can egg wash be kept in the fridge?

You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

What can I do with leftover egg wash?

If you don’t have other baked goods to make, you can simply add it to your scrambled egg mixture for your next breakfast.

Can I add salt to egg wash?

Yes, adding a pinch of salt to the mixture that is used on savory baked goods helps season them and add more flavor.

Can I freeze leftover egg whites?

Yes, leftover egg whites can be frozen for up to a few months in an airtight container. You can then later defrost them to add to your next recipe.

Can I freeze leftover egg yolks?

No, sadly egg yolks don’t freeze all that well and are best used in other recipes before they go bad.

Is egg wash just egg?

Egg wash can be just egg, but typically it is a whole egg, yolk, or white that is whisked together with either water, milk, or cream.

Does egg wash keep crusts from burning?

No, it doesn’t. In fact, it promotes browning and shine.

Is egg wash necessary for pie?

No, it’s not but it will help add golden brown color and glossy finish making your pie look like it came out of a professional bakery.


As we have covered in this article, egg wash is a very simple technique that anyone can use for many different reasons from adding color and shine to enforcing structure. It’s used on both baked goods and savory foods. That being said, as we have learned what type of egg wash you use is dependent on the effect you want to achieve.

We’ve also covered what you can substitute for egg wash including some options that are vegan and dairy-free. There is an egg wash or substitute that will suit your needs regardless of allergies or diet type.

Applying this baking technique is so easy and one that I highly recommend. It’s worth the little extra added effort to achieve baked goods with a professional perfectly browned and glossy look.

Recipes using egg wash

Have you tried this recipe?

Please leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe card and consider leaving a comment as well! I would love to hear about how your dessert turned out and your feedback also helps other Readers!

US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.

  • Add your whole egg, yolk, or white to a small bowl
  • Now, add your milk, or alternatively water or cream to the egg
  • Whisk the mixture vigorously until the egg and liquid are well combined and very smooth
  • Apply the egg wash on your pastry with the help of a silicone pastry brush
  • Do be sure to cover the entire pastry with the egg mixture. However, be careful not to overdo it and add too thick of a layer, which can result in uneven shine and browning, even burning in some cases
  • Whisk the egg and liquid together very well until it’s smooth. This helps to make sure it’s evenly distributed when brushed onto your baked goods.
  • Brush the egg wash on thinly and evenly all over the dough using a pastry brush. You don’t want to miss any areas.
  • Don’t apply an overly thick layer of egg wash as this can lead to burnt areas and uneven baking.
  • To add a deeper color and even more shine you can apply a double layer. To do this, add the egg wash first right before baking and then once again 10 minutes before your baked goods are done.
  • Apply your egg wash right before your baked goods go into the oven. You do not want to brush it on and then let them sit. This will result in a less desirable outcome.

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