OK In Health - Gluten Free Goodness

Finding a Way to Bake Gluten Free and Egg Free - January 2019

Baking successfully without eggs

By Cathy Lauer

Egg Free Cooking

Of all the allergy challenges, I have found baking egg free to be the one that saw the most testers go in the garbage. Eggs are such a vital part of baking that when you take them out it leaves a hole that can be quite tricky, and in some recipes down right impossible, to fill. It upsets the chemistry of the recipe, and so with my scientist hat on I have tackled the problem head on and, in many cases, come out a winner.

        Cooking meals egg free has not been a huge challenge in our home as there are many meals that don’t require eggs in any form and so no recipe modifications are necessary. I do however miss having an omelet or a scrambled egg sandwich. Often people who are allergic to eggs find out at an early age, some can have serious anaphylactic reactions, break out in hives, or have gastrointestinal difficulties. These people avoid eating eggs as a meal, as a food additive or when baking. This can lead to a lot of difficulty baking quality products without the eggs.

        Why is it, that baking just doesn’t turn out well without eggs? First of all you need to know what it is that eggs add to your baking. This is where the science part comes in. Besides being a liquid, eggs are protein and fat. The protein acts as a binder and the fat adds richness. Eggs also add leavening so they give lift and lightness to your baking. Many recipes use the whites and the yolks separately to get the maximum leavening out of the whites. The whites are used in sponge cakes and angel food cakes and are more important than the flour for holding the cake up. When you are using gluten free flour you have taken out the wheat protein (gluten) that hold things together so using eggs is a great way to compensate for the loss of gluten. When you cannot have eggs either you loose another source of binding and structure in your baking. 

        So how do you get a nice baked product when it has to be gluten and egg free? There are a number of products you could use as a substitute. None of them however exactly mimic the properties and results of using real eggs, but some can do a pretty fair job. My last choice is powdered egg replacer. Maybe some people have luck with it but I have not found it satisfactory for two reasons. First and foremost I find that it leaves an after taste and secondly I have never been able to get it to make a satisfactory product.

 

        My two favourite egg substitutes are vinegar with baking soda and ground flax seed. They are both great choices and do a surprisingly good job of replacing an egg. Baking soda and vinegar have always been a kitchen science favourite for junior volcano builders and naturally makes a great leavening for a chocolate cake, quick bread loaf or muffins. Be sure to use white or cider vinegar and NOT malt vinegar.

        My very favourite way to replace eggs is with ground flax seed and water. To replace 1 egg place 3 Tablespoons of water in a small microwave safe dish and add 1 Tablespoon of ground flax. Put the dish in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time until the mixture is steaming. Whisk with a fork until gooey and the consistency of thick egg white. Cool slightly before using. I would replace up to 2 eggs this way. Naturally this will not work in a white cake because it will have little brown spots in it but for bread, muffins and cookies it works great. The finished product will be very nice and the flavour of the ground flax will certainly enhance your finished product.

        Sadly I have not yet found a substitute for egg whites in angel food cakes but there are a number of recipes available for egg free sponge cake. One of the challenges in baking for food allergies is that there are just some things you have to accept that you cannot make. On the bright side there is no shortage of recipes for things you can have so be adventurous and try some of them out. You may find something that works well for you and allows you to have some favourite foods added back to your diet.

To help you with baking egg free I will post the eggless chocolate cake recipe on OK in Health’s gluten free recipe section. For more egg free recipes you can also go to my web site and find cookie and bread recipes that are egg free. I am always available to help you solve your recipe challenges so contact me through my web site.

Happy Baking!

Cathy

 




Cathy LauerCathy's Bio: Cathy Lauer has been cooking/baking gluten/dairy free for 17 years. She has written 3 all baking cookbooks and has a gluten free baking blog/store. In her spare time she loves to garden in a big way with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. She is a classically trained singer and loves to read and collect recipe books. She homeschools her youngest son (11) and has 3 grown children and is grandmother of 2. Cathy's Gluten Free Creations Ltd. Gourmet Gluten Free Baking. Cookbooks and Baking Mixes. 250-758-5232 - Cathy Lauer Website - Email


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