Monday, February 19, 2007

Baking and eggs

I was on holiday last week, and enjoyed the chance to do a lot of cooking at home. That got me to thinking about ways of "veganizing" recipes.

Some things are simple. For example, soymilk can replace cow's milk in almost any recipe. But sometimes you have to be a little more tricky to replace the eggs.

In some cases - oatmeal cookies, for example - you can simply leave out the egg with fine results. I'm convinced that sometimes adding an egg to baked goods is just a habit.

But there is always a risk that in the recipe you choose to omit the egg, it plays a vital role. A sense of humor and spirit of adventure come in handy here. So does a dose of creativity - if those crumbles from the oven can't really be called cookies, open up a pint of soy ice cream and call them a topping!

And now that it seems you do need an "egg," you can try some of the many substitures out there. Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Post Punk Kitchen has great suggestions on vegan baking at http://www.theppk.com/veganbaking.html

The "flax eggs" she describes - 1 tablespoon flax seeds ground and blended with 3 tablespoons water per egg - do work very well. They become very gelatinous and gummy when blended and will surely hold those cookies together. I generally mix up a large batch in the blender. Leftovers will keep a few days in the refrigerator. And they can be divided into ice-cube trays and frozen for long-term storage.

Plain soy flour makes an even simpler egg substitute. One tablespoon of the soy flour and an extra tablespoon or two of water or other liquid can replace one egg in baked goods. You don't even really need to mix them ahead of time. Just add the soy flour in with the dry ingredients, and the extra liquid in with the wet ingredients.

I have found just one drawback to this method. The raw soy flour can cause an unpleasant taste cookie or cake batter. This taste disappears once the dish is baked, but it cuts down on the joys of eating gobs of raw cookie dough, or licking the mixing spoon.

Readers, have you found any other good ways to replace the eggs in your cooking?

4 Comments:

At 2/23/2007 8:28 AM, Blogger Andy said...

I have used a powdered product known as "Egg Replacer" but I can't remember the ingredients. I tablespoon or so of the stuff was equivalent to one egg in recipes. I think I bought it at Doug Brendles or Friends of the Earth at Reynolda (have they survived the onslaught of Whole Foods?). It works well.

Another tip a friend of mine thought up was to use okra slime to coat things where egg batter is called for, especially in baking or frying. Like dip a piece of squashi in okra slime then roll in flour/seasoning mix before frying up squash fritters. Works nice plus you can cook the other parts of the okra and eat it too!

 
At 2/25/2007 3:34 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Hi, Andy,
Thank you for your comment - the okra slime idea is intriguing.... How do you get it out of the okra, though - is there a trick to it?

Julie

P.S. - Sadly, Friends of the Earth is no longer; and Doug Brendles I believe was sold to another health-food store, and has now moved to a new location on Hanes Mall Boulevard, across from the Wynnsong movie theater and Wal-Mart.

 
At 4/03/2007 11:10 PM, Blogger flyingcheeses said...

I use Egg Replacer. It is made by Ener-G Foods. Ingredients
Potato Starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate [not derived from dairy], calcium carbonate, citric acid [corn derived]), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose

Website is http://www.ener-g.com/store/detail.aspx?sn=MilkAndEggSubstitutes&id=97&cat=8

I have often wondered if Egg Replacer expires as I have had the same batch for several years. I only use it about once a week when I make my waffles. So far I haven't had any problems.


Toni

 
At 4/03/2007 11:11 PM, Blogger flyingcheeses said...

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