Imagine a freshly baked croissant out of the oven with its crispy top and a golden hue. A baked dish like croissant or pie gets its color from an egg wash.
However, at times, people are not comfortable with an egg or are allergic to it. In that case, you need a bunch of alternatives for an egg wash.
We have a list of substitutes for egg wash for you that you can use on your dishes. Read on to know more!
Best Egg Wash Substitutes
Finding an egg wash substitute may get hard. But, with our research, we’ve found the 15 best substitutes.
1. Milk and cream
This is the most basic alternative to egg wash.
Milk provides a similar color to the dish while baking plus it keeps the dish moisturized as well. If you want to put anything on a baked dish like sesame seeds or poppy seeds, then milk or cream will help stabilize that as well.
Just apply the mixture of milk and cream to the dish with a pastry brush. This will recreate the same color on the dish as an egg wash.
2. Vegetable oil or olive oil
Vegetable oil is flavorless and if applied on bread or baked dishes, then it will give a shine and some golden crispy texture as well.
Olive oil is used in Focaccia to give it a puffed interior with a shiny, golden brown glaze over it. Oil makes for the perfect substitute for egg wash as it replicates the texture and shines exactly.
3. Flax seeds
If you are a vegan, then flax seeds are a must for you.
A lot of people are not able to consume baked dishes due to the presence of eggs. Flax seeds upon mixing with water become gooey which then you can put in your dishes.
This gooey texture resembles the eggs and it too provides shine to baked goods. Don’t be intimidated by the word flax egg as it is the combination of water and flax seeds only.
Just mix one tablespoon of flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes till it thickens.
Butter is one of the best substitutes to egg wash as with heat butter melts and becomes golden in color. Similarly, the egg turns golden with heat hence it is great for pastries or bread.
Once the butter seeps in, you get a very light, buttery flavor with shine on the outside. You can also mix butter with soy milk for an excellent flavor combination and the browning of the dish.
5. Plant-based milk
Soy and almond milk is another great option for vegans who swear off normal milk.
You can apply this milk to the dish the same as the normal milk and this too will give a golden color. But this milk lacks shine so although it will give a golden hue the top will not be shiny.
If you don’t have soy or almond milk you can also mix soy powder with water and apply it with a pastry brush.
Soy and almond milk make perfect vegan substitutes for egg wash as they deliver a similar color and crispiness to the dish.
6. Honey or maple syrup
You can use honey or Maple syrup alternatively for any baked dish.
However, be careful as this mixture can burn upon intense heat as well. So you should apply the honey or maple syrup almost by the end of your baking.
Both provide a caramelized and nutty flavor to the dish.
Also, they give a rich brown color. Hence, if you don’t want such color then mix it with water and then apply it to the bread or croissant or pie.
7. Custard powder
Custard powder may seem like a weird option but it actually provides a good caramelized color on a puff pastry. Plus its sweet taste also complements well with sweet dishes.
This is a perfect substitute for egg wash as it also provides similar color and lustrous shine as an egg wash. Mix 1 teaspoon of custard powder with a tablespoon of water and then apply it on puff pastry, or sweetbreads.
Aquafaba is another vegan option in our list of substitutes. It may seem like a heavy word but it is basically liquid from chickpeas can.
You may think that it is going to taste bad but upon heating, the chickpea flavor evaporates and leaves a golden, shiny exterior on your pastries. Simply dip your pastry brush directly into the can and apply it generously to your pastry.
9. Flour with water
I always thought that flour with water on a baked dish would be gluggy.
However, then I came across tiger bread. When you apply this mixture to the bread, upon heating, it creates a crackle on the top like tiger stripes and it looks so amazing.
You can also use this mix for frying. Instead of using egg as a binder, use flour and water, dip your chicken or anything vegan into it and then fry it off.
10. Molasses and malt syrup
Molasses and malt syrup are both natural sweeteners.
They are thick and are best used to glaze the meat. You can also use it on baked dishes but then you will have to mix it with water to create thin water-like consistency.
You can use molasses with fruit-based cooking, or with ham, or salmon. It also tastes good with sweet dishes like scones.
These are ideal substitutes for egg wash since they glaze well and provide a shine to dishes. Out of all the substitutes, these two give the best shine and caramelization.
Mayonnaise is the perfect alternative to egg wash.
Traditional mayonnaise is made with eggs in it. So, if you are out of eggs in your kitchen, then you can always use mayonnaise to coat your chicken for frying.
Put a thin layer of mayonnaise on the chicken and then coat it in flour for frying.
If you find mayonnaise to be too thick, then you can mix it with water or cream to dilute it. The tarty flavor of mayonnaise disappears on frying.
Yogurt is another substitute for egg wash that you can use as a binder.
Just like mayonnaise, you can dip your choice of product in yogurt. Then, coat it either with flour or breadcrumbs and then either you can fry it or bake it in the oven.
Breadcrumbs are our favorite product for frying. They give a good crunch to the product and bind it very well. Moreover, they are a good substitute for egg wash due to their binding agency. Also, they hold the wet ingredients in their place.
Just coat your chicken with flour, then dip it in milk and breadcrumbs for crunchy results. You can use this technique on veggies as well and you will not be disappointed.
14. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are just like flax seeds in their consistency.
If you mix these seeds in water and let the mix rest for a few minutes then, it will also turn gluggy and gooey and act as a binder. It will be almost similar to a beaten egg.
Combine a teaspoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mix rest. This is a vegan option and when you apply it to a dish, then it gives a shiny and golden texture as well.
Agave is a natural sweetener that you can use in baked dishes.
However, be careful while using it since it is extremely sweet. You can directly apply agave to your dish or mix it in soy milk and vegan butter for better results.
It will leave a beautiful golden color and a shine on your dish.
Egg Wash Substitutes Comparison Chart
Here is a table of egg wash substitutes for different dishes.
|For Frying||Mayonnaise and Breadcrumbs|
|Pretzel||Flax Seed with water|
|Vegan||Almond or Soy Milk|
|Challah||Milk and Cream|
|Chicken||Yogurt and Breadcrumbs|
|Pastry||Honey, Maple Syrup, and Agave|
Can I use butter instead of egg wash?
Yes, butter is the best substitute for egg wash. It browns and gives a nutty flavor upon heating. It also leaves a wonderful shine and crispy texture on top of the croissant or pie.
Can I use milk instead of egg wash on puff pastry?
Yes, you can use milk instead of egg wash on puff pastry. It provides the same color, shine, and crispiness as egg wash does.
Can I skip egg wash?
No, you cannot skip egg wash as, without it, the dish will look plain, dull, and dry.
Egg wash not only provides a shiny and golden, crispy texture but also moisturizes your dish. So if you skip it, the dish won’t be as appealing.
However, if you don’t have egg wash on hand, you can try some of the substitutes mentioned in this article and share your results in the comments below!