5 Ingredients or Fewer

All-Purpose Egg Wash

June  7, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Teresa Floyd
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Makes Enough to brush 1 dozen pastries
Author Notes

Easily applied to all dough types. A combination of egg yolk, heavy cream, and salt makes this a go-to egg wash. The baked results are a deeply golden, shiny, and flavorful crust. —Teresa Floyd

Test Kitchen Notes

A classic egg wash is something every chef and home cook should master. When it's brushed onto pastries and baked goods before going into the oven, you'll get this beautiful shine and perfect color every time. It also helps to seal any edges together if you're making something that needs to be stuffed or filled. You'll have to invest in a pastry brush, but it's well worth it if you're striving to master the best baking techniques. From dinner rolls to pie crusts and empanadas, you'll be surprised how often you'll use this egg wash recipe. Many other recipes simply call for water, but we love the richness and color that just a tablespoon of heavy cream has to offer. If you don't have cream on hand, milk or water would definitely suffice.

Here we also call for just using an egg yolk instead of the white or whole egg. You get a nicer, more golden color by just using the yolk, but feel free to experiment with whatever works best for you. Using the white only will help you get some nice browning, but you won't get that shine and gloss. Adding a pinch of the salt not only gives the egg wash more flavor, but helps break down the proteins in the eggs to thin them out and make them easier to brush onto your baked goods. When you're applying, just be sure not to brush too much on, which may result in an uneven look or potentially burning. So, next time any recipe calls for an egg wash, you'll know exactly what to do! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, cream, and salt until combined.
  2. Using a natural bristle or silicone pastry brush, lightly brush a thin and even layer of egg wash over the surface of the dough. Take care not to pool the egg wash on the surface or around the base of the dough.
  3. Leftover egg wash may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Teresa Floyd is a freelance photographer, food writer, and pastry chef living in Kansas City, MO. She is the creator of Now, Forager, a pastry blog focused on seasonal pastries and desserts.

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