Hulled eggs can mostly be sold by the dozen, but they are not a good choice for most bakers. Not only does it take time to crack the eggs, there is always this chance that the shell will go into the recipe. In addition, the shelled eggs are inconsistent in size and composition, depending on the time of year and the hen’s diet; therefore, most bakers rely on egg products, which are dry, liquid and frozen. They can be separated into whites and yellows, and even mixed with other ingredients for improved functionality.
“Eggs have over 20 functions, from sticking to aeration and binding to browning,” said Toby Moore, baking professional, AIB International.
Eggs influence the overall appearance, flavor and color as well as texture, dough quality, moisture / water activity and overall appreciation of baked foods.
“There are a multitude of different egg products that offer different functionality, and it is important to communicate with your egg product supplier to make sure you are using the correct egg product to ensure that the application gets the maximum benefit from it. the functionality of the egg. ” he added. “Egg whites, for example, come standard, high whip – sometimes called angel whites – and high gel, and each brings different functionality to various applications. “
Standard egg whites would be suitable for frittata bites. A high whisk, on the other hand, would be best for the meringue. In complex systems like nutrition bars, high gel egg whites not only help with grip and texture, but they also help with protein.
Egg products are pasteurized to ensure food safety. They are easy to use and provide batch-to-batch consistency.
“The functionality of eggs is unique and difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce entirely, especially with a single ingredient,” Mr. Moore said.
Research supported by the American Egg Board and conducted by CuliNex explored typical baked foods made from eggs and compared them to similar products made from egg substitutes. The results showed that in many applications there is a noticeable difference to the true egg product superior in many features.
“Consider sugar cookies, although many other cookie formulations that rely on eggs for binding, flavor, yeast and texture have similar results,” Moore said. “The areas of sugar cookie quality most affected when the eggs are removed are aroma, color, flavor and texture. Without eggs creating a proper spread and rise, the cookie dough is too thin and spreads out too much in the heat of the oven. In addition, the aroma is reduced as well as the intensity of the flavor, indicating that the eggs contribute to the characteristic aroma and flavor of the baked candy of the sugar cookies.
Eggs are an integral part of most cakes. They provide leavening, binding, aeration and contribute to texture, flavor, color and aroma.
“Eggs contribute color, growth and uniformly open cell structure, which influences taste quality, mouthfeel and texture,” said Moore. “They also provide a mild, egg-baked aroma and flavor. The tender crumb and the taste quality of the cake are also due to the eggs.
“When the eggs are absent, the cake is fragile. The cake breaks easily during handling and forms a gummy mass in the mouth.
It’s just not a sponge cake without eggs. The same goes for Angel Food Cake, a cake designed on its creative use of egg whites to achieve a very airy structure that is tender on the palate and has a chewy texture with a mild, neutral baked flavor. Without egg whites, this aeration does not occur.
“The dough is four times as dense and its viscosity is much lower, indicating that without the egg whites there is no aeration of the dough,” said Moore. “This results in a chunky, firm, chewy, pasty, gel-like substance rather than the texture and mouth feel expected of angel food. “
Meringues, macaroons and macaroons also rely on the aeration of egg whites. As the name suggests, whites also provide a clear, clean canvas to add flavor and color. And although historically designed to be delicate sweet treats, these classics have been transformed into savory snacks by innovative bakers.
“We have developed superfood pesto puffs, which are crispy and flavorful meringues filled with spinach, kale, basil, almonds, Parmesan and garlic,” Mr. Moore said. “They are low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and a source of protein.”
Outer Aisle, Santa Barbara, Calif., Relies on whole eggs to make gluten-free, low-carb bread alternatives. In combination with cauliflower, parmesan and nutritional yeast, the company produces pizza crusts and thin sandwiches in a range of flavors. Crepini, New York, makes grain-free wraps and pasta made from eggs and cauliflower.
Egg-based ingredients provide a wealth of functionality and flavor in baked foods that use them. These recognizable ingredients in an industrial format offer bakers a convenient way to improve product quality.
This article is an excerpt from the June 2019 issue of Cooking & Snack. To read the full article on dairy and eggs, click here.