I've seen many bread recipes and they used different combination as egg-wash. Egg white plus water, egg yolk plus milk, beaten egg plus milk or water, and I myself sometimes give it a sprinkle of saffron ti get a goldener final result. Is it better to use egg white or egg yolk? Milk or water? Do they make any big difference or they are all the same?

The egg-wash I used for these croissants was a beaten egg plus a few drops of milk and a pinch of saffron. But sadly they are not as golden as expected even though I turned on the heat coming from up for a few minutes (oven's temperature: 450F):

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  • Where'd the inclusion of saffron come from? I can see the logic of it, but I wouldn't have thought it would be especially effective without being able to dilute in a hot liquid... plus there's the expense. Just wondering if you saw that recommended somewhere.
    – logophobe
    Aug 7, 2014 at 19:41
  • @logophobe: I read somewhere that if you sprinkle a pinch of saffron on an ice cube and wait for the ice cube to melt, you'll get a much brighter and nicer result than diluting in hot water. Since I'd like to get a golden crust, I did come up with the idea of adding saffron to the egg wash!
    – Gigili
    Aug 9, 2014 at 5:40

2 Answers 2


I have always used egg and milk. Two thirds egg to one third milk. Use a spray bottle to ensure that you get a nice, even coverage.

Also make sure that you have a full proof on your goods, because (obviously) anything that gets exposed to the heat due to oven spring will not have color.

Just the way I have always done things (and I used to work in some pretty nice pastry shops back in the day).


Just noticed the comment from sour d'oh... Should've mentiontioned that stuff myself... Very important. The higher the fat of the dairy, the better the color (use a high fat cream instead of milk).

  • The spray bottle is a new one on me! Awesome!
    – Jolenealaska
    Aug 6, 2014 at 17:06

Personally, I always use whole eggs combined with a small amount of water and salt. You should tailor your wash to what you are doing though. Generally dairy will dull your shine (and the richer the dairy, the darker the color), whole eggs give a golden color, whites give a clear shine, and yolks will give a deep reddish brown. A bit of salt will help to increase the shine of an egg wash.

Here are a couple of links with more info on wash variations.

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