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💞A viral proposal: Chelsea & Jessica💞

An Easy Guide to Egg-Free Baking.

No eggs? No worries. Whether you're vegan, allergic, or too lazy to do a dash to the supermarket, learning to bake egg-free will prove to be a super-handy skill to have.

I like baking. I also like eating. I think we can safely conclude that these two things are closely interrelated. Generally my baked goods are "clean" and refined sugar-free, so I'm always making substitutions on other peoples' recipes — but some months ago when I gave up animal products, it meant there was a new twist. I also had to ditch the eggs. 

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I was quickly surprised by the variety of egg substitutes available. Many of which, by the way, you probably already have in your cupboard. Who'd have thought?

Nonetheless, there is some science behind what works, why and for what — and in what quantities. If all that sound confusing, don't worry, I'm about to break it down. 

An Easy Guide to Egg-Free Baking.

First, are some easy options you can use as a replacement for eggs, and how much you need of each:

Flax seeds. 

Flax seeds have a mildly nutty flavour, so they work particularly well when you're baking with wholemeal flours and grainy breads. They're also good for pancakes, muffins, cakes and brownies. The seeds need to be ground up so either buy flax meal or use your own spice / coffee grinder. Mix the flax with water and leave to set for 5-10 minute until a gel-like consistency forms. Voila! You now have a "flax egg."

Use: 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 egg.

Baking soda + vinegar.

Baking soda mixed with white or apple cider vinegar makes for a perfect leavening agent, so this substitution is a go-to for muffins, cakes or quick breads that need to rise up all fluffy and soft. 

Use: 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for 1 egg.

Carbonated water / soda.

Fizzy drinks like sodas can also be great for leavening. If you want to stick to a healthier option, you can skip the lemonade and go for carbonated water instead. Either way, it'll help your Pinterest-perfect gingerbread spice cake to reach the heights it deserves.

Use: 1/4 cup soda for 1 egg.

Tofu.

Silken tofu adds density and is flavourless, so it's ideal for adding moisture and texture to things like brownies. Tofu won't work as well for pancakes as it's a little heavy. To use in baking, whizz the tofu in a blender until smooth (you can add in other wet ingredients to help it blend if it's too thick.)

Use: 1/4 cup of puréed tofu for 1 egg.

An Easy Guide to Egg-Free Baking.

Chia seeds.

Similar to flax seeds, chia seeds combine with water to make a viscous substance that acts as a binding agent in baking. You can grind the chia seeds into a meal if you prefer (though with chia it's not mandatory), then mix them with water and leave to set for a few minutes until a gel forms. You can use "chia eggs" in cookies, cakes, muffins... pretty much whatever. 

Use: 1 teaspoon of chia seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons water for 1 egg. 

Fruit puree.

Often used as a replacement for oil, fruit puree is also a healthy replacement for egg. Unsweetened apple sauce (which you can usually find pre-made in jars), mashed banana, or even pureed pumpkin all work great. Obviously, since these replacements will add some sweetness, this option works best in sweet things. Banana in your cheese & garlic pull-apart loaf... maybe not so much. 

Use: 1/4 cup fruit puree for 1 egg.

Aquafaba.

Aquafaba is the fancy name someone bestowed upon whipped chickpea brine. You know that liquid you normally drain out of your cans of chickpeas when you're about to make a mammoth batch of hummus? Whip it (real good) and it actually ends up barely distinguishable from whipped egg whites. It's so similar you can use even use aquafaba to make meringues and mousses. 

To use aquafaba as a binding agent in baking you don't need to whip it until it's all peaked and firm, just lightly whip it until it goes foamy. 

Use: 3 tablespoons of aquafaba for 1 egg (or 2 tablespoons for 1 egg white). 

Got all that memorised already? Me neither, so here's a little cheat-sheet I put together. 

An Easy Guide to Egg-Free Baking.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that graphic design is not my strong point? OK good, moving on then. 

So which egg replacement is best for which recipe? To get a handle on that, you need to consider the main purpose of the eggs in different types of baking.

In cookies, muffins and slices like brownies eggs are mostly used for binding the dough together and adding moisture. They're also what helps to bind pancake batter. In cakes, cupcakes and breads the eggs are mostly a leavening agent — i.e. they help the dough rise and make your freshly-baked masterpiece all light and fluffy. 

The rules aren't hard and fast, but for some guidance on what works best for what, you can refer to the bottom of the cheat sheet.

An Easy Guide to Egg-Free Baking.

A final note. I haven't tried all of these egg replacements myself as yet, so I'm putting my unwavering faith in the collective knowledge of the Internet with some of them. But rest assured: My baking crusade will continue with the noble purpose of confirming the scientific validity of these replacements. And also because, brownies.

Happy (egg-free) baking.

Images: Unsplash, Pixabay, created by me, Unsplash.

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