Egg chemistry in baking

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My daughter loves watching the Tasty cooking demo videos and she was watching one about cookies I believe and the cook stated that for the best result separate you yolks and whites (not waiting or whipping the whites, just literally like add the yolks, stir, then add the whites, stir.) They stated that this changes how the product will come out as opposed to just adding whole eggs. It didn't seem like too much could be happening that was so drastically different by adding the egg this way but I really don't know as I am not a baker. So I am reaching out to you pros out there that maybe can shed some light on this.

So in short does adding a yolk, and then the whites immediately after incorporating the yolk really make that big of a difference than just adding eggs whole that this should be a common practice?
 
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After creaming sugar and butter?

I don’t think I ever saw such direction and would probably ignore it I’d i did. Blending whole egg with creamed butter/sugar always worked fine for me.
 

chefpeon

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Wow.....that sounds like some next-level bullsh*t to me. Were they saying that process applies to any baked item across the board or did it apply to specifically that cookie recipe? Regardless, unless you're doing something different with the whites (like whipping them) or the amount of whites is different from the number of yolks, there is no reason to separate the eggs unless you really like making extra work for yourself.
 

phatch

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Harold McGee mentions separate aeration of fats and eggs technique of some bakers similar but not identical to the OP. Page 558 of the revised edition. No more explanation than that.

I suppose that is the thinking of the cooking hosts but they didn't execute it properly.
 
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Well...yeah, it kinda makes sense. Adding yolks first, you are adding fat and aiding with emulsion, whereas whites are mostly water, so you add them after your emulsion or mix is completed.
 
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It was in reference to this specific cooking demonstration but the way they explained it made it sound like it was something they were recommending as a technique. They also were not whipping the whites and folding them in or anything. It was just stated that the end product differed depending on if you added the yolk and whites separate as opposed to a whole egg.
 

chefpeon

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I cannot see how doing it this way would result in any discernible difference in the end product though. I think this is a case of "are the results worth the extra effort?" I would say no.
 
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Whenever I get curious enough about cooking suppositions and the possible existence of discernible differences, I like to determine for myself if there is any validity that is applicable to me. The best way that I know of to do this, is by doing a side by side comparison test.
 
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Whenever I get curious enough about cooking suppositions and the possible existence of discernible differences, I like to determine for myself if there is any validity that is applicable to me. The best way that I know of to do this, is by doing a side by side comparison test.
I'm sure my wife and kids will have no objection to doing cookie tests but I will be the one stuck with all the cleaning.
 
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I'm sure my wife and kids will have no objection to doing cookie tests but I will be the one stuck with all the cleaning.
:~) Yeah there are drawbacks, but being a solution oriented type of guy I like to focus on the payoffs...cookies!!!
 
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Whenever I get curious enough about cooking suppositions and the possible existence of discernible differences, I like to determine for myself if there is any validity that is applicable to me. The best way that I know of to do this, is by doing a side by side comparison test.
I do it a slightly different way... by first asking myself, “if this is such a great idea why isn’t it already common practice”. :)
 
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Whenever I get curious enough about cooking suppositions and the possible existence of discernible differences, I like to determine for myself if there is any validity that is applicable to me. The best way that I know of to do this, is by doing a side by side comparison test.
What he said...


I remember very early on making a cookie dough and subbing regular granulated sugar for powdered sugar when creaming the butter. The boss knew right away after tasting, dressed me down (a.k.a “z’ammenschiesse” in Swiss-German) and told me never to sub ingredients again.

Little things do make a difference....
 

chefpeon

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What he said...


I remember very early on making a cookie dough and subbing regular granulated sugar for powdered sugar when creaming the butter. The boss knew right away after tasting, dressed me down (a.k.a “z’ammenschiesse” in Swiss-German) and told me never to sub ingredients again.

Little things do make a difference....
True, but you gotta admit there is quite a big difference when you use powdered sugar vs. granulated. That's completely noticeable. In this specific instance where you are talking about adding yolks separately from the whites in a COOKIE DOUGH, it would be extremely hard for me to believe there is any discernible difference. However, as y'all have said, there's nothing like a side-by-side comparison which I'm not averse to doing. And I probably will.
 
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I made a batch of pancakes this way once - when I try a new recipe I try to follow it as written the first time. I kept the recipe as it made great pancakes, but dropped the extra step as we could not tell the difference between the two methods.
 
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I wonder if Columbus asked that question before he set sail?:)
That’s a fair question. I’m sure he did... and then decided that in his experience and given his motivation that it was worth the multiple journeys.

I have been baking cookies for about 56 years and never saw this technique... plus actually spent some time googling around and couldn’t find a single recipe recommendation for this technique. And I don’t recall it recommended in any book in my extensive cookbook library.

Nor do I recall my mother or any of my grandmothers doing that either.

And while McGee May have said something about it, he didn’t say much. ;)

That, for me, is sufficient experience and motivation to disregard it as either a long-forgotten miracle cure or a new life-altering cookie- making technique.

But if someone wants to do that research I’ll gladly consider their findings! :)
 
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So you wouldnt want to try it next time, just for the heckuvit? If it doesn’t make any difference, then there’s nothing lost, with bonus bragging rights to “ y’know I tried out that technique but could find absolutely no difference.”

If it does make a difference, then you have one more arrow in your quiver...
 
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So you wouldnt want to try it next time, just for the heckuvit? If it doesn’t make any difference, then there’s nothing lost...
Think of the lost time and ingredients with nothing to show for it but an extra batch of cookies with no difference. 'Oh the humanity!"
 

chefpeon

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Post 15. That’s sufficient experimental data for me. :)
It is for me too. However, because I always need sugar cookie dough, I will be performing this little experiment today most likely. I figure that sugar cookie dough would be perfect since it's probably the most simple cookie there is and any differences would be most discernible. Results later.
 

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