This delightful vegan challah bread recipe, follow this step-by-step instructions for a soft, golden-brown loaf that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also brings joy to the heart.
From the first rise in a warm, cozy spot to the braiding of long ropes into a beautiful shape, each step is an invitation to immerse yourself in the art of breadmaking. Elevate your baking experience with secret ingredients, such as caramelized onions or a sweet filling, creating a vegan challah that stands out in both flavor and presentation.
Let the aroma of freshly baked goodness fill your kitchen as we share the joy of happy cooking and the satisfaction of creating a truly unique and beautiful loaf. Let's dive into the step-by-step magic of crafting your very own vegan challah bread – a perfect centerpiece for any occasion. Happy baking!
Why You'll Love This
- Soft Perfection: Immerse yourself in the pleasure of biting into a perfectly soft and pillowy loaf, a testament to the art of creating vegan bread that's as tender as it is flavorful.
- Golden Brown Bliss: The exterior boasts a gorgeous golden-brown hue, achieved through a careful baking process, creating an irresistible visual appeal that makes it a centerpiece on any table.
- Versatile Braiding: Enjoy the meditative act of braiding long ropes of dough, turning it into a beautiful masterpiece. Whether it's a classic braid or a unique shape, the versatility adds a touch of artistry to your baking.
- Unique Fillings: Elevate your vegan challah experience with the addition of secret ingredients. Caramelized onions bring a savory depth, while a sweet filling introduces a delightful contrast, making each slice a surprise for the palate.
- Warm milk (plant milk)
- hand warm water
- active dry instant yeast
- just egg
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- dried thyme
- sea salt
- melted butter (vegan) or olive oil, plus a little more for brushing before baking
- strong bread flour
- filling you see fit
See recipe card for quantities.
Create yeast mixture; warm water, milk, active dry yeast & sugar.
Add ⅓ off the flour
Add remaining flour and seasoning.
Knead for 10 minutes in a lightly floured surface. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Proof for 1-2 hours covered in plastic or damp towel in a warm spot.
Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. Punch and release air.
Lay out flatbread , roll up like a sausage, cut lengthwise and braid.
Bake in a preheated oven at 365F for 45 minutes.
When rolling out the dough into a rectangle, make sure to flour the surface and the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking. This will make it easier to roll and shape the braid.
- Flour Alternatives:
- Whole Wheat Flour: For a nuttier flavor and added nutritional value, substitute part or all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
- Bread Flour: Experiment with using bread flour for a chewier texture in your challah.
- Egg Replacement:
- Aquafaba: Replace traditional egg wash with aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) for a vegan-friendly golden-brown finish.
- Flax and water (1tbsp flax + water = egg)
- Milk Alternatives:
- Plant-Based Milk: Instead of warm water, use warm plant-based milk like almond, soy, or oat milk for added richness.
- Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar: Substitute brown sugar with maple syrup or agave nectar for a different sweetness profile.
- Cinnamon Swirl:
- Filling: Mix cinnamon and brown sugar for a classic cinnamon swirl, creating a sweet and aromatic twist.
- Chocolate Indulgence:
- Filling: Sprinkle dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks into the dough for a decadent and chocolatey variation. Add caramelized onion and vegan cheese for a savory cheese-onion bread.
- Orange Zest Delight:
- Zesty Twist: Add orange zest to the dough for a citrusy flavor, and incorporate dried cranberries in the filling for a delightful combination.
- Nutty Bliss:
- Filling: Mix chopped nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans) with brown sugar for a nutty and crunchy filling.
- Berry Burst:
- Filling: Spread a layer of berry preserves or fresh berries for a burst of fruity sweetness.
- Savory Herb Infusion:
- Herb Mix: Introduce chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano into the dough for a savory and aromatic experience.
- Everything Bagel Twist:
- Topping: Sprinkle an "everything bagel" seasoning mix on top for a savory and flavorful crust.
- Maple Pecan Surprise:
- Filling: Combine chopped pecans with a layer of maple syrup for a rich and indulgent variation.
- Herbed Garlic Bread:
- Garlic Infusion: Infuse the dough with garlic powder and dried herbs, creating a savory and aromatic herbed garlic bread.
- Sundried Tomato & Olive Fusion:
- Filling: Incorporate chopped sundried tomatoes and black olives for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.
- Coconut Almond Delight:
- Filling: Mix shredded coconut and chopped almonds for a tropical and nutty filling.
- Pumpkin Spice Infusion:
- Spice Blend: Add pumpkin pie spice to the dough and fill it with a layer of pumpkin puree for a cozy fall-inspired variation.
- Room Temperature:
- Short-Term: If you plan to consume the bread within 1-2 days, store it at room temperature in a breathable bread bag or wrapped in a clean kitchen towel.
- Extended Freshness: For longer storage, wrap the vegan challah bread in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate. This can extend freshness for up to 5-7 days.
One of the secrets to achieving an exquisite texture and flavor in your vegan challah bread is to pay special attention to the first rise. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size. This patient rise allows the yeast to work its magic, creating a soft and airy interior. Find that warm place, cover the dough with a damp tea towel, and let the magic unfold. A well-risen dough sets the foundation for a truly exceptional loaf of vegan challah bread.
1. Can I use gluten-free flour for this recipe?
- While the recipe is designed for regular flour, you can experiment with a high-quality gluten-free flour blend. Keep in mind that the texture and rise may differ.
2. How do I achieve a golden-brown finish without using egg wash?
- Substitute egg wash with aquafaba (chickpea brine) for a vegan-friendly alternative that gives the bread a beautiful golden-brown color.
3. Can I make smaller loaves or individual rolls?
- Absolutely! Divide the dough into smaller portions to create individual rolls or smaller loaves. Adjust baking times accordingly.
4. What fillings work best for a savory variation?
- For a savory twist, consider fillings like caramelized onions, vegan cheese, or a mix of herbs. Experiment to discover your favorite savory combination.
5. How can I prevent the bread from drying out?
- Proper storage is crucial. Keep the bread wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container to retain moisture. If reheating, do so with a slight drizzle of water to refresh.
6. Can I freeze the dough and bake it later?
- Yes, you can freeze the shaped but unbaked dough. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before allowing it to come to room temperature and proceeding with baking.
7. How do I add a twist or braid to my challah?
- The braiding process is part of the charm. For a classic three-strand braid, roll dough into ropes and cross them over each other. Tuck the ends underneath for a neat finish.
8. Can I make the dough ahead of time?
- Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead and refrigerate it overnight. This enhances the flavor and allows for a convenient next-day bake.
9. How do I ensure the dough rises properly?
- Choose a warm, draft-free spot for the dough to rise. Cover it with a damp tea towel to create the ideal environment for yeast activation.
10. Can I use a bread machine for this recipe?
- Yes, you can use a bread machine for the dough-making process. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific machine.
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These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Vegan Onion & Olive Braided Loaf Recipe
- - 100 ml plant milk
- - 100 ml hand warm water
- - 25g sugar
- - 1 sachet of dry yeast
- - 1 tablespoon just egg
- - 1 teaspoon onion powder
- - ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- - ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- - 1 teaspoon sea salt
- - 75g melted butter plus a little more for brushing before baking
- - 400g strong bread flour
- - ½ cup olive salad or any filling you see fit
- Warm the plant milk gently so it is barely warm and add the water to a large bowl.
- Stir in the yeast and sugar and leave it to sit. After about ten minutes, you should see that the yeast will begin to bubble.
- Melt the butter, not too hot, and add it to the yeasty mixture. Then beat in the vegan egg.
- Take around one-third of the flour, beat into the mixture, and whisk until smooth.
- Now add the rest of the flour, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder, and bring together to a sticky ball. It will be a little sticky, but this is correct.
- Knead the dough with flour on a bench for 10 minutes. Be quite vigorous.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a towel. Place it in a warm spot and leave it to rise until it doubles in size. This might take an hour or two. Be sure to let it double.
- Preheat the oven to 365°F (185°C) fan.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured table and roll it out into a rectangle, approximately 20cm x 40cm.
- Cover the surface of the dough with the olive salad or any filling you prefer, leaving a strip of about 2 cm at the long edge furthest away from you. This will be the seam that holds it together when you roll it.
- Roll the dough up into a tight long sausage shape.
- Cut with a large sharp knife along its length, exposing the filling layers, so the sausage is now in two long sections with the cut layers of filling facing up at you.
- Cross one piece over the other, twisting it together like a short braid. The filling should be exposed through the twist. Tuck the ends in and place it in a greased loaf tin.
- Brush the top of the braid with melted butter.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the braid has risen well and is a deep golden color.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.