Woman is putting an egg wash on her homemade braided challah with a pastry brush before baking it. She is making it for a traditional Jewish Sabbath dinner. Taken with Canon 5D Mark lV.
How You Can Get The Look Of An Egg Wash Without The Price
By Crystal Antonace
In traditional egg wash, eggs are mixed with a small amount of water and sometimes milk or cream. For a glossy sheen and additional flavor, save your eggs and opt for milk alone.
Author David Joachim considers milk or heavy cream the best substitute because a milk wash gives baked goods a signature golden brown sheen while the lactose adds flavor.
Since milk is thinner than scrambled raw eggs, it's best to use the dairy product on recipes that expand when baked so the liquid isn't absorbed back into the dough.
For a thicker egg wash alternative for fruit tarts and pies, cream is recommended. Water and oil are also some affordable alternatives for egg wash.
Olive oil helps brown the baked goods while adding a nuanced flavor, but you may have to add extra ingredients, as it doesn't have the binding qualities of eggs or dairy.
Water is the cheapest option and keeps your baked goods stable with a soft exterior. However, it doesn't add anything extra in terms of color and flavor.
Dairy-free milk alternatives are also great substitutes, as are yogurt and maple syrup. Keep in mind that baked goods coated with a natural sweetener may burn at high temperatures.