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I am attempting to veganize a Kringle for an upcoming event. Below is the original recipe I am referencing, and I am stumped as to how to replace the egg in the dough portion. I have never seen a pastry dough recipe with an egg included - is it for moisture or is there another reason? Original recipe link

For the Pastry Dough

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup whole milk, cold
1 egg, large, cold
1 egg white, for egg wash

For the Kringle Filling

1.5 cups pecans, finely chopped
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

For the Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine sea salt

For the Salted Caramel Glaze

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whipping cream

The butter, milk, sugar substitutes are all simple swaps and I have an entirely different caramel glaze recipe to utilize. Soy milk works as a substitute for an egg wash, so that part is covered. All I can think is to substitute the egg in the dough for an equivalent amount of vegan sour cream or silken tofu, if the purpose of the egg in this recipe is for moisture alone? Any assistance or light that could be shed on why the egg is in this recipe would be very much appreciated.

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This recipe has two uses for the egg:

  • 1 whole egg for the pastry itself
  • 1 egg white for the egg wash prior to baking.

The egg in the pastry is there for four reasons: the proteins give the pastry structure while also providing lift to the pastry as it bakes; the lecithin acts as a strong emulsifier to bring the water and oil-based ingredients together; and the fat in the egg yolk contributes to the overall flavor. (It's debatable how much structure an egg actually provides in a recipe with so much flour, but the other reasons are more pressing concerns when substituting the egg.)

Replacing eggs in recipe is not a mean feat, and some experimentation will likely be required before you settle on a result you're satisfied with. That said, here are some common ways that eggs have been replaced in recipes:

  • Flax seed egg, made by combining ground flax seed and water. It's a "fairly close" substitute for eggs by being adequate in the structure and emulsifying categories. However, it does not provide lift or much flavor.
  • Chia egg, made by combining ground chia seeds and water. Similar to a flax seed egg, chia eggs form a more gel-like consistency.
  • Applesauce (1/4 cup). While not as effective at structure and emulsifying as the chia/flax seed eggs, it does provide flavor (albeit an applesauce flavor).
  • Banana mash (1/4 cup). Same as applesauce, a decent option if you don't mind imparting a banana flavor.
  • Vegan yogurt (1/4). Big win on the flavor side (not to mention also makes the resulting pastry delightfully moist), but missing out on the structure and lift.

There are some other options floating around, but they get progressively more specific in the effects they provide. Furthermore, they all suffer from a critical flaw: nothing is a perfect 1:1 replacement for all the benefits that eggs bring to the table. You are going to have to settle on an approach via trial and error with the ingredients and quantities to get the results you want. The most common approach would be to use a flax/chia egg (1 tbsp ground flax/chia seed + 2-3 tbsp water) and call it good, but a combination of two tablespoons each of vegan yogurt and applesauce (along with perhaps half a teaspoon of baking powder to help with the rise) sounds like it could also be a compelling route. Your mileage will absolutely vary.

The good news is that replacing the egg in the egg wash is relatively much more simple. The egg wash is for helping the pastry crisp up and get that nice golden brown color typical of baked goods. Some checking indicates that either coconut oil or a vegan milk and agave/maple syrup mix can yield similar results. You could also just choose to forgo the wash entirely as the only real consequence of not using it is your pastry will look dull and less appealing but will still taste just as good (which might be fine as most of the pastry will be covered by icing anyway).

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  • thank you! combined with esther's insight that this is an enriched yeast dough, i can assume the egg is for moisture/binding more than leavening. i will likely try a combination of flax and vegan yogurt to produce a creamier flax egg.
    – annag
    Oct 12, 2023 at 18:08

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