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I want to bake bread or bagels that have whole grains like poppy seeds, cumin, caraway, etc. stuck to the top.

I have tried just pressing them to the top but they fall off during or shortly after baking. I tried an egg wash but I don't want my bread to have an eggy surface.

Does my dough need to be wetter? Do I need to water down my egg wash more? Or is there a better way entirely?

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Similar question at… – jontyc Feb 25 '12 at 4:40
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Use a boiled cornstarch wash for an in oven glue

Egg wash is a great glue, but generally lets go again when heated in the oven. Best used after baking not before

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Does the cornstarch wash need to be hot, or should you let it cool before brushing it on? – takrl Dec 20 '12 at 11:43

When forming your loaf, before the last proof, moist the dough surface and roll over the grains. It should glue them better than pressing them to „dry” dough. Some of the grains will fall off anyway, but it should be enough for the look. For the flavour it is often easier to mix those (probably roasted earlier) into the dough and have them inside the bread.

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