|Photo Bucket picture; not my neighbor's hens.|
My neighbor has chickens and sells the extra eggs. It's wonderful having fresh organic eggs nearby whenever the hens are laying. I normally just order two dozen but the family went on vacation and she asked if I could use more eggs (at a reduced egg price) while they were gone so her hubby, who stayed behind to take care of things, wouldn't have to worry about finding buyers. "No problem," I said, because I needed to stock up on the eggs whilst the chickens were laying. (Oh, yes, there is a season to all things, and chickens don't like to lay in cooler weather.) So, that's how I ended up with almost eight dozen eggs. Definitely time to save money and make some powdered eggs for winter cooking.
As you know from previous posts, when doing my pysanki eggs, I'll freeze the egg contents, as well as bake and freeze some muffin-tin eggs for fast breakfasts. Powdering eggs is just another way of storing eggs for whatever your cooking needs are in a way that is fast, efficient, and offers a long shelf life. Bakers love the consistency of powdered eggs for their recipes, the military has been using them for, like, forever, and the benefits of powdered eggs make this a worthwhile project.
If you've never dehydrated your own eggs, you'll discover this is probably the easiest job on earth. You just need eggs, a dehydrator, an airtight container for storage, and a blender.
Start with breaking your eggs, six at a time, directly into your food processor/blender. Save the shells for either the compost heap or return them crushed to the supplier to feed to the chickens and return that calcium to the source! In case you didn't know, chickens love egg shells and it's good for them.
Pulse until eggs are perfectly blended, but not frothy.
Carefully pour onto fruit/leather sheets placed on the dehydrator trays. I don't add any kind of oil to the tray. Eggs have enough natural oil in them that it isn't necessary. Dehydrate at 145F for 16 hours.
Eggs are done when they appear cracked and the color has deepened. These eggs were from free-range chickens and are darker orange than store-bought eggs. They lighten up when reconstituted and cooked.
By barely touching with the back of a wooden spoon, the fully-dehydrated eggs will simply crumble into pieces. Empty the trays into a large bowl and break them down to smaller pieces. I'm a strong believer in using a blender for powdering the eggs. Food processors have a tendency to break the eggs down into a cornmeal type texture; the blender creates a fine powder.
When you reconstitute the powdered egg (4 teaspoons powdered egg plus 2 tablespoons water equal one medium egg), it should just simply disappear into the liquid with nothing dry showing/floating. Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes. In any baking recipe, just mix the powder with your other dry ingredients; but, don't forget to add the liquid needed to rehydrate the egg to the other liquid ingredients.
I reconstituted an egg to show you how they should look. This one was cooked in the microwave. You can see how difficult it is to tell the difference between a fresh cooked egg and a dehydrated one. Short of fried or poached, you can use these powdered eggs for all your recipes. The best thing is you won't have to worry about the size of the egg altering the recipe. The portion is always the same, which is why so many bakers enjoy using powdered eggs.
For very little work, I now have 80 eggs ready and waiting on my shelf. My labels aren't fancy, but I know what's in the jars, along with the basic reconstituting instructions, and that's all I need.