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How to Make Egg Wash and Bake Like a Total Pro
PHOTO: CHRISTINE HAN/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

After watching every season of The Great British Baking Show, you’ve decided to channel your inner Mary Berry and whip up some delicious homemade pastries. But as you’re looking over the recipe, you notice that it calls for egg wash. Luckily, you have eggs, but um, what exactly are you supposed to do with them? Here’s how to make egg wash for all your baking needs.

What the heck is it? Egg wash is a mixture of beaten eggs plus some liquid (either water or milk) that is brushed onto baked goods like pies and pastries before baking.

And what is the point of egg wash?

  • It adds a pretty sheen on baked goods like dinner rolls and apple pie.
  • It gives the dough a golden hue. (How good does this pumpkin brioche look?)
  • It keeps the edges of dough together for recipes like empanadas or filled pastries (like these easy toaster pastries).
  • It helps sugar and spices stick to dough.

OK, so how do I make egg wash? 

1. Simply crack an egg into a bowl and beat it with a fork.
2. Add one to two tablespoons of water and stir until combined. (For a darker hue on the finished product, use less liquid or substitute the water for milk or cream. You could even skip the liquid entirely if you want a very dark shine.)
3. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash onto your baked goods and marvel at your star baker skills.

A note on pastry brushes: The brush used for applying egg wash should be thoroughly cleaned before using it for anything else (it did touch raw egg, after all). The best way to do this is to wash the brush with cold water immediately after applying the egg wash; hot water will cause the egg to coagulate and make the bristles stick together. After rinsing in cold water, wash and sanitize the brush in hot water. If that sounds like too much work, opt for a silicone pastry brush instead or try this clever trick for making a pastry brush out of parchment paper.

8 delicious ways to use egg wash: Impress friends with these blackberry jam pie-crust straws (don’t worry, they’re easy to make) or these beautiful botanical shortbread cookies. In the mood for something savory? This kale and cheddar cheese galette comes together in under an hour, while this hearty chicken potpie is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with cheater’s croissants or pecan pie scones. And one of the best uses for egg wash is adding color and glaze to homemade bread, like in this honey challah or sugared holiday bread. (Sure, you could pop over to your nearest bakery, but what would Paul Hollywood think?)

RELATED: 47 Egg Recipes That Prove How Versatile They Are

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