This gluten-free challah bread recipe is light, delicious and so fun to make!Jump to Recipe
Test Your Bread Making Skills
Challah bread is one of the most underrated breads and baked goods. This gorgeous braided challah is rich in both history and flavor!
This gluten-free recipe is delicious and so fun to make. What other time are you able to put those braiding skills to use in the kitchen? Check out the full recipe below!
About Challah Bread
A little bit about challah recipes…
Challah is a special bread of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. The bread is usually breaded and eaten on ceremonial occasions, like Shabbat or Rosh Hashanah. Challah bread is an important element of the Jewish culture and a staple amongst hundreds of years of holiday celebrations and traditions.
Traditionally, Challah is made of a eggs, white flour, water, sugar, yeast, oil, and salt. There is also a recipe known as “water challah” that’s made without eggs and has a French baguette like texture, almost resembling that of brioche bread.
Today, there are countless different recipes using a variety of flours and different form of sugars, such as honey, molasses, or maple syrup. Challah bread can also have raisins or saffron in it. Once the dough is braided, it’s topped with an egg wash to give the final result a golden brown sheen. Often, the bread is topped with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
How to Make Challah Bread
Like any gluten-free bread, making challah bread takes time and patience.
First, mix together warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Then, set the yeast mixture to the side for about five minutes. The yeast will need time to activate. You can tell the yeast has activated when the mixture begins to smell fragrant and it looks “foamy”.
While the yeast is activating, grab a small bowl for the wet ingredients. Combine plain Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, safflower oil, and maple syrup. Here, safflower oil is taking the place of vegetable oil and maple syrup is used instead of honey or the addition of more cane sugar.
Once the yeast has activated, pour the mixture into the bowl with the other wet ingredients. Next, it’s time to combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. This recipe will be using a mixture of two gluten-free flours. First add three cups of all-purpose flour, then add two cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour. Next, add the xanthan gum, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a fork to combine the dry ingredients before pouring the wet ingredients in.
Then, use a stand mixer with a dough hook to thoroughly combine the ingredients. This will also help knead the dough. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use an electric mixer or you can use your hands. If you’re going to use your hands, just make sure to occasionally wet your hands with cold water to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Knead the dough until thoroughly combined and workable.
Braiding the Bread
Now it’s time to braid the challah bread! Divide the dough into two balls, then split each into three balls. Place the three balls of dough on flour dusted surface. To start the braid, wet your hands and pinch together one end of each coil. Once connected, start the strand braid.
To finish the braid, connect the three pieces of dough at the other end. Transfer the braid to a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, mix together one room temperature egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush the challah braid with the egg wash before sprinkling one tablespoon of poppy seeds on top of the dough.
Finally, repeat this process with the other loaf.
Time to Cook the Challah Bread
Once both loaves of challah bread are ready, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, turn the oven off and place the baking sheets with the challah bread in the oven. This unusual process allows the bread to rise in a warm, controlled area.
After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the challah bread for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Finally, allow the loaves to cool for 15 minutes before enjoying.
The Best Gluten-Free Challah BreadCourse: RecipesDifficulty: Medium
Dig in to this easy-to-make recipe!
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 package of active yeast
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon od xanthan gum
3 tablespoons of cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of poppy seeds
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active yeast
- Stir then set to the side for five minutes
- In another bowl, combine the plain yogurt, apple cider vinegar, safflower oil, and maple syrup
- In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking flour, xanthan gum, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda
- Once the yeast has activated (should be foamy and fragrant), pour the mixture into the wet ingredients
- Stir to combine, then slowly pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients
- Combine thoroughly- you may need to use your hands here, and if so it helps to wet them with cold water to knead the dough
- Divide the dough in half, then split each half into three balls
- Place the three balls on a flour dusted surface, then roll each ball into a long rope
- To start the braid, wet your hands with cold water and pinch together one end of each coil
- Once all three are joined at the top, start the braid and finish by connecting the three pieces of dough at the other end
- Transfer the braid to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Mix together the egg and water, then brush the challah bread with the mixture before sprinkling with one tablespoon of black poppy seeds
- Repeat steps 9-13 on the other loaf of challah bread
- Preheat the oven to 200F, and once the oven reaches the desired temperature, turn the oven off and immediately place the prepared baking sheets with the challah bread inside the oven for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 350F and bake the challah bread for 20-25 minutes
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before enjoying
- Refrigerate up to four days