From providing structure, texture and richness through to binding, giving flavour and providing a golden glaze for breads and pastries, eggs fill many roles when used in baking.
But are they best used chilled or at room temperature?
For baking, eggs are actually best used at room temperature and there are two main reasons for this:
- Room temperature eggs are easier than chilled eggs to incorporate into mixtures than chilled eggs are - especially when beating them into creamed butter and sugar mixtures.
- If you need to whisk your eggs or egg whites it is easier to incorporate a greater quantity of air if the eggs are at room temperature.
However, always store your eggs in the fridge, not at room temperature, as eggs deteriorate around 5-7 times faster than those kept in the fridge. Keep them in the cardboard carton your bought them in with the rounded end down - this will not only help prevent moisture loss, hence slowing the ageing process, but also stop the eggs from absorbing other flavours from the fridge through their porous shells.
And when you are ready to use them, take the eggs from the fridge at least one hour before you start baking to bring them to room temperature. If you are short on time don't worry, you can bring them to room temperature more quickly by putting them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes - just make sure the water isn't too hot or you will end up with coddled eggs!Blog contributed by Anneka Manning of BakeClub.