challah

Challah Crown

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!

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.

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.

No matter what your reason for making this delicious bread, celebrate that this quick, easy (yes, I said easy!) and very impressive recipe is at your gluten-free fingertips any time you feel like looking forward to a sweeter day.

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 GF challah delicious and super fast, it’s almost too beautiful to eat!

Challah Crown

15 ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 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. gluten-free 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 (not malt vinegar) or lemon juice.

Method:

challah-watermark

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 the 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 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, then mix 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. 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.

challah-2010-1024x575

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 the preheated oven for approximately 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. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

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.

100 thoughts on “Challah Crown

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for the recipe. The directions aren’t clear to me..
    What is the stander bowl, do you put wet ingredients in one bowl , yeast in another bowl , dry in another bowl then combine.

    my yeast didn’t bubble. and you said to put 1/3 cup but my dry yeast the one you recommend said 1/4 cups….must have got someting wrong here.
    jew in the city says to let the bread sit for an hour before you make into the balls…..Do we not do that here because it is gluten free? THanks,

    • Hi Isa,
      The bowls should look like this: one small bowl with the yeast, sugar and water; one large bowl with remaining liquids; one other bowl with all dry ingredients (except yeast) whisked together. If your yeast doesn’t bubble in 5 minutes, you need to use a fresh packet of yeast. Each yeast packet is 2 1/4 tsp of instant yeast.
      Your question about letting the bread sit for an hour before making it into balls is a good one. Those directions are for GLUTEN breads. When making gluten-free breads like this one, you want to shape them THEN let them rise, because shaping them after the rise can knock the air/rise out of the dough. Very different directions than working with gluten doughs.
      Hope this information helps!
      ~jules

  2. I do have another question, what would you recommend if I am using a little denser flour as the one I stated above, should I use less eggs?
    Thank you for you help

  3. Hi Jules,
    I found this GF challah recipe and was really looking forward to trying it. Unfortunately it cam out inedible as far as taste and was fairly dense which I expected to a certain degree from a GF recipe. After reading everyones posts, I see that the flour probably makes a big difference. I used a GF all purpose flour from Premium Gold that had flax and ancient grains in it, which I think accounted for the darker color and maybe even the density. The other mistake I made was I added the last whole egg into the wet ingredients then realized later it was for brushing onto the braids. Would the extra egg have made a difference because it seemed as though it smelled funny when I pulled out of the oven, and the taste was very weird. I felt like it tasted too much of egg. I also used the brand of yogurt you suggested but mine was plain ( I don’t think that should have made a difference). In spite of all this, I am willing to try it again, I am inspired by all the positive posts. I am thinking that I should try with your flour : )

    • Hi Donna,
      As you suspected, the difference in gluten-free flours is the culprit here. My flour is designed to mimic all-purpose wheat flour, and therefore is higher in starches than the flour you were using, meaning that the bread would turn out much heavier and more dense. Adding an extra egg contributed to the problem by adding too much moisture, further weighing the dough down. I am not entirely sure how to guide you on making this recipe again with the flour blend you were using because I’m not familiar with it. If you really want to have the loaf turn out like pictured and described (and loved by all the other people who have commented), the easiest way to do that is just to use my flour instead. It will save you the headaches of experimentation when the results are so different. I wish I had another answer for you but with gluten-free flour blends, they are all so very different that it’s best to stick to the recipes they’re written for, or, in the case of my flour, use it in regular all-purpose wheat flour recipes as it was designed to work in those. I hope you do try again and get a chance to try my flour, as I know you will love, love, love the results!!!
      ~jules

  4. 1-Does it have to be flavored yogurt?
    2-can I use just baking powder, or must I purchase gluten-free, never knew there was any difference.

    • Hi Bernice,
      You may use plain yogurt, and anymore, baking powder brands should all be GF, but I recommend checking the labels every time just in case. Hope that helps!

  5. I made this for my best friend who is allergic to gluten, wheat, and rice. Mine also came out with a cake batter consistency. I believe this is because I used Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour. I couldn’t find the flour you listed. But hey, bread is bread.

    • Hi Jolene, as you suspected, the cause is using the other gluten-free flour. Unlike regular wheat-based all purpose flour, gluten-free flour blends are all quite different. The one you used is bean-flour based and doesn’t include any binders in it, so it would be more of a batter consistency. I hope you can try the recipe again with my flour sometime, so you’ll get results like the photos!
      ~jules

  6. I have had great success with your bread for a year now. It is my husbands favorite! Usually the loaves are not very high, but that’s alright. Today I was surprised and pleased to see both loaves tall in the bread pans(plain loaves, not braided). But after I took them from the oven, they deflated some. They still taste delicious, but I was hoping for full sized slices for a change. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Dee, so happy that you and your hubbie are loving my challah bread recipe! I wonder what was different about the loaves this time that they rose higher and then deflated some. Did you rise them in a different way, for longer/shorter, use any different ingredients, what was the temperature of the ingredients before you added them, did you use a different brand of yeast or rapid rise vs. regular yeast …? Any of these variables could have contributed to the difference, but generally if a loaf falls, it’s because it rose too quickly (it was in too warm of a place) or for not long enough. I hope those ideas help for next time!

