Baking Woes

As I sit here struggling with the December Daring Baker's challenge, I am researching my ingredient substitutions, specifically eggs in baked goods. I have two really good references at my side. The first is Ann Gentry’s Real Food Daily Cookbook which Lane has blogged about often, and we love. The second is Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian- an ambitious title, but at just over 1000 pages (if you count the Acknowledgments and Intro sections) it may be accurate. This book is new to us, but looks very promising. We've got it on loan from our local library, but I'm thinking it might need to live in our home!

Anyway, the recipe calls for butter and eggs. Of course it does, who on this earth doesn't bake with butter and eggs, and maybe milk. All us vegans! The rest of the ingredients don't pose a problem, I've got them in my cupboard. But I still have this nagging sense of dread. Why? To date, I haven’t been happy with my baked goods and I think it is the fact that the eggs are not (easy to replace). Now I'm faced with baking again, but that is why I signed up for The Daring Baker's in the first place, to get me baking again!

For egg substitutions Ann Gentry recommends tofu, nut butters, fruit purees, or arrowroot. Mark Bittman recommends this recipe:

2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon neutral oil (grapeseed or corn), and
1 teaspoon cornstarch (I’ll use arrowroot)
Mix together and stir until smooth.

The internet provides a whole host of other options, the most intriguing to me is something with ground flax seed. Intuitively, I think the recipe above will work best because it substitutes for the fat, the liquid, and the binding properties of eggs. Mr. Bittman also suggests 3 tablespoons of silken tofu could be used in place of an egg, but I’ve found it adds an almost gritty texture, and maybe changes the taste; in any event, when I’ve used tofu in place of an egg in baking, I haven’t been happy with the results.

If this recipe turns out to be a success (and I will have the opportunity to taste test), Lane will be bringing it to work for his office holiday party on Tuesday. If not, well I still have a few days to try and get some cookies together!
Merry Happy! -- Jane

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Comments

  1. So you know, in some dishes you can just… well, leave the eggs out without replacing them (keep an eye out for it being too dry and add a little extra fat and soymilk if it looks too dry. But unless it’s a custard or a quiche or something really strongly egg based, a lot of the time you don’t even need it, especially if you substitute bread flour for more gluten and protein (gives stuff more structure).

  2. Thanks Tanya,
    I would have never thought to omit an ingredient. Occasionally I do that if I’m missing a spice, but eggs have always seem “critical” to me.
    I was also unaware that bread flour provides more structure, but I guess I should have figured that since I “know” you’re going to get less airy results if you use regular flour over cake flour when baking a cake…
    Anyway, thank you for the info. I’ll try it out in my next baking challenge.
    – Jane

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