Vegan Friendly Challah Bread

After reading about 150 online recipes for vegan challah, this is what I ended up with. It’s the closest to a recipe from My Darling Vegan. To my delight, it came out quite well. The recipe below makes 2 large loaves, so don’t hesitate to halve it if you don’t need so much. Note that, because there is not an egg wash, you won’t get quite as much browning – even with the wash substitute – as you would with a standard challah loaf.

Ingredients

  • 4.5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 135 g + 4 tsp sugar (or 2/3 cup + 4tsp agave)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water or soy milk
  • 120g chickpea flour whisked with 1 cup water until frothy
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 24g salt
  • 950-1050g all purpose flour

Wash” Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Process

Whisk together yeast, 4 tsp sugar, and 2 cups lukewarm soy milk or water. Allow 5 minutes or so for the yeast to activate, which should result in some frothing at the top and a yeasty smell.

In a separate bowl, whisk the chickpea flour and water until it foams and thickens up a bit. This will function as the egg replacer in the recipe.

At this point, you can use your stand mixer with a dough hook, if you have one. If not, this is possible to do by hand.

Add the olive oil and chickpea mix into the yeast liquid.

Add the rest of the sugar and the salt and mix in.

Then add flour gradually until the dough comes together.  If you are using a stand mixer, be sure that all the flour doesn’t end up on the bottom, making it hard to tell when it is enough. For my loaves today, because it’s pretty humid in NJ in the summer, I had to add near the whole amount.

Once your dough has come together knead on low for 5 minutes, or by hand for about 10 minutes. It should be firm and soft, but not really sticky. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky.

After the kneading, place the dough in an oiled bowl in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled.

Punch the dough down and allow to proof for another 30 minutes.

Take your dough out of the bowl and cut into even pieces. How many you will need depends on your braid type. I did a very standard braid, so I needed 3 pieces for each loaf.

Preheat oven to 375*

Gently make the divided pieces into log-like shapes and let them sit for 5 minutes and then roll into long ropes. Keep an eye on your baking pan/sheet as you decide how long to roll them, but about 18 inches seems approximately right.

Once you have rolled them out, allow ropes to sit for 5 minutes to relax.

Braid your bread! There are many videos for how to do a braid, but if you have ever braided hair, the standard 3 piece braid works a treat. When I next do this, I’ll probably do a 4 piece braid to be a bit wider and less long.

Once your loaves are braided, combine wash mix and brush loaves liberally and then allow them to rise for an additional 45 minutes. 

Brush with glaze again and bake for 30-45 minutes until top is at least golden brown and the internal temperature is at least 209* F.

Note: While almost all of the recipes that I read said 30 minutes, my bread was still not browned on top at 45 minutes and was probably in closer to 50. I have an oven thermometer coming tomorrow to determine if this is an oven issue.

Allow bread to cool most of the way before cutting. Enjoy!

Fruit Harvest Sourdough

We had a raisin bread last week that was super good, so I thought that it couldn’t help but be even better with more fruit. And it is! This recipe makes 2 loaves, but you can separate before the second Rubaud kneading if you want to make one with the add-in and one without. I did one loaf with fruit and one with garlic cloves, rosemary, and chives this time!

Levain
35g starter
35g all purpose flour
35g whole wheat flour
70g room temperature water

Dough
804g bread flour
75g whole wheat flour
705g room temperature water
175g levain
18g sea salt

Add in (for 2 loaves)
3 TBSP sugar
1 ⅓ cup dried fruits (I used FruitOns All American Mix)

Process
Early morning prepare the levain in a glass or plastic container. Cover lightly and set in a warm place (I use my oven with the heat off but the light on)

When the levain starts to get close to doubled, begin your autolyse by mixing the two flours and 660g of room temperature water. Fully incorporate the water and flour. Allow to sit for 90 minutes near your starter (same warm place).

Add the levain and 20g of water and mix. Rubaud (or slap and fold) knead for 5 minutes. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and the last 25g of water plus your add ins. Rubaud knead for 5 minutes, then rest for 15.

Stretch and fold 3 times at 15 minute intervals, then 3 times at 30 min intervals.

Set your dough aside to finish the bulk rise for about 2 hours. When it’s done it should be showing signs of fermentation and the top should look a little jiggly. Divide (if you haven’t previously) into two pieces and reshape. Rest 30 minutes and final shape and the place in a floured or cloth-lined batard/basket/bowl.

Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, heat the oven to 500* with your dutch oven inside (or 450 if you are using a clay or stone baker). Take the bread from the fridge, tip out onto a piece of parchment, score, and place in your dutch oven. Bake 20 minutes with the lid on at 500* and then another 30 with the lid off at 450* (or 25 with lid on and 30 with lid off if you are starting at the lower temp).

This video shows the basic process.

This one shows Rubaud kneading.

Vegan Sourdough Cornbread

I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to do this, but I used a substitution for flour and water in my standard recipe and decreased the baking powder and it worked out really well!

Note: I used discard for this recipe, and only about ½ cup was discard from today. But, it was still pretty active once I pulled it out of the fridge and added today’s discard. In fact, it got a little too active!

If your discard is not so active, you may want to add an extra teaspoon of baking powder, just to be on the safe side!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups starter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • ½ cup oil

Process

  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Prepare a 9×13 pan
  • Combine dry ingredients
  • Combine wet ingredients
  • Mix together and don’t over mix
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Allow to cool ~ 10 minutes before cutting