Eggs are the glue for breadcrumbs in the breading process. They are whisked together to form a frothy yellow liquid into which uncooked chicken, zucchini sticks or a myriad of other foods waiting to be pan or deep fried are dipped. However, whether you are preparing food for those with an egg-free diet or you discovered that you're out of eggs, you can use a variety of substitutes that provide similar results for breading.
Milk is often combined with eggs as part of the dipping solution during the breading process. However, it can also be used on its own to create the glue-like texture to which crumbs are applied. Replace in a ratio of 2 tablespoons milk for each egg. Refrigerate the breaded food for one hour before cooking to help the milk-based breading stick to the food.
The oil and water content in butter make it a prime replacement for eggs in breading. It also adds extra flavor to the dish itself, creating a rich taste that eggs typically do not provide. However, melted butter will also increase the fat content of the dish and works best when baking the breaded foods, as it adds needed oil for keeping food moist inside and crispy on the outside.
For a completely animal-product-free alternative, ground flaxseed is often used instead of eggs. Typically substituted for its binding properties in baking, ground flax can be used in a similar way to the egg wash, with each egg replaced with 1 part ground flax that has been blended with 3 parts water until frothy and slightly thickened. Milk or milk alternatives can be used instead of the water to add extra flavor and texture to the food if desired.
When replacing the egg in breading recipes, consider covering foods in flour before dipping into the egg alternative. This increases the adhesion of the egg alternative, which is especially helpful when using heavier breading, like large crumbs or nuts. Keep the wet wash, whether egg or egg alternative, separate from the dry breading ingredients. Allocate one hand for the wet ingredients and one hand for the dry ingredients to create the most uniform breading on the food.
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