The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

do eggs go bad in a long fermentation?

cognitivefun's picture

do eggs go bad in a long fermentation?

Normally, enriched doughs are made using baker's yeast and relatively short rise times.

I made a Greek celebration loaf using PR's BBA recipe pretty much.

The eggs went in and the fermentation times turned out to be like 8 or 10 hours do to the high percentage of wild yeasts, and a confluence of that and baker's yeast (not instant).

I am wondering if the eggs go bad in this scenario as in "do not eat".

Anyone have experience with this?



davidg618's picture

I once had a large batch of Portugese Sweet Bread turn sour--terrible smell--when I had to extend the final proofing time by two or three hours. The recipe I was using contained seven eggs.

I threw the whole batch out.

David G

La masa's picture
La masa

I'm about to bake a "Roscón de Reyes". The dough contains one egg, and went through 3 rises for about 10 hours. I've never had a problem with eggs going bad, and I've made this recipe maybe 5-6 times.

Moreover, wild yeast in your recipe might act as a preservative, due to its low pH.

flournwater's picture

If I'm going to leave eggs at room temperature for more than 2 hours I use only pasteurized eggs.  After that, I figure it's time to toss them out.  The variable is how long they've been at room temperature.  I figure that, as soon as the dough is ready for it's initial fermentation period, the clock starts.

deblacksmith's picture

As my subject comment suggest I don't understand what is going to still be alive in bread that has been baked to at least 195 F.  Bread has been one of the safest food down through the ages because it is baked and the dough is taken to a high temperature.  

Some foods could develop toxins that survive the baking -- is that the case with "cooked eggs"?


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Toxins which have grown at lower temps will stay in the bread and still make you sick even though you kill all the live bacteria. This is how something that has been improperly left out and then cooked can still make you sick.

Salmonella is classic for this and eggs are frequently contaminated with salmonella.

La masa's picture
La masa

AFAIK, salmonellosis is an infection with alive Salmonella bacteria. You won't get ill by eating contamined food that has been thoroughly cooked.

Quote from the CDC, a rather informed source, I'd say:

"In affected parts of the United States, we estimate that one in 50 average consumers could be exposed to a contaminated egg each year. If that egg is thoroughly cooked, the Salmonella organisms will be destroyed and will not make the person sick."


weekend_baker's picture

Raw eggs at room temperature for long periods of time are dangerous--one of the reasons home-made mayonaise at summer picnics is often a bad idea!

Raw eggs also start to coagulate at warm temperatures over a long period, which can ruin the texture if you're not careful.

This is in addition to the dangers of eating raw eggs at any temperature--which is why pregnant women shouldn't eat anything with un-cooked egg.

However, you can keep, say, separated egg whites covered and in the fridge for up to three days (though I find them best if used within 24 hours from the point of view of their texture and elasticity) if you are going to cook them later.

So: as long as your eggs are going to be cooked (which they are) and are kept at a reasonably low temperature (in the fridge, or in a cool place) while rising, you should have no problems--neither heathwise nor egg-texture wise.

How did it turn out?

weekend_baker's picture

Sorry-should have made it clear, by room temperature I mean 22 C (72 F) or over.  I think you will be totally safe if you keep your central heating down low (towards the 17 C (63 F) side), but if you like to have your heating way up and then be in the kitchen with the oven on... I'd do some of the rise in the fridge.



cognitivefun's picture

The bread was the best enriched bread I've ever made.

But I thought I didn't feel good after I ate it one day. Stomach ache the rest of the day. So I thought maybe this was the reason and then I started to think about it and realized it may not be a good idea.

OTOH, it is possible that the fermentation taking place in the dough has a protective or crowding-out effect on any "bad" bugs...but I don't think I'll try that again.

I will be careful not to do any long ferment with anything with eggs in it from now on.