Eggs allergies could just be one reason to look for egg alternatives when baking cornbread. Some ingredients are relatively easy to substitute in baking, while others are relatively difficult. One of the hardest to replace is eggs because they do so many things in a recipe. For example, the proteins in the egg whites help give the baked goods structure, cooperating with the gluten in your flour to trap air and help the batter rise. The fat in egg yolks helps soften the crumb and improve the flavor, and they contain emulsifiers that help the other ingredients mix better. It can be a little tricky to find a good egg substitute for cornbread, but there are a few key ingredients that will work.
The best substitutes for eggs in cornbread are:
If you keep flaxseed in your home for baking, you already have one of the most functional egg alternatives. In order to replace the eggs in your recipe, spoon flax seeds into your spice grinder and crush them. For every egg, mix two tablespoons of the fresh ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit for a few minutes while you measure the other ingredients.
The flax will gel slightly and simulate the texture of the egg in your cornbread. However, the flax will not help the cornbread rise, so you will add an extra 1/8 of a tablespoon of baking powder to compensate.
Flaxseed is a fantastic vegan egg alternative that actually mimics several many of the binding properties of the egg. The flaxseed gel is meant to add structure and the baking powder will add leavening. Eggs have more than 20 roles in the baking of cornbread, but the most important are binding, emulsifying and leavening.
An equal amount of pureed pumpkin, Apple, banana or avocado provides all the rich flavor and moisture of an egg. Avocados are the eggs of the plant world and they actually almost perfectly mimic an egg in every aspect. Pureed fruits make a nice moist texture and add the distinctive fruit flavor to the cornbread. They usually work better in recipes for a very rich, sweet cornbread. However, just like flaxseed, you need to add some extra baking powder to make the cornbread fluffy.
Fruit Purees are not always suitable because of the flavors they add, but you can also use fruit purees as an egg substitute. Use 3 tablespoons of mashed banana or avocado, or the same amount of applesauce or pumpkin puree, in place of each egg. These add richness and flavor to your cornbread, but you have to be comfortable with their flavors. Usually, you will need an extra 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to compensate for their lack of leavening power.
Commercial Egg Substitutes
In case you are working on a permanent substitution, keeping commercial egg replacers on hand is probably your best bet. Some brands use liquid or powdered egg whites, so read the label carefully if you are accommodating a vegan or an egg allergy. Some individuals use a variety of gelling ingredients, such as xanthan gum or guar gum, to give the finished product a suitable texture. You might find the crumb of your baked goods is tougher when you use egg substitutes, but adding a little extra fat will compensate for that.
Other alternatives include Mayonnaise, Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream. These options are not vegan but they are still great egg substitutes. All these are loaded with yogurt and fat and their flavors do not really change the flavor of your cornbread. Just 3 tablespoons of one of these items work as well as an egg. However, you will need a pinch of extra baking powder for extra rise in your cornbread. Finally, Gelatin makes a serviceable emergency replacement as a non-vegetarian substitute, providing a similar quantity of protein. For each egg soften a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin in one of cold water, then add two tablespoons of cold water and whisk it vigorously until it froths and add it to your cornbread.
Remember! When you substitute eggs with any of the above alternatives, you will need to alter other ingredients slightly as well. You could use a bit more oil to keep the cornbread moist and increase the amount of baking powder or baking soda to ensure that the bread rises and that it is fluffy. Try substituting buttermilk for any milk in the recipe. Buttermilk adds flavor and moisture that may be missing.