Gluten Free Challah Crown

Gluten Free Challah Crown

This gorgeous gluten free Challah Crown is definitely a show-stopper, and it’s not difficult to make! Really. Just make sure you’re not using a dry, gritty, rice-based flour — so it’ll hold together!

Although associated with important Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, challah is not only a culturally significant bread at these times of year, but is also a delicious and impressive bread to serve at your table any time.

soft gluten free challah - gfJules

This soft and moist bread is one that will be hard to resist!

 

At Rosh Hashanah, challah takes on symbolic importance for those of the Jewish faith who partake of this honey bread as a representation of the sweet new year we all hope for. Add in the extra sweetness of raisins, and dip a piece of the braided bread in honey, and it is even more fun to wish for sweet things in the coming year.

The challah is formed into a round shape at this time of year to symbolize the circle of life and the cyclical pattern of the seasons that shape a year. At Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights), challah feeds the body and the soul, as families gather over the course of 8 days to light the Menorah, savor wonderful meals together, and  to exchange gifts in celebration. To see this bread in braided loaf form, hop to this recipe.

Reader Barbara S. sent this photo of her gluten-free challah made with my recipe and gfJules Flour.

Reader Barbara S. sent this photo of her gluten-free challah made with my recipe and gfJules Flour.

 

All of you who have seen me at gluten-free cooking classes or demonstrations making yeast breads already know the dirty little secret about gluten-free bread. Shhhh…. don’t tell the gluten-eaters! Seriously! It is super quick and shockingly easy to make homemade gluten-free bread! Impress your friends and shock the neighbors with this recipe too: not only is gluten-free challah delicious and fast, it’s almost too beautiful to eat!

Watch this quick video below to see just how easy it is to braid this gluten free dough with this recipe made with my gfJules Flour.

making gluten free challah

Click on photo to see a quick video on how to braid this gluten free bread.

 

No matter what your reason for making this delicious bread, celebrate that this impressive recipe is at your gluten-free fingertips any time you feel like having a sweeter day.

Print

Gluten Free Challah Crown

Gluten Free Challah Crown - gfJules
  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 crowns

Ingredients

  • 7 Tbs – 1/2+ cup warm water
  • 1 package rapid rise gf yeast (Red Star®)
  • 1 tsp. granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla dairy or non-dairy yogurt, at room temperature (So Delicious® Vanilla Coconut Yogurt)*
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 5 large egg yolks at room temperature (slightly mixed)
  • 1/3 cup non-GMO canola oil or coconut oil (warmed to liquid) or extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. honey, agave nectar or molasses
  • 4 cups gfJules™ All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbs. + 2 tsp. granulated cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 large egg, mixed
  • poppy seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, or other topping or mix-in (optional)

*If you don’t have yogurt on-hand, another good dairy-free substitute is 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (shake it well before measuring) + 1 tablespoon vinegar (notmalt vinegar) or lemon juice.

Instructions

 

Preheat your oven to 200º F, then turn it off; if you have a warming drawer, you may set that to low/moist setting instead. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup (5 Tbs) warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar to proof the yeast; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the remaining wet ingredients (including 2 more tablespoons warm water) and mix until combined. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

After 5 minutes of proofing, stir in the yeast-water mixture into the wet ingredients (note: if your yeast isn’t bubbling at this point, throw it out and start again with fresh yeast). Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until fully integrated, adding more warm water by the tablespoon as needed to get the dough soft and so that the dough is not tight or stiff — you should be able to pull the dough gently without it feeling tight or like it would bounce back — if it’s stiff, then add more warm water then mix 1-2 minutes more on medium speed.

Using either method, once the dough is combined, divide it in half and divide each half into three equally-sized balls. The dough will be sticky, so use extra gfJules™ flour on your hands and rolling surface (I like using a bench scraper like this oneto help me cut and roll the sticky dough).

Roll each ball out into an 18-inch coil or log on a clean, flat surface dusted lightly with gfJules™ Flour. Pinch together one end of each coil, wetting them slightly with water to help them join together at the top, then braid them, finishing by connecting them to the top of the other end in order to form a crown, or circular shape, or simply leave as a long braid.

 

Gently transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the second set of three balls. In the alternative, you can simply divide the dough in half, roll out into a flattened coil, then twist upon itself and join at the ends to form a circular loaf; repeat with the other half of the dough ball.

In a small bowl, mix the extra egg together and brush over each loaf well, coating the entire top surface. Sprinkle the seeds or any toppings at this point, then place the tray (covering the loaves with wax paper sprayed with cooking oil) in a warming drawer set to low heat, or into a warm location for 20 – 30 minutes. (Don’t expect the bread to rise much at this stage).

Once risen slightly, place the uncovered tray in an oven preheated to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection) for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out dry, or with some crumbs attached but no wet dough.

Remove to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

This recipe and 149 more great gluten-free recipes can be found in my newest book, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy.

Is there any bread more beautiful than challah? This gorgeous gluten free Challah Crown is definitely a show-stopper, and it's not difficult to make!

Summary
recipe image
Recipe Name
Gluten Free Challah Crown
Published On
Average Rating
3.51star1star1star1stargray Based on 8 Review(s)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

146 thoughts on “Gluten Free Challah Crown

    • Great question, Katherine! I’ve never been asked that before – perhaps I should be making that more clear in recipes. One packet is just one of the square packets of yeast, not 3 of them in a strip. It’s also equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Hope that helps!
      ~jules

  1. Delicious, I actually use this dough for cinnamon and sometimes orange rolls. Its generally easy to work with. Again, where would I be without you and your recipes. My daughter was a freshman in high school when I first discovered you and she is now a healthy first year teacher. Thanks Jules, time flies but you remain my go to flour for the special baked yummies you just cant get anywhere but your own home kitchen,

    • Oh Chari, that is so sweet of you to share with me. I’m so happy to hear how well your daughter is doing and to feel like I’ve been a part of yours and her success in living gluten free means so much to me! Wishing you both all the best!
      ~jules

  2. To make a gluten free challah that qualifies for a Shabbat bread blessing (hamotzi challah) more than half the flour must be one of the 5 grains. You did not appear to be aware of this, and it important to know when hosting a gluten-intolerant religious guest.

    I’ve had great success using oat flour from grinding instant oats in the processor. I add xanthan gum, but I have since learned (aside from flax eggs) you can substitute with pectin.

    Posted by: barb@jmark1.com

    • Some celiacs cannot handle oats – also from what I know oats aren’t one of the Five Grains which are wheat, barley, spelt, rice, or rye, only one of which a celiac could consume.

  3. Hi Jules!
    This challah looks amazing! Can the dough be baked in a silicone challah mold instead of hand braided?

    Thanks,
    Harlene

  4. I made this recipe today except I left out the baking soda, baking powder, and vinegar. I put an extra teaspoon of yeast and let it sit for 2 hours. I made two braids and filled each one with an apple raisin sauce. I also topped it with a confectionary drizzle. It was soooo delicious and the texture was perfect. Pleasantly surprised!

    • WOW Charlotte, that sounds delightful! Thanks so much for letting me know what you came up with – I can’t wait to try it your way! (So happy when folks are pleasantly surprised at what great gluten free recipes can do!!!). Happy baking!
      ~jules