Choosin the Right Amount of Eggs For Your Recipe

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by helpwanted, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    Good Day Everyone,

    I don't know how to quite word this question so please forgive me, in advance, if I confuse anyone. I'm going to try to articulate it as best I can. I'm currently studying Shirley Corriher's book, BakeWise. In it she teaches Baker's Percentages and Formulas to create good cake recipes and spot bad ones. 

    On page 35, if anyone has a copy, she touches on the weight of eggs being greater than the weight of the fat. This makes sense to me but here's where I get confused. While she elaborates on finding the proper amount to use in a recipe for other ingredients, she does not elaborate on the choice of egg combination she used. Here's what I mean and what I'd like to understand. 

    She chose to use 2 Large eggs and 3 large egg yolks. Can you possibly explain how and why she chose to use this egg combination? (that's the best way I can describe it). I'd like to understand this concept. How does one know that 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks (or any combination thereof) is what's needed for a recipe? Her book doesn't touch on this. I know eggs provide fat and structure but I don't understand how to choose to use either only whole eggs, only egg yolks, only egg whites or some combination of both in a recipe. Neither do I understand how to adapt a recipe if I decide to not use the whole egg (egg + the white). 

    I hope I didn't confuse anyone too badly. As always, any advice you have is greatly appreciated. 

    Yvonne
     
  2. z~bestus

    z~bestus

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    YVONNE:

    Good morning. Yvonne, I can help you. You can go to page 29 & 30 of the book you used. There it will explain to you what makes a cake. It doesn't say but there is a plus/minus factor of 10% in the weights of the ingredients..

    GO TO:

    http://www.finecooking.com/articles/ratios-for-great-cakes.aspx?pg=0

    Here you will find more of the same but with more precise guidance.

    If you require more information we can help.

    Good luck & Happy New Year to you young lady.

       Z~BESTUS.
     
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  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I haven't got the books you describe, however.......

    In the professional kitchen, eggs are weighed out. Not only does this make the recipies accurate and quick to scale out, it makes it soooooo much easier to cost out recipies, as well as inventory taking.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  4. kylew

    kylew

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    The fat in an egg is contained in the yolk. To increase the fat in the egg component of a recipe additional ylks can be added.
    Kyle
     
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  5. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    Thank you all for posting your helpful replies, they are much appreciated. Just to give a little more information - I'm seeking to learn recipe formulation so I'll be a little more specific in case there's someone on here who creates cake recipes from scratch, works with them or understands the ratio of recipes.

    The following are more questions to help me better articulate what I'm trying to understand. While I understand the function of the eggs in the recipe, I'm tying to understand the reasoning behind the ratio of egg whites to egg yolks she chose.

    a. How did she know to specifically use 3 egg yolks with 2 whole eggs?

    b. How did she know the egg yolks weren't going to give too much fat? Don't we have to consider the percentage of fat in the recipe?  

    c. How did she know that the 2 egg whites was enough structure provided by the eggs? Essentially, she has 5 egg yolks and 2 egg whites in this recipe. How did she know that was going to work?

    d. Mathematically, I get it, make sure the weight for the eggs is what it needs to be but how and why did she choose 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks? Why didn't she just use whole eggs to satisfy the weight requirement needed for the recipe? This is what I'm trying to understand so that going forward, when I write and test my own recipes, I can play around with these egg variations.

    I don't need all the questions answered individually, I'm just trying to articulate question better. I apologize if this sounds redundant to some.

    Of course any advice given is greatly appreciated.

    Yvonne 
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

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    The answer to your questions is likely trial and error. I have createdd two recipes from scratch, one for a Wonder Bread like whole whet bread and the other for a chocolate chip cookie. In both cases I knew what I wanted the end result to be in terms of taste and texture. It took many combinations of ingredients to get to exactly the result I wanted.

    Kyle
     
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  7. fablesable

    fablesable

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    @helpwanted  I love your curiosity and articulated questions so I am going to try and answer as best I can with the "Cole's" version. 

    As you have already learned, to create your own baking recipes one will use Baker's Percentage and ratios. Once you have figured out your percentages/ratios and calculate the weight of each ingredient in the recipe accordingly, then you will decide on what type of flavour profile and texture outcome you wish to achieve. This is where adjusting the ingredients you use comes into play.

    For example: using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour will give you a slightly finer crumb or using dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar will give you a richer flavour in the end product.

    This is true for eggs. Using more whites will help create a fluffy, light baked good while using more yolks will create a denser product with a richer flavor. Used together, they will create a middle of the road baked good that incorporates a rich flavour with a stable, light texture.
    To answer this question more in depth. Eggs  provide structure, aeration, flavour and moisture. They also tenderize cakes and add colour and nutritive value. Fats and oils  Fats are solid while oils are liquid. Fats come from a variety of animals and plants. Oils mostly come from plants. In baking, butter, margarine, shortening and oils are commonly used. Their main functions are to shorten or tenderise the product, to trap air during creaming and so aerate the cake during baking to give good volume and texture, to assist with layering in puff pastry, to help prevent curdling by forming an emulsion, and to add flavour.  They also provide some nutritive value. It is important to add the correct amount of fat as too much far will make the baked product greasy and unpleasant to eat, while too little fat will leave you with a product that lacks flavour and stales quickly.

    ​Eggs are mostly water than fat so they are usually calculated in the hydration percentage. Eggs and fats are two separate entities calculated in recipes. Take a look at pages 30 & 31 of your BakeWise book that will explain that.

    Hope it explains things a little more. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif  
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  8. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    @Fablesable  This was a great answer. Thank you, first off, for the compliment. I am very very VEEEERRRY curious about recipe development for baking so I'm going to continue to read and dig into this topic. I wouldn't mind going to pastry school but I can't afford it! :) (lol) So I have to teach myself. I will read the pages you recommended to further understand this. Thank you for taking the time to write a thorough answer and for taking the time to help me understand. Your answer was very helpful. Thank you!