  7. I tried the Challah – I don’t think it will work with any flour except Jules. I used Arrowhead, it was a mess, not even bird eadible…an expensive mistake. A disclaimer that the recipes will work only with your bread would have been helpful!

    • Hi Melinda, yes, all gluten-free flour blends are quite different. I’ve never worked with Arrowhead before; I only write recipes for my flour because I know it works and I don’t have time to waste messing around with other blends that require adjustments. There is a link on the page of my blog that says, “What’s So Special About Jules’ Flour, Anyway?” it takes you to a page that describes all about my flour and why it works so well in most wheat flour recipes, and doesn’t have a gluten-free taste or texture we have all come to recognize (and dislike!). Many other GF flour blends have different proportions of starches and whole grains and they behave quite differently. I hope you get to try this recipe sometime with my flour – it’s an amazing recipe, and one of our fan favorites! Happy Holidays!

  8. Just made this bread recipe, but didn’t realize Jule’s flour is the writer’s flour! Lol. I went to the store looking for Jule’s flour, couldn’t find it and so bought Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour. This was my first experience with gluten-free and I didn’t realize I would need to add xanthum gum until too late! My bread was already braided. I guess I’ll have to try again after ordering Jule’s flour. The Bob’s Red Mill is kind of yellowish in color, is made from beans, and smells a little strange (beanie).

    • Hi Jody, I’m not surprised about your experience with Bob’s flour — bean flour has an odor and a taste that can be off-putting to some folks. I stay away from it, myself. I think you’ll have a more pleasant gluten-free experience if you get to work with my flour next time (and the xanthan gum is already included!). :)

  9. After searching and reading for many hours on GF baking I settled on trying out your flour and cookie mix. Glad I did!
    I must tell you that my nephew cried when he bit into the challah I made using your flour mix. He said he never though he would ever eat challah again.
    The cookie mix made with raisins and your instant oats was a hit with all the non-GF family members and the microwave lemon squares went flying off the plate.
    You really made our New Year celebration special.
    Thanks!!

    • Oh Marcia, that is SO wonderful to hear! I’m so glad you decided to try my products and that your holidays were happy and tasty because of it! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

  10. In the process of making this for The holidays, had to use a gluten free all purpose flour, since The one I ordered from your site has not arrived. It is my first time making this and hope it is a hit with the fam.

    • Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry that you didn’t have my flour to work with for this recipe. I hope it turned out ok, anyway, but if you were less than happy, please try again when you receive my flour! All GF flours behave differently and this is one of those recipes that really shines with the right blend! Hope you had a great holiday!

  11. Is there a way to use an oat flour or a mixture of oat flour and regular mix.of flour? I don’t want it to come out too heavy. Thanks!

    • Hi Shoshi, you could probably substitute about 1/2 cup of my Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour for oat flour in this recipe without adding too much weight. Let me know how it turns out!

  12. Just received in the mail my Jules GF flour and ready to make Challah for Rosh HaShanah.Can I bake and freeze the loaves? If yes — please send directions for freezing & thawing.
    If freezing is not recommended, how many days does the Challah stay fresh? What is the preferred method for storing?
    Many Thanks,
    Miri

    • Hi Miri, I’m glad you’re going to use some of my flour for challah. This is such an amazing recipe! In answer to your questions, I have baked and frozen the loaves before, then let them thaw and gently heated them in the oven, wrapped in foil. After baking, I find that my challah stays fresh for about 2-3 days without having to be warmed, but can be warmed thereafter and is still delicious for another couple of days. Truthfully, it rarely stays around in my house for that long – everyone loves it! I store my breads in a zip-top bag on the counter, never in the fridge. Enjoy!

  13. I did it! I made your challah for my nephew, and he loved it (as did everyone else at the table). Flouring my hands and the bread before braiding was definitely key. He’s looking forward to braiding the challah with me this week. Thanks so much! I’m hoping to try to use all the dough to make a 6 braided loaf instead of two smaller ones. How long do you think I should bake it if it’s in one large loaf?

    • Thanks for letting me know, Sue! That’s wonderful news, that you had success with this recipe and that everyone loved the challah! As for baking as one large loaf, it’s all about cooking in the very middle, so just keep testing. If the outside is getting too done, I’d recommend covering it with foil and continue to bake until the middle is done. Enjoy the recipe and spreading GF yumminess to your family!!!

  14. My 6 year old nephew has been begging me to make him a braided gluten free challah, so I’m trying your recipe and hoping it will make him excited beyond belief. I just ordered your gluten free flour and I’m planning to make challah tomorrow. I can’t seem to find rapid rise yeast. Am I better off using Fleischman’s Rapid Rise yeast or Red Star’s Active Dry yeast?

    • It’s a delicious recipe, sue, I know your nephew will love it! If you use Fleischman’s Rapid Rise yeast, the directions will be the same; if using active dry yeast (Red Star or Fleischman’s), you’ll just want to let it rise longer before baking. Enjoy!

  15. Hey!
    I tried this 2 weeks ago and it was too gloopy to braid, felt more like a cake batter. Help!!

    Also, any ideas about how to reduce the amount of eggs used? Perhaps flax?

    Thanks!
    jesse

    • Hi Jesse – did you make any other subs in the recipe, such as reducing eggs, using egg subs or a different flour? Also, what kind of yogurt did you use?

  16. Hi was searching for a GF challah to make french toast this weekend and am wondering If I do not have your flour blend would I be able to use another all purpose gf flour blend?? thanks!!!! Or a mix of ingriendents I can do at home. I do have all the ingredients just not modified tapioca. thanks again

    • Hi Fran – good thinking to ask first! All gluten-free flour blends are different … very different, actually. It’s not like using a different brand of wheat flour. My flour has 5 gluten-free flours and xanthan gum together in a mixture that works well in nearly any type of recipe; other flours may have things like bean flour or lack xanthan gum — they would produce very different results and may fail altogether. If you don’t have my flour, do you have any of my cookbooks that give recipes for making a homemade blend (without modified tapioca starch) with the proper bulk flour: starch ratio for recipes like this? Sounds like you might have the ingredients you need and don’t mind mixing them, so I’d suggest first making your own mix from one of those recipes to use in this bread recipe for the best results.

      • Thanks!!!! I will try with a GF mix. Can you sell your products anywhere in NJ??? That would be great to be able to just pick up in a supermarket. Thanks again for your help, going to try and see how this comes out

  17. Maybe it has something to do with our elevation, or the humidity… or something. But when I made the bread according to instructions, my dough was the consistency of pancake batter until I added an additional cup of flour. So I added the additional cup, which made the braiding possible… but the taste was slightly floury. How would you compensate for an elevation, or whatever problem that caused my liquids/dry ratio to be wrong?

    • Hi Amy, this dough should not be like pancake batter, but it is wet and sticky until you roll it in more flour. Elevation could certainly be playing a roll here. Make a note and next time you make the recipe, maybe add 1/2 cup of flour to the dough and then be sure to have extra to roll the dough in to keep it from being sticky. Hopefully that will take care of the over-floured taste, and make it easier to work with, as well!

  18. Hi Jules

    I recently made the trek into San Francisco to pick up a bag of your flour and try this recipe (for Vday French Toast). I followed the directions to a tee but my dough came out ridiculously wet…as in way to wet to do anything with it. It was all i could do to scoop it up and throw it into a loaf pan and it predictably came out extremely dense after that. My only guess is that the recipe means 1 “container” (6 oz) of the yogurt instead of 1 “cup”?? I used a full cup which is almost two containers…

    • Hi John, if you ever have recipe questions, feel free to email customer support at Support@JulesGlutenFree.com to walk through a recipe with you. This dough is very wet, but once rolled in more flour on the rolling surface, it’s easy enough to manage. A bench scraper or even a rubber spatula can help. The recipe calls for 1 cup of yogurt, or 8 oz, which is far less than two 6-oz containers. Perhaps you did add a bit too much yogurt? At any rate, it should not have been too wet to work with or baked up dense (although I applaud you for putting the wet dough in a loaf pan and seeing if you could salvage something!). Please do email support and let’s try to figure out what went wrong, because this is a wonderful recipe and I want you to be able to enjoy it!

  19. My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac just after Thanksgiving and I was so thankful to find your book “The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free” it was and is a life-saver! I felt so much better equipped to handle all of the changes we would have to make and you saved the day with your Challah bread recipe which we enjoyed with our Christmas dinner!
    After reading about how one person used this recipe to make Easter bread, I decided to roll out half of my dough and try cinnamon rolls! We just polished them off and no one even gave it a second thought that they weren’t my normal gluten ones! Yum!!!!

    • Oh Laurie, that is so wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for sharing that with me – you made my day! :) And the challah as Easter bread sounds amazing! Good thing there’s still time for me to make it before Easter!! If you want to give my cinnamon rolls recipe a try, you can compare and see which version your family prefers! All the best to you and your daughter!

  20. The first time I made this challah I was kind of disappointed. I thought the dough was too sticky to roll and just put it in loaf pans. The taste was WONDERFUL though. This last time though I again thought it was too sticky but I just went for it and threw the dough into some Jules flour on the table and rolled. VOILA! Little strips to braid! I made mