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.
- 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
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
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!