February 8, 2023 - 10:33am
BBA Vienna Bread without egg, possible?
Is it possible to make the Vienna Bread on pages 280 to 283 of the second (15th Anniversary Edition) Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice without the egg, please?
Can I just omit the egg's 47 grammes, 13.8% of baker's percentage?
Would a vegan egg substitute such as potato starch or (arrowroot) thickener work?
I'd be grateful to know of anyone's success or failures with such a recipe, please :-)
From flour and water? A tangzhong works very well as an egg replacement.
On a low heat in a small pan. Keep on stirring till it gels. Take it off the heat, allow it to cool a little and use however much you need for your recipe.
What does egg do in that Vienna Bread recipe, please?
I'm used to reading (don't eat dairy) of egg to bind and lend richness. Is that what Reinhart wants in this case?
So for 47g of 'egg', I'd make the roux in the proportions you kindly suggest, then just put it into the dough?
Break it up? Crumble it?
How does it interact with the dough?
But I do know that a roux does make a good egg substitute. You can't go wrong.
It's a gel so it can't be crumbled or broken up. Simply add it the same way the egg is added in the recipe and use the same amount.
Eggs are usually added for a number of reasons. Depending on the recipe they can be added as binders, for flavour, moisture, helping the dough to rise etc.
A roux will have a similar affect apart from the flavour. If you want some sort of flavour you can replace the water with a milk substitute. So for arguments sake 20g flour + 100g oat or almond milk.
Thanks again so much!
I can see how it works. I'll try it.
Your help greatly appreciated.
Be sure to post your results.
P.s. I recommended making more roux than needed as it reduces in weight. So better to make in excess and use however much you need than to try and make an exact amount.
Aquafaba is an excellent replacement for the eggs whites. If you’re unfamiliar aquafaba is the liquid from a can of beans. An older can of chickpeas is particularly good for this. There is a lot of protein in the aquafaba. I’ve used it to make amazing meringue and holds up as well if not better than egg white meringue. I’ve also used it in vegan milk bread.
Make sure you use canned beans without any added salt otherwise it will be hard to know how much to reduce your salt in your bread. Use 3 tbsp of aquafaba for 1 egg white. I usually boil down the aquafaba by half the volume to get more the most out of it.
Edited to add.
Another option is to mix one tablespoon of ground chia or flax seeds with two to three tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and thickened to form a recipe ready gel that is equivalent to one egg.
Hi Benny. Thanks!
Yes, I have used aquafaba in pastry and sweets; I once even whipped it up in a stand mixer as an alternative to egg whites! And it peaked!
I wasn't sure about the role the eggs play in Reinhard's (AB) recipe.
Your kind suggestions all noted and appreciated :-)
Just toss out the egg and add 40 g of water.
Thanks to everyone, Abe, Benny, suave: your help has helped ensure a real success. It was moist without being 'cakey', rich, light and doughy. Very flavourful too :-)
On first adding the egg substitute, I thought the smell (aquafaba) might be too strong. But far from it.
I also feared that my room temperature yesterday (Saturday, 11) might inhibit the final proof; so I had to replace Peter Reinhart's step 6 on a sheet pan and couche with a bâtard banneton in my Brod & Taylor at 71°F
Images below - of what's left of it :-)
Two things puzzled me about Reinhart's approach in the (second, 15th anniversary, edition of) BBA: he advocates:
I have read elsewhere that each of these is now discredited/superseded/unreliable/a myth?
Nice bake, Mark!
As you know -AG, I'm getting a lot of help and encouragement here.
I wish I knew enough to pay back; and contribute to others' success.
Soon, I hope: I know I'm really learning. I can pay forward with simpler posts on the likes of Reddit. Thanks!
That is a lovely success Mark. If you want a more even crumb then degassing is one way to achieve that especially if the dough is very strong. I haven’t read that tapping the bottom of your loaf to ensure that it sounds hollow has been discredited, I still do it although I’m not sure that I’ve ever put the bread back in the oven because it didn’t sound hollow.
Thanks, Benny. Yes I'm very pleased.
Do you think that my departure (from sheet pan with couche in the open to banneton in the slightly heated proofing box) was… legitimate?
I've seen several writers decry thumping as indicating nothing; and degassing (when called punching down) as actually doing more harm than good. It certainly helped in this case.
In this case I think the fact that the instructions which I was following were so clear and helpful that I was able to fold and shape properly and produce a truly oven-ready dough was what contributed to my success. Thanks!
I think anything that works is legitimate Mark.
As far as degassing goes, if you’re looking for an open crumb then I wouldn’t degas at all. But if your goal is instead even crumb like a good sandwich loaf, then degassing is essential. In fact, if you’ve seen my Hokkaido milk breads, I roll the dough out with a rolling pin, totally degassing the dough because I want a closed even crumb.
I felt justified in playing my hand to do what I felt sure would work, whereas a bench rest without support - however tight I have now learnt to make the 'skin' of the dough (chiefly after watching Ken Forkish tuck the whole of the '(in)side of his hands rather than finger(tips) under the dough in one of his excellent videos); and by pulling (dragging might almost be more accurate!) the dough gently against/over a(n almost) flourless surface - I didn't want to risk a flat loaf by leaving it with neither support nor what I thought would be adequate warmth.
Thanks for the guidance on degassing. In fact, I did do so to the pre-ferment, but didn't need to with the f/p - because it doubled in size almost perfectly in the two hours which Peter Reinhard stipulated.
Would I be right in feeling nervous degassing: I've got the loaf to a lovely high rise; what a risk to flatten it??
I thought this morning that - instead of always dividing the published recipes in two (my wife and I couldn't get through 1kg etc in a week - however good they are beginning to turn out), - I could try working with two doughs simultaneously and experimenting with one of them to learn which variables - like your total degas, like a couche rise etc - work; and which don't work so well. After all, I'd then always have the 'default' recipe/formula/procedure as a backup.