Many recipes call for using room temperature ingredients, especially eggs. Sometimes when we’re in a hurry, we overlook that step, thinking it won’t affect the final results that much. The truth is, using cold eggs, milk, or butter when a recipe calls for room temperature ones can make a huge difference.
Eggs are one of the essential ingredients in baking. Besides their nutritional value, eggs provide moisture, structure, richness, color, and taste to all baked goods. Hight and structure of baked products will depend on the eggs and flour ratio, and the temperature of eggs will play an important role too.
In today’s article, we’ll explain why you should never skip the step of bringing eggs to the desired temperature, how does the egg temperature affects baking, and how to warm them up the fastest.
- 1 What is the “room temperature”?
- 2 How does the temperature of the eggs affect baking?
- 3 Do recipes require room temperature butter too?
- 4 Will cold eggs ruin the recipe?
- 5 What is the room temperature of the eggs?
- 6 How long will it take to bring eggs to room temperature?
- 7 How to bring eggs to room temperature?
- 8 What recipes insist on using room temperature eggs?
- 9 Can you ever use cold eggs in recipes?
What is the “room temperature”?
The room temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees F (20 and 22 degrees C).
It would help to get your ingredients to 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). That is the perfect temperature, and you’ll recognize it easiest when looking at butter. Room temperature will soften butter, but it won’t look glossy or start to melt. If the butter begins to melt, the temperature is too warm, and you should put it back into the fridge for a few minutes.
How does the temperature of the eggs affect baking?
Room temperature eggs will be more effortless to combine with other ingredients – melted butter, sugar, and milk, for example. The mixture will be creamy and have a perfect consistency when you mix them.
Also, when they’re at room temperature, it’s easier to whisk egg whites and egg yolks together (for egg wash, for example). If you ever cracked a cold egg and tried to whisk it, maybe you notice that the egg yolk breaks easily, while egg white stubbornly tries to stay whole, and it won’t mix with the yolk.
There is one more reason why it is better to use eggs at the room’s temperature (and other components): when you combine room temperature eggs, milk, flour, and butter, you’ll create an emulsion that traps air (cold ingredients won’t trap air). When you put the batter in the oven to bake, trapped air will expand, leaving you with fluffy, soft, airy cake.
If you ever tried to beat egg whites for meringue, maybe you saw the difference between beating room temperature and cold eggs. It’s easier to get stable foam meringue with a greater volume when using warm eggs at the room’s temperature than with cold eggs.
Do recipes require room temperature butter too?
Most recipes demand creaming the butter – whipping it with sugar and eggs. If you’re using cold butter, you won’t be able to cream it properly, even if you use an electric mixer. Hard butter is almost impossible to whip, and you need to beat it to trap air bubbles. Room temperature butter is still solid, it doesn’t melt, but it’s easy to work with – to combine with other components and trap air bubbles.
Will cold eggs ruin the recipe?
Using cold eggs in favorite recipes that require ingredients at the temperature of the room could negatively affect final results. For example, if you add cold eggs to room temperature fats, they will not blend equally. Butter (or lard, margarine – any fat) will harden and chunk. Lumpy butter is almost unusable, and you don’t want that.
Also, cold eggs won’t trap the air when you’re beating them, and you could end up with flat and unfluffy cake. Meringue made with cold egg whites won’t get its total volume. In most cases, using cold eggs will destroy the batter. The batter will have uneven consistency, and it’ll be lumpy.
What is the room temperature of the eggs?
Eggs are at room temperature between 68 and 70 degrees F.
If cracked eggs are in a bowl, measure their temperature with a thermometer or put the finger into the eggs. Suppose it feels like they are the same temperature as your finger. If they feel cold on your finger, you’ll need to wait for some more.
In case eggs are still in the eggshells, put them on the palm of your hand. Room temperature eggs should be almost the same temperature as your hand – not much colder and not warmer.
How long will it take to bring eggs to room temperature?
How long it will take to bring eggs to room temperature will depend on the temperature of your kitchen and also on the method you’re using to warm up eggs.
For example, if your kitchen is cold in the winter and you leave eggs at the kitchen counter, it could take up to two hours for them to warm up. Also, if the weather is hot, eggs could warm up in 30 minutes or less.
There are a few tricks on bringing eggs to room temperature quickly.
How to bring eggs to room temperature?
It’s effortless: take a bowl and fill it with warm water. Place whole eggs into the bowl or an airtight container and wait for five minutes. The water temperature will warm up the eggs, and they’ll get to be room temperature quickly. Do not use hot water since you don’t want to cook eggs to warm them up.
The procedure is similar if you need to warm up egg whites or egg yolks separately. Take eggs from the fridge, crack them and place yolks and whites in two separate small bowls. Fill a medium-sized bowl with warm water and nest a small bowl with separated eggs into it. Wait for 5 minutes until the temperature of the water warm eggs.
What recipes insist on using room temperature eggs?
Most of the baking recipes demand using room temperature ingredients:
- Angel food cake – angel food cake batter requires a lot of whipped egg whites, and those egg whites need to be warm so they can trap a lot of air and make a higher cake.
- Cheesecake – cheesecake requires eggs, and if they’re nice and warm, they’ll beautifully combine with other components. The final texture will be divine!
- Macarons – we all know how fragile macarons are. Baking macarons require a meringue that combines with almond flour, and that meringue must be perfect! Always use room temp eggs!
- Sponge cakes – sponge cakes are beautifully high, moist, and soft. To achieve the desired texture, you’ll need to warm up whole eggs – yolks and whites, both. Whites will create glossy meringue, while the yolks will double their volume. They’ll both trap a lot of air, and as a result, you’ll get the fluffiest finished cakes ever!
Can you ever use cold eggs in recipes?
If the baking recipe omits the temperature of eggs or if a recipe calls explicitly for cold eggs, you can use eggs straight from the refrigerator. For example, you know that most of the cookie doughs need to chill in the fridge before baking. Adding cold eggs could be a good idea if the recipe omits to chill the dough since the cookies won’t spread that much while baking.
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