Easy 2-Ingredient Egg Wash for Baking

published Jul 14, 2022
Egg Wash Recipe

This egg wash adds a stunning golden glow when you brush it onto breads, pies, and pastries right before baking.

Makes1/4 cup

Prep1 minute

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A photo of a yellow kitchen brush being dipped into egg wash
Credit: Perry Santanachote

Even if your pie, bread, or pastry recipe doesn’t call for an egg wash, brushing some on can give it much-needed color and a glossy sheen. An egg wash is simply an egg or part of an egg thinned with a bit of water, milk, or cream. The fat and protein in the mixture promotes browning and lends sheen. How brown or shiny the crust becomes depends on the makeup of the egg wash (more on that below).

What Is Egg Wash?

Egg wash is simply a mixture of egg beaten with water or milk (or cream). When applied to pie crusts, pastry shells, yeasted breads, and other baked goods prior to baking, the egg wash creates a golden-brown sheen that makes these treats look irresistible. 

How to Make Egg Wash

There are several variations of egg wash. Feel free to experiment to find the combination that best suits your baked goods. As a general rule, maintain a 3:1 ratio of egg to liquid. The crust will be darker and shinier the less liquid you add.

  • For a deeper brown sheen with a crispier crust, use water.
  • For a lighter, slightly shinier sheen with a softer crust, use milk or heavy cream.
  • For a firmer, lighter crust with little shine, use only the egg white and water.
  • For a darker, richer hue, use only the egg yolk.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

How to Use Egg Wash

Here are some general tips for applying egg wash.

  • Use a light hand while brushing and apply a thin coat of egg wash. Thick coats can results in burnt patches on your pastry or an uneven sheen.
  • A natural bristle pastry brush is best when working with very delicate pastries, such as laminated dough.
  • For an even deeper brown color, apply the egg wash again about 10 minutes before the dough is done baking.
  • If the egg whites won’t loosen into a brushable consistency, whisk in a pinch of salt to help break up the protein.

Egg Wash Recipe

This egg wash adds a stunning golden glow when you brush it onto breads, pies, and pastries right before baking.

Prep time 1 minute

Makes 1/4 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 tablespoon

    heavy cream, milk, or water

Instructions

  1. Place 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon heavy cream in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork until well combined and frothy. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash in a thin, even layer onto the visible parts of the dough. Be careful not to let egg wash pool on the surface or around the base of the pastry.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover egg wash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.