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Nov 4, 2008 09:31 AM


Why do some receipes call for room temperature eggs? What if I don't use room temperature eggs.

My buttermilk pancake receipe calls for separating the egg yolks and white and whipping the egg whites first and then adding it the mixture. Does this make the batter lighter then if i just mix in the eggs together?

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Re: room temperature eggs. Yesterday I made a cake that called for eggs, milk, and cooled melted butter. The eggs were fresh from the fridge. When I started to beat it to combine, it went all curdy and stringing, literally hanging from the beaters! It didn't take long to figure out that the cold eggs were making the butter congeal. I tossed that out (perhaps it could have been salvaged, but I wasn't sure) and the next batch, I made sure the butter was still melty but cooled down, and I let my eggs sit in a cup of barely warm water for a little while. No problem after that. It probably doesn't always matter, but I'll sure let my eggs warm up a little from now on, even if the recipe doesn't say to.

    1. In baking, cakes made with room temperature eggs rise more than if cold eggs are used. Omelettes cook so fast that the bottom part will overcook by the time the top area of a cold-egg omelette is done cooking. So the most tender omelettes are those made from room temperature eggs. Just-laid eggs have a protective coating which make them safe to store at room temperature, but that coating is washed off by processors of commercially packed eggs. Refrigerated eggs can be easily warmed up by a few minutes in a bowl of hot tap water.

      Folding whipped egg whites into pancake batter makes a lighter batter and fluffier, more tender pancake. If you don't want to bother, try whisking the whole eggs briskly and substituting applesauce for half the milk in the recipe. This makes a very tender, moist pancake with a hint of sweetness but not identifiably apple-tasting.

      1. I think many things you cook should (ideally) be at room temperature. Unless you're specifically making something that needs to be cold like cold butter/lard for a pie crust or ice in a drink, try to let it warm for a little bit. That goes for whole chicken, steaks, chops, Thanksgiving turkey, eggs, etc. Granted it doesn't always make a lot of sense for some things but letting items like a rib roast or a whole turkey warm a bit allows them to cook more evenly.

        1. Eggs are easier to separate when cold rather then room tem. The reason why you want room temp whole eggs in a recipe is as what greygarious has posted.

          When you heat up eggs the eggs expand due to the heat. If you ever made a soufflé, depending on the recipe the soufflé will deflate after removing from the hot oven.

          When ever I make pancakes I always separate the yoke and whites, and make the whites into meringue and then fold into the batter at the last second. This creates a lighter pancake.

          I do the same when I make fish & chips; I fold in the meringue into the fish batter. Again, makes for a lighter and crisper batter.

          As for making sponge, I never use chemical leaveners such as baking powder or baking soda. I use the eggs to allow my sponge to rise and for structure.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pastryrocks

            You're wrong but you're right. In terms of your souffle comment, eggs do not expand due to oven heat, a souffle expands because of hot air and steam. When you remove the souffle from the oven, it can collapse because there is no longer a heat source to keep the air and steam hot.

            The basic principle applies to the other items you mentioned. Air is... well, light and "airy" so when you whip up egg whites and incorporate air, you're going to make the item they go in to, lighter. Egg whites also get crispy (like meringue cookies for instance). Combine everything and you get what you have described.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              Thanks, I should have said tomato instead of tomahto.

          2. Not to get too argumentative here, but I've kept my eggs at (cool) room temperature for years, and haven't had more than the usual percentage of bum ones. I've read that in many European countries, they're routinely sold from unrefrigerated shelves. Suit yourself, of course, but it's a long time since I've had to bother with preheating an egg.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              how long can they sit out for?

              i don't keep butter in the fridge and some people have thought that was strange as well.................

              1. re: dumpycactus

                I've kept eggs unrefrigerated for up to 2 weeks. No problems.

                1. re: dumpycactus

                  Mine seldom stay out more than a week, since that's how long a dozen usually lasts around here - less, if I use any as ingredients. If I used butter regularly I'd keep that out too, except in hot weather, but that Earth Balance tub margarine we're using turns liquid if it's the least bit warm, and any butter I get has to be wrapped and refrigerated between very infrequent usage. Even at that, the last bit I had got moldy on me.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    That's what we call "free blue cheese"! '-)