Why Do We Need to Glaze the Pastries

Glazing is not necessary  but without any glazing, a pastry won't feel like a pastry as a glaze gives the pastry a glossy look, as shown below.

The glaze prepared for a pastry generally contains whole eggs, egg yolks, egg whites, sugar syrup, fruit glaze, milk or water. Sometimes even fruit juices are added along with other ingredients. It is normally applied by dipping the pastry into the syrup or applying it with a brush.

For a beautiful golden radiance to your pastry you must glaze it with an egg before putting it in the oven. Use the yolks for a profound mahogany gloss, or flatten your egg yolks by adding a little milk for a lighter gold finish. For applying glaze over sweet tarts and pies, you can mix the yolk with a little frosting sugar. To make a heavy glaze, brush a very thin sheet of your egg over the pastry by making use of a pastry brush, then you can let it dry in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes before applying another coat. You can do it as many times as you like to build up a deep golden coat.

Here’s what different coatings will give you.

Whole Egg, Beaten - Concentrated golden color with a glossy coating.
Egg White - A very shiny finish with no color.
Egg Yolk, Beaten - Heavy golden-brown color with an extremely silken finish.
Milk or Cream - A reddish-brown color with a reasonably flat coating.

For all these coatings, you may want to apply a reasonably flat finish with no covering material. A pastry brush with soft fibers works the best. If you are using egg washes, whipping in a spoon  of water will help it flatten out if the finish is too heavy to brush on.

Which gloss you like the most is actually a personal pick. A whole egg in all probability is the best all-purpose coating. Another tip is if you brush the layer with three egg yolks, one before placing the pastry in the oven and then the other two in the first 10 minutes of baking.

When to glaze, when making pastries with puff pastry dough

 Making apple turnovers

when and how to glaze apple turnovers

We have found that brushing the apple turnover with just water and a sprinkle of sugar is quite delicious, but with the end result of a mat finish. In pastry shops, glazing the apple turnovers is done twice just before baking using egg wash and once after baking using a fruit glaze. Here's a little tip on apple turnovers. The underside of the apple turnovers is the good side. So, coming out of the fridge or freezer, flip over the apple turnovers.

Glaze the apple turnovers (using egg wash) once and refrigerate. Glaze once more (using egg wash) and don't forget to pierce the top a few times using a knife before baking. Once the apple turnovers are baked, while they are still hot right out of the oven, you will apply apricot glaze (already simmering and lump-free), thinned out to proper consistency (follow manufacturer instructions as to the amount of water that you need to add). 

The apple turnover on the left (picture above) is the french-style apple turnover, while the turnover on the right is the american-style turnover. They both are prepared the same way, except for the shaping of the final product.

Making vol-au-vents

when and how to glaze vol-au-vents

 When you make vol-au-vents, the egg wash is applied prior to baking. You may glaze the pastry after baking with apricot glaze.

Making palmiers

when and how to glaze palmiers

When making palmiers no glaze is needed. Neither before nor after baking.

Making coussins

 when and how to glaze coussins

The coussin shown in above photo has been glazed with water and granulated sugar before baking. For more details on how to finish the coussin pastry there is a video that will be available soon.

Making bande aux fruits

 when and how to glaze bande aux fruits

 The glazing process for the bande aux fruits is the same as making apple turnovers (see instructions at top of this page). From the name we should of used many types of fruits sliced very thin, but for demonstration purposes we just used apple filling mixture.

When to glaze, when making Viennoisseries

coming soon!

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