Pastry Chefs, Listen Up! Vegan Replacements for Egg Wash
Recently, I've noticed that most traditional baking recipes aren't written with vegan chefs in mind. But that doesn't mean that you can't make them! One of my favorite attributes of vegan cooking is its creativity; vegans are always finding new, exciting ways of creating delicious dishes packed with healthy ingredients that non-vegans never even dream of using. When it came time to make these Mini Blueberry Galettes for a vegan friend, I was stumped when the recipe recommended coating the pastry with egg wash before baking, to lend it a beautiful golden-brown shine. Thankfully, Google helped me out by recommending some excellent vegan alternatives – and they're all things you probably have around the house already!
This is the most commonly suggested replacement. Make sure to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil; it's got a lighter taste. Brush your vegan pastry dough with a little olive oil just before baking to impart a nice shine and subtle browning.
Make sure it's not unsweetened! Mixed with a little sugar, soy milk browns very nicely when exposed to heat.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
This isn't the healthiest option, but sadly, it's the food industry standard; egg wash is expensive, so many companies use corn syrup to give baked goods that coveted golden-brown sheen. If you've got some laying around the house, give it a go – but be sure to thin it with a little water to prevent over-browning.
Vegan buttery spreads like Earth Balance can also work well for browning pastry dough. Melt some in the microwave and brush it on!
If you give these alternatives a try, I'd love to hear about your experience! Good luck creating that beauteous, golden-brown, shiny pastry that we all know and love - I believe in you! :)