egg wash (eg wosh, wawsh) noun, verb
A mixture comprised of egg and water, milk or cream that is brushed over unbaked pastry or bread. Typically one or two tablespoons of liquid will be added per egg, although this can vary, and sometimes recipes use just egg yolk.
The term, while usually used as a noun, is sometimes turned into a verb, as in “egg wash the top of the rolls.”
The egg wash produces a golden color as well as an attractive sheen on the baked item. This mixture can also be used as a “glue” to bring to pieces of pastry together, such as when making turnovers, as seen below, or when applying decorative pieces of pastry to solid pieces of pastry.
The left half of this lattice pie pastry was brushed with an egg wash made from 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, the right half was left plain. You can also see on the left of the lattice how it was applied a bit unevenly. The darker, more glazed areas received more egg wash. An even application is important.
The same goes for these rolls – the left one has egg wash, the right roll was left plain. The egg wash not only creates an attractive appearance, it also adds a desirable texture.
Images: Peter Muka