“Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.” ~ Russian Proverb
The “incredible edible egg” that we know and love has a big job when it comes to baking. Eggs provide:
- Structure – think of a hard-boiled egg
- Leavening – think of the air incorporated into whipped egg whites
- Color and Flavor – think of the tasty yolk
- Richness – think of the creamy texture of the yolk
Eggs, when combined with flour, provide the protein that gives structure to baked goods. Sugar and fat makes baked goods tender and moist.
The USDA grades eggs. Just like in school, the higher the grade the better the egg. The following information is from the USDA website.
USDA grading means:
- The eggs are fresh.
- The egg shells are clean and smooth.
- The egg shells are not cracked or broken.
- The eggs have yolks and whites that stand high and firm.
- The eggs are the size stated on the label.
- The eggs have not been returned from retail channels and repackaged.
Eggs are graded as follows:
- Grade AA eggs have whites that are thick and firm. The yolks stand high and are firm; and they have clean unbroken shells.
- Grade A eggs have whites and yolks that are reasonably firm and clean unbroken shells.
- Grade B eggs have whites and yolks that may be thinner and flatter. The shells may be lightly stained, but are unbroken.
Most eggs used in baking are large eggs because that is how most recipes are tested. If in doubt, use large eggs. If you need a substitution, the following chart was obtained from Better Homes and Gardens:
- 1 large egg is the equivalent of 1 medium egg or 1 extra-large egg.
- 2 large eggs are the equivalent of 2 medium eggs or 2 extra-large eggs.
- 3 large eggs are the equivalent of 4 medium eggs or 3 extra-large eggs.
- 4 large eggs are the equivalent of 5 medium eggs or 4 extra-large eggs.
- 5 large eggs are the equivalent of 6 medium eggs or 5 extra-large eggs.
- One large egg without the shell weighs 50 grams or 1.75 ounces.
- Cold eggs are easier to separate.
- Use room temperature eggs when baking because they are more easily dispersed into the batter thereby creating a lighter texture. You can warm cold eggs by soaking them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- For egg safety, check out my prior post.
Here’s to the incredible egg; and the role it plays in baking!