This fall, I was walking through Seattle’s Famous Pike Place Market. As I was passing many bakeries and smelling the sweet aroma of baked goods that I could not eat, I passed by a bakery with the most beautiful breads in the window. One of them was Challah bread. My mouth watered as I looked at it and I made it a goal to make this bread gluten free. With Easter and the Passover coming up, I thought there was no better time to create it.
Challah bread is traditional dairy free. It is also made in a braid of 6 braids. It is difficult to form braids with gluten free breads and still have the bread keep its soft texture. So I used my “mock braid” technique to come form the look I wanted for the traditional Challah. You do this by using a 1-2 inch scoop and placing scoops of dough offsetting each other along the top of the bread. With this bread, I used a double layer to resemble a “six braid” technique. It isn’t exactly the same as a true Challah, but very close.
I hope you enjoy this bread!
Gluten Free Challah Bread
1¼ cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1½ Tbsp. yeast
4 cups Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend Flour, divided
1¼ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
1¾ tsp. xanthan gum
⅓ cup oil (grape seed or canola)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water for basting
Mix together warm water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until foamy.
In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar and xanthan gum. With mixer running on low speed, pour in yeast mixture. Add oil. With mixer running on low speed at eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add remaining 2 cups of flour. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Lightly spray bread pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 of the batter into the bottom of the bread pan. Then with a 1 or 2 inch scoop place scoops of dough offsetting each other to resemble a “mock braid”. With floured hands smoothe out tops of dough to round of any rough edges. Cover bread with a dry towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 ½- 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Baste top of bread with a beaten egg. Place in oven just below center rack for one hour. Cover the last 30 minutes with foil to prevent over browning.
Allow bread to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Note: Be sure to remember to cover bread the last half hour of baking so the bread doesn’t over brown.
Here is a picture of the Challah Bread that tempted my taste buds at the Pike Place Market.