Clean Baking: Cakes, Bread And Biscuits With Natural Ingredients

Natural enjoyment and in moderation: Clean Baking is based on this principle. Those who follow the baking trend do without industrially produced foods, white flour, and sugar. We reveal which alternatives are used for “clean baking”.

Baking the healthy way: clean baking

Clean baking is a nutritional trend from the USA and is based on the concept of clean eating. According to the motto “back to nature”, sweet and savory baked goods should be enjoyed as naturally as possible. UHT milk, baking powder, sweeteners, and margarine are therefore just as little in the mixing bowl as wheat flour, sugar, and chocolate. Hardened fats – such as those from butter – and, if possible, eggs should also be avoided. Many of you will now think that there is not much left to bake. But Clean Baking offers a lot of alternatives, which we will present to you below.

By the way: Discover many more clean eating recipes on our overview page!

Whole grain instead of flour

Type 405 wheat flour is over processed from a clean baking perspective. Although it has good baking properties, it contains hardly any minerals because only the core of the grain is ground. In the case of the whole grain flours recommended as a substitute, however, the whole grain is used. Oat flakes and nut flours also correspond to the philosophy of the baking trend.

Naturally sweeten with honey and fruit

Whether biscuits or cakes, both are unthinkable without a sweetening ingredient. In clean baking, sugar beet syrup, concentrated apple juice, honey, maple syrup, mashed bananas and dried fruit provide this taste. Substitute products such as stevia, on the other hand, are not desirable when baking without sugar using the clean baking method. Since milk chocolate also contains a lot of sugar, it should be replaced with cocoa powder and honey. Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, on the other hand, is allowed when baking a clean eating chocolate cake.

Replace fat in clean baking

No butter, no margarine? That means no taste! In fact, fat is known to be an important aroma carrier, but you can also do without it. The secret lies in vegetable fats. Coconut oil, nut butter, or olive oil for bread and rolls are suitable alternatives. You can replace some of the fat with pureed fruit, which also makes the dough for your clean eating apple pie and other classic pie recipes nice and smooth.

How does baking without an egg work?

If you want to bake without eggs, you can either use substitute products or choose certain types of dough: yeast dough, shortcrust pastry, strudel and puff pastry usually do without eggs. In batter, on the other hand, the eggs must be replaced, otherwise the pastry will not rise properly, become too dry or fall apart.

In cakes and biscuits, eggs add fluff to the pastry while the sticky properties bind the ingredients together. They also provide fluid. So when baking without an egg, you need to find substitute ingredients that provide both leavening and binding as well as liquid.

The binding properties can be achieved, for example, with egg substitute powder, which consists of lupine or corn starch and is mixed with water. Soy flour is also a good binding agent, which you can supplement with some liquid. Otherwise, half a mashed banana and apple sauce are also suitable as egg substitutes. However, bananas have a rather characteristic aroma and should tastefully match the rest of the ingredients. Depending on the number of replaced eggs, you should also consider natural sweetness and use less sugar accordingly.

An egg as a binder can be replaced by:

  • Egg substitute powder according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • 0.5 tbsp soy flour and 2 tbsp water
  • Half a mashed banana
  • 75 ml applesauce

You can use more baking powder so that cakes, muffins, or cupcakes rise without eggs. In large quantities, however, the inherent taste of the baking powder is noticeable. Baking soda is also a good raising agent and can be used with baking powder. However, baking soda can only work if some acid is added to the dough, e.g. some vinegar or even buttermilk or yoghurt. In addition, carbonated mineral water ensures a fluffy dough. The additional baking powder or baking soda should be supplemented with liquid.

An egg for the baking leave can be replaced by:

  • 0.5 tsp baking soda and 3 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp water
  • Sparkling water

However, baking without eggs is also possible without substitute products. According to the 1-2-3 rule, the shortcrust pastry used for our vegan vanilla crescents does not require eggs. You simply knead one part sugar, two parts butter or margarine and three parts flour together to form a smooth dough. To make it hold better, add a little cold water and a pinch of salt for more flavor. You can use such vegan batter to prepare crispy biscuits like our vegan bear paws.

You don’t need eggs for yeast dough either, just fresh or dry yeast, some salt, a little sugar, flour and water or milk. You can add a bit of butter, margarine or oil to make the dough a little smoother and softer.

Puff pastry consists only of flour, fat, water, and salt, so it can also do without eggs. The thin strudel dough also does not need any eggs to succeed. This is where flour, water, melted butter, some vinegar or lemon juice, and salt come into the dough.

Sustainability tip: Do not use conventional baking paper that is coated with Teflon and is therefore not recyclable, and instead use baking paper substitute.

Alternatives to eggs and leavening agents

Eggs are not undesirable in clean baking, but vegan options are welcome to try. Chia seeds or linseeds that have been swollen in water also hold a dough together well. A banana mashed and mixed with applesauce is also helpful here. The phosphate in baking soda interferes, so cream of tartar baking soda is recommended. Mineral water is also surprisingly good as a leavening agent. Just try it!

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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