universal substitutes for eggs?

I know this one is reeeally tricky, but I was hoping to find a catch-all sub for eggs (vegan diet + partner with egg allergy) I make a lot of pastry, but a dough egg substitute doesn't always work well for a wash on the surface of doughs... anyone aware of any egg subs (close to universal)?

  • Posted by: carla
  • December 18, 2021


702551 December 18, 2021
There is no universal substitute.

An egg has two very different components: the yolk and the white. Both have unique properties and not just from a culinary perspective.

In a kitchen sometimes the egg is used whole. Other times it is necessary to separate them and use one component. Occasionally they are separated, handled differently then combined at the end because using the whole egg can't duplicate the result (a souffle is a classic example).

One culinary example is emulsification. It is a property that is from the egg yolk's lecithin or phosphatidylcholine. The white does not contain those substances in any substantial amount. However the white contains most of the egg's protein.

For a non-culinary property, the egg yolk has been used a pigment medium for artist's paints. This is known as tempera and has been used for centuries. The white is not helpful for this application. In fact, the standard procedure is to separate the egg yolk from the white, hold the egg yolk, prick it, and drain the liquid yolk into a receptable; the yolk sac is not used in making tempera.

Replacing eggs in the kitchen is truly dependent on what property(ies) the egg is providing.
carla December 19, 2021
Cool, thanks for the lecture. I'm clearly looking for something "close to universal", as in multi-purpose. This isn't very helpful.
702551 December 19, 2021
Sorry, just because you want something to exist doesn't mean it does.

The world would love a multi-purpose cure for cancer but sadly Google can't seem to find that either.

Egg substitutes are specific to the dish and the chemical properties that the egg is providing in each situation.

If there were a multi-purpose egg substitute, well you'd see the TV advertisements and the egg section of your supermarket would be a quarter of what it is. Plus you could type "egg substitute" into Amazon or Whole Foods and find 10-15 search results basically pointing to the same item.

Unfortunately I can't just wave a magic wand to conjure up something to please a random person on the Internet. If I could, I most certainly would.

But if you don't want to take my word for it, go re-read all of Food52's various threads about egg substitutes. The answers are different each time.

Anyhow best of luck!
carla December 19, 2021
Get a blog
702551 December 19, 2021
LOL, blogs are so twenty years ago.

AntoniaJames December 18, 2021
A non-dairy milk with a touch of maple syrup stirred into would work as a wash for dough before baking, as would olive oil, or a vegan butter, melted. With the vegan milk plus maple, you'll want to keep an eye on it, as sugar tends to darken a crust quickly. If that happens, simply tent the loaf lightly with foil. ;o)
carla December 19, 2021
Beautiful! Thank you, Antonia!
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