Ever wonder how bakers get that beautiful golden crust on bread and pastry? They use a egg glaze on the surface. However, to apply it evenly, you need a quality pastry brush. Today, brushes comes in a wide variety of materials from natural bristle to silicone. All have their own merits, but in my opinion, the Best Pastry Brush are still the traditional natural bristle model.
What is a Pastry Brush
A pastry brush or basting brush is a brush used to apply glaze or sauce. These two terms can be used interchangeably, but they are typically called one or another based on the task. Some might wonder if there is any difference between the brush from the hardware store and the one you buy for food. Guess what, I wonder that also.
The major difference that I see is the advertisement that its food grade. Labeling and packaging might be different as well. However, to be safe, I recommend that you just buy one that is “Designed” for the home kitchen.
What are Pastry Brush made of?
There are a wide variety of material used for pastry brush. Traditional one has a wooden handle with natural boar bristle. More modern one uses nylon or silicone for its bristle. These plastic variety generally do not hold sauce as well as the boar bristle. However, they are more durable. With natural bristle, it will eventually start to fray and leaves hair on your food. Its during that time, you should replace it.
If you primarily use pastry brush for butter and egg wash, then I recommend you stick with a natural boar bristle. Generally, silicone are poor at holding sauce that are not thick.
The wooden handles are better overall. Its porous nature means that it wont slip in your hand even if its greasy. The plastic one does not fare as well. But the better one uses some kind of texture to improve the grip. What I notice is that rubber like handle tends to deteriorate. The rough texture one are more durable, but does slip a bit more.
Cleaning a Pastry Brush
The best way and time to clean a pastry brush is right after use. If you let it dry, it becomes hard and difficult to clean. However, we dont always have time. In that case, letting is soak in water is a great way to break it up. I like to just whisk it in soapy water for a bit and then rinse it. Letting it air dry should be good enough. I would avoid using the dishwasher though. Although the silicone model could probably withstand it.
Best Pastry Brush List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Brush. There are a few option available, choose one that best suits you.
Winco Pastry Brush, 1-1/2-Inch (Best Overall)
Winco is a supplier for commercial kitchen. Their products are durable and affordable. This brush is no different. Using natural boar bristle, you can apply even coating to pastry. The wooden handle also ensures that it wont slip in your hand while in use.
OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush-Large, Black (Best Silicone Brush)
Some prefer the durability of silicone. In this case, OXO is a good choice. In the center of the brush, there is a square plate that lets it hold more sauce than normal. The handle is grippy as well so it wont slip during use.
A pastry brush is a indispensable tools for baker. They add a beautiful golden crust that you couldnt get otherwise. I personally think that the natural bristle brush are best for butter and egg wash. But OXO makes a good alternative if you want a silicone model.
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