whole egg or egg yolk?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by barb cottage, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. barb cottage

    barb cottage

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    I bake a lot and make my own short pastry, sweet and savoury.  I love new recipes and try everything I like at least once, if I'm successful I make pastries and pies over and over. That is why I'm surprised that I have never thought about the difference between using whole egg in a pastry against just an egg yolk. Recently I made a Tarte au Citroen the recipe called for just an egg yolk in the pastry, but a Key lime pie I made called for a whole egg in the pastry.  Are there any chefs out there who can explain the science of using one against the other?
     
  2. cowtownbrewster

    cowtownbrewster

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    Easiest way to think of eggs, for pastry at least, are 'whites=structure and strength' and 'yolks=richness and tenderness'. 

    Egg whites are almost entirely protein, and as a result will lend strength, a certain forgiveness in mishandling the pastry, a bit of lift in the oven, and some crispiness - too much though, and it can make pastry tough (think angelfood cake). 

    Egg yolks will make everything richer and tender - they are mostly fat and protein, and will lend your pastry some of that 'melt-in-your-mouth' texture. However, yolks can make the pastry harder to work with, and in crusts it might not be strong enough to hold up to heartier fillings.

    A whole egg has a nice combination of the two - tender AND strong, which is a good balance for every-day work.  Play with ratios between white vs yolk to find YOUR happy balance.  Eggs also work the same way in cookies, cakes, and bread doughs, for future reference.

    'Hope that helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Cowtown  == Good answer
     
  4. barb cottage

    barb cottage

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    It goes to show you're never too old to learn, I'm 66.  Thanks for that, it helps a huge amount.
     
  5. kippers

    kippers

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    +1
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Barb your a baby, I am 70
     
  7. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

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    Best answer,/img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif   and he is a beverage expert,  not pastry chef (based on titile)..  I like that.  Sounds like he is not a health food fanatic,  otherwise he will give an answer that would not make sense./img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif

    Good to know some people are more into GREAT creations and not for "health care"  purposes..  I do not create what I would not eat. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/bounce.gif  
     
  8. cowtownbrewster

    cowtownbrewster

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    chefedb, Barb, Kippers, glad I could help, and thanks for the commendation!

    Prettycake; for the record, it's 'she' is a beverage expert /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif, and brewer (ie. beer) to be more precise.  I've dabbled on and off as pastry chef and-or baker for several years, so I take a tenuous prerogative to post in the pros' side of things.