Everyone loves to enjoy a piece of Southern comfort food that is cornbread. Cornbread is typically made with eggs – an ingredient that some people want to avoid. If you still want to enjoy cornbread with your food sensitivity or a strict diet, then you can easily learn the art of making cornbread without eggs.
There are lots of egg-free options to explore when you make some traditional cornbread, including dairy, fat, or soy substitutes. In this guide, we will explore the different ingredients that you can use as egg substitutes for cornbread.
Why Eggs are Used for Cornbread?
Eggs are a commonly used ingredient for all types of cakes and bread. The reason why eggs are so popular in baking is that they have two important components, namely lecithin, and fat. To understand why lecithin is important in baking, you should recall that most recipes call for both oil and water.
Traditional science tells us that oil and water cannot be combined, but lecithin is the magic ingredient that binds both of them together. When you add eggs to a batter with oil and water, the end result is a homogenized batter with a moist consistency.
Another reason why eggs are used for cornbread is that air particles can be easily trapped inside the yolks when whipped properly. This air helps your cake or cornbread to rise in the oven.
Here is a simple guide to understanding why eggs are an important component of your cornbread:
1. Binding Ingredient
As explained earlier, eggs are the magic ingredient that binds together wheat flour, milk, and cornmeal. Adding to the moisture and density of your batter, eggs are able to keep your cornbread firm even after it has been baked.
2. Leavening Ingredient
Eggs are often whipped before they are added to a bread or cake batter. During whipping, the yolks trap air that is released during baking – resulting in the perfectly risen cornbread that everyone loves. Eggs can also be attributed to the increase in the volume of the batter after beating as well as the airy yet rich texture of cornbread.
3. Added Moisture
Eggs are whipped into liquid form before you can add them to a cornbread batter. Other ingredients such as cornmeal absorb the eggs, which results in a moist texture of your bread.
4. Perfect Appearance
You might have noticed that all cornbread has a brown color to it. This color comes from the egg yolks and results in the delicious appearance of cornbread that everyone enjoys.
Why Substitute Eggs in Cornbread
Now that you know all the reasons why eggs are used in most baking recipes, you can easily understand why they are used in cornbread as well.
However, certain dietary restrictions or ethical considerations do not allow people to eat eggs. In this case, many people think that they can no longer enjoy the tasty cornbread that they love.
To make things easier for you, you can easily find egg substitutes for cornbread. Even though you will not be adding any eggs to the batter, you can add other ingredients as substitutes that still provide the same moisture and texture to the cornbread.
Lucky for you, there is a wide range of egg substitutes for cornbread available in the market. You can choose between vegan options and dairy options, depending upon your own diet and preference.
Most egg substitutes for cornbread act as binding agents by including a lecithin component, and others also have additional thickeners such as xanthan gum.
Making Cornbread Without Eggs: 7 Substitutes To Try
If you are looking for ingredients that could replace eggs for your cornbread recipe, here are a few options divided into various dietary restriction categories.
1. Dairy-Free Options
Many people have dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance that require them to avoid dairy products. If you are looking for a dairy-free egg substitute for cornbread, then you can choose an ingredient that provides an equal amount of richness and moisture to your batter.
The most popular dairy-free egg substitutes for cornbread include ground flaxseed or chia seeds.
When you add ground flaxseed to your cornbread recipe, you will notice that it integrates with the cornmeal and milk as effectively as eggs. Flaxseeds have hard shells that are approximately 30% fiber.
This component of flaxseed means that the ingredient contains sugar-based gums that are a great substitute for the emulsifying agent in eggs. To use ground flaxseed as an egg substitute for cornbread, simply combine them with water and add them to the cornbread batter.
For each egg in your recipe, combine 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to create a gum-like paste. You might need to add a pinch of baking soda to your recipe as well.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 acids and fiber which make them a great substitute for eggs. Not only will chia seeds give you the same moisture and richness in the cornbread, but they are also incredibly healthy seeds to add to your diet.
If you have a pack of chia seeds at home, you can grind them yourself using a food processer. Whisk 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and add to your cornbread recipe for the perfect egg substitute.
2. Vegan Options
If you follow a strict vegan diet, there is no need to make cornbread out of your meals. You can still enjoy cornbread without eggs by using a vegan substitute in your recipe. Many people like adding soy products that contain lecithin to their cornbread batter to act as a vegan substitute for eggs.
Lecithin can be found in powder form in most health-food stores, but you could also order it online from your vegan retailer. All you need to do is add 1 teaspoon of powdered lecithin to your cornbread batter and you can create the same binding agent as eggs.
However, only adding lecithin to your cornbread might not be enough to give you the same structure and texture.
To fix this problem, you can consider adding other vegan substitutes such as silken tofu, vinegar, and baking soda, apple sauce, or cornstarch.
One of the easiest ways to find a vegan egg substitute for cornbread is to look through your own pantry. Cornstarch is a common household ingredient that everyone has, and thankfully it is all you need to replace eggs in your cornbread batter.
For each egg in your recipe, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 3 tablespoons of cold water and mix to create a slurry. Add this to your batter at the same time as you would add the eggs.
Tofu is a popular condiment that fulfills all of your protein requirements while being a vegan option. It is basically condensed soy milk that has been processed into solid blocks. To make sure that your cornbread rises properly during baking, you should always use soft silken tofu in the batter.
For each egg in the recipe, you can use 1/4th of a block or ¼ cup of silken tofu. If your recipe does not already have baking soda, feel free to add a pinch if you are using silken tofu as an egg substitute. This can help your cornbread rise during baking without becoming too firm.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Whether you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, it can be a great egg substitute for cornbread. Not only will the vinegar add to the moisture and richness of your bread, but it also has many medicinal benefits that you can enjoy.
To replace one egg in your cornbread recipe, you can use 1 tablespoon of vinegar combined with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix these two ingredients together and as soon as you notice bubbles forming in the solution, add it to your cornbread batter.
Another vegan egg substitute for cornbread is apple sauce made with steamed apples. If you can find an organic apple sauce, then it is more likely to be vegan and only flavored with natural spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
Adding apple sauce to your cornbread can enhance the flavor and act as a similar binding agent as eggs since it contains pectin. To replace one egg in your cornbread batter, you can use 1/4th of a cup of apple sauce.
3. Dairy Options
If you do not have any dietary restrictions against dairy, then you can use ingredients like sour cream and yogurt to enhance the richness of your cornbread. These dairy products provide the same texture to your cornbread as eggs as they act as a binding agent for milk and cornmeal.
When you whip such dairy egg substitutes for cornbread, you can easily increase the volume of your cornbread as it acts as an effective leavening agent. Many chefs recommend using dairy substitutes for baking as the fats in these ingredients make your cornbread more stable.
Yogurt or Buttermilk
An easy egg substitute for cornbread is some yogurt or buttermilk. They have healthy constituents and provide the same richness as eggs. To replace one egg in your cornbread recipe, use 1/4th of a cup of either yogurt or buttermilk.
Now that you know all the egg substitutes for cornbread, there is nothing stopping you from baking the perfect Southern delicacy at home. Even if you add an egg substitute for cornbread in your batter, you will not even taste the difference.