Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks? (+3 primary functions)
In this article, we will answer the question “Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks?”, and What is the role of an egg in baking?
Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks?
Yes, you can use whole eggs instead of egg yolks. If you use whole eggs instead of egg yolks, the end-product might not be very dense or chewy as in cookies. If you are reluctant to use egg yolks because you will have to throw the egg whites away, there are plenty of ways you can put the egg whites to good use.
- Whip the leftover egg whites to make meringue, macarons, or marshmallows.
- Some cocktails and liquors use egg white to create foam. Store the egg whites to use later.
- Make some mousse or add the egg whites to soups or stokes.
- You can make gluten-free brownies using egg whites only or make pavlova rolls.
- If you like pancakes in your breakfast, whisk some egg whites to make those light and fluffy pancakes.
Read on if you want to know how to crack open an egg like a pro. This article also examines the role of an egg in baking.
Role of whole eggs in baking
An egg is one of the most important ingredients in baking and it performs a variety of functions that vary from recipe to recipe. We will discuss the few basic ones here.
For binding and moistening
Eggs are excellent binding agents. They hold all the dry ingredients of the recipe together and provide structural integrity.
Eggs are added to moisten the dry ingredients and create a softer and delicate crumb desirable for muffins, cakes, butter cookies, waffles, pancakes, etc.
Egg yolk has fat that contributes to the rich and creamy flavor of the finished product.
Whole eggs do perform leavening action not to the same extent as whipped egg whites alone can do. Chiffon cakes and souffle rely on the leavening action of whole eggs and have a very airy and light texture.
Role of an Egg yolk
100 grams of egg yolk is made up of 27 grams of fat. This fat has excellent emulsifying properties that help create a homogenous emulsion of fat and other liquids in the batter or dough. This prevents the fat and liquids from separating creating a smoother and silkier texture. Recipes like Custards, pastry cream, cakes, ice cream, creme brûlée, and curds deploy the emulsifying and thickening properties of egg yolk.
Apart from emulsifying, egg yolk helps thicken baked goods. It is because when the proteins are heated, they solidify and form a gel-like in custards and puddings. Too much heat results in curdling up the protein and it ends up looking grainy.
Other FAQs about Eggs which you may be interested in.
Role of an Egg white
Egg whites are used for their foaming abilities in baking. When the egg whites are whipped, they incorporate air molecules and form a foam-like structure.
To stabilize this delicate structure, an acidic ingredient like cream of tartar, lemon juice, or citric acid is added.
This foaming ability of eggs is utilized to make meringues, souffle, sponge cakes, and pancakes. Using whipped egg whites in a recipe eliminates the need to use baking powder, baking soda, or yeast to perform the leavening action.
However, it is important to whip the eggs to just the right extent. Soft stable peaks are desirable. Whipping your eggs too much might result in too hard or grainy egg whites that are difficult to fold or incorporate into batters.
You might end up with a dry crumb if you add too many whipped.
The air bubbles that are incorporated via whipping expand when exposed to high temperatures of the oven, resulting in leavening or rising of the dough.
Desserts and baked goods like pavlova, chiffon cakes, macarons, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, and frostings are all the result of whipping egg whites with sugar. Sugar whipped with egg whites provides structural integrity to the frail foamy structure.
How to crack an egg
Strike the egg against a solid surface like a flat slab edge or the inside of a bowl. This prevents the shell from breaking into small pieces. If some eggshell pieces do get into your mixture, use another shell piece to remove it.
It is recommended to always break open the eggs in a separate bowl one by one. This saves you from tossing a whole bowl full of ingredients in the bin if the egg is spoiled or if you fail to find and remove a shell piece.
In this article, we answered the question “Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks?”, and