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In this baking basics post, I want to share with you the secrets of an egg wash. It is the mixture of eggs and water that is brushed onto baked goods to give them a shiny, brown, irresistible finish.

Baked crescent rolls with egg wash.

When I first started baking, I would find myself feeling slightly disappointed in the appearance of the items I prepared. They would taste delicious, but just wouldn’t live up to my expectations in terms of their appearance. They would be slightly pale and matte. Nothing like the glamorously shiny and crispy brown pastries I would see in bakeries.

I did a little research and soon learned the secret to beautiful baked goods – an egg wash. Egg wash is just as it sounds, it’s a combination of egg and water, whisked together until perfectly blended, and then brushed onto baked goods before baking.

Egg washes can be used to make homemade croissants look like you bought them in Paris. I also use an egg wash on homemade pretzels to give them that extra crispy brown sheen. Any pastry or baked good that you want to give a little shine to, use an egg wash.

The proteins in the egg crisp up during baking and create the shine. An eggwash can also act as a protective barrier in a homemade pie crust. Make the pie crust, and finish it with an egg wash. The wash will create not only a shine but act as a seal. When you fill the crust with berries, or pumpkin pie filling (like in my pumpkin pie), or pecan filling (for my favorite pecan pie recipe)- the crust will stay comparably crisp and not get soggy.

I just bought myself a silicone pastry brush, and I have to admit, I love it. It’s great for spreading the eggwash on baked goods. But I also have a standard pastry brush that I use and it works very well too. Either way, brush the eggwash on the baked good, just to coat, not to smother. The wash adds no taste, so don’t worry about that.

Try an eggwash the next time you make baked goods. It’ll look as if you ran to the bakery!

Recipe Snapshot

TASTE:  Adds no taste
TEXTURE:  Gives a crisp sheen
EASE:  Easiest
TIME:  Seconds

What You’ll Need


This is not so much a recipe as it is a process, but you will need two ingredients.

Egg and water in glass bowl.
  • Egg – This egg wash recipe calls for the entire egg, though sometimes you can just use the egg white.
  • Water – Simple tap water is just fine.
Egg wash brushed over crescent roll.

How to Make Recipe Name

To make an eggwash, you’ll just whisk the two ingredients together.

  1. Whisk egg and water until fully incorporated.
  2. Use a pastry brush to brush onto desired baked goods before baking.

Handy tip:

Blend the egg and water completely so there are no egg white streaks in the mixture.

Tips For Success

  • The egg wash can act as a glue, so if you score the top of a crust, like in my apple strudel, it can seal up the slits. To help prevent this, brush the egg wash on and then score the crust after.
Close up of baked crescent rolls with egg wash.


Storage & Freezing

Use the egg wash immediately after you have made it. If you have left overs and are doing more baking, you can store it for a few days in the fridge. But it’s easy enough to make that I suggest just mixing one egg at a time and making more egg wash if you need it.

More Baking Basics

Whether you are a novice or expert baker, there are some tips and tricks I use that make my baking easier. Here are some of my favorites.

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Printable Recipe

Egg wash brushed over crescent roll.

Basic Egg Wash

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Use an egg wash to seal edges or add shine and color to your baked goods.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water, milk, or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Place the egg and water in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk with a fork or small whisk until well combined and frothy.
  3. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash in a thin, even layer onto the visible parts of the dough. Be careful not to let egg wash pool on the surface or around the base of the pastry.

Notes

Storage: Leftover egg wash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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