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What would be the best way for replacing egg wash when baking bread?
I've tried unsweetened soy milk but it didn't brown that well.

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Is this just to make something brown when baked, or is it to get something else to adhere (such as when breading something for frying?) – Joe Feb 4 '14 at 16:15
@Joe I'd definitely say that it's the aesthetic bit and the difference in bite with a nice browning. – INT Feb 4 '14 at 16:54
@avidenic it's one of our principles that we don't judge other people's food choices, or tell them what to eat, be it for the sake of health or for other reasons. I am deleting your comment and INT's reply, as they don't help in finding an answer. If you have a suggestion you want to offer as an answer, you're very welcome to describe how dissimilar the result is from an actual egg wash, so a reader can decide for himself if he can live with the difference. – rumtscho Dec 18 '14 at 12:48
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could always try using vegetable, corn, or light/regular olive oil, vegan margarine, or light corn syrup thinned with a bit of water (to prevent over browning):

I also saw something here that mentioned the use of soy milk, but you said it didn't brown well. If it didn't brown at all, then it is most likely because you were using unsweetened soy milk (remember, sugar browns when exposed to heat).

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I usually dissolve a bit of turbinado sugar into soymilk to use as a wash. You don't get the same shine, but it does brown nicely. – SourDoh Dec 18 '14 at 14:44

A mixture of soymilk and agave syrup works beautifully! It gives a nice glaze and when we make bagels and brush them with the soymilk/agave before baking the seeds really stay on.

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What ratio of soy milk to syrup do you suggest? – Fodder Mar 29 at 20:32

In Brazil friends use a mix of catchup, mustard and a bit of water to brush over savory dishes, it browns very well and gives a bit of flavor

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An effective method I've recently tried is using date honey, diluted with water or almond milk at a ratio of 1:1.

Another fine substitute is carob syrup, diluted similarly.

Due to the dark color of both ingredients, browning is guaranteed.

The two options also work well for browning grilled vegetables or tofu.

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The food industry has an answer: fructose syrup (or high-fructose corn syrup).

Apparently, when you're browning millions of baked goods a year, egg wash is expensive. Fructose syrup is much cheaper and more reliable.

Anyway, there is no reason it wouldn't work for a home baked loaf of bread.

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I would try some watered down vegan mayonnaise.

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This sounds like you're not actually certain that it will work. If that is not the case, please consider rephrasing your question to make it more of an answer than a "maybe this will work???" question. – Catija May 27 at 20:11
@Catija Agreed, it'd be nice to have some more confidence, but I think an untested but presumably informed suggestion is still a valid answer. – Jefromi May 27 at 21:00

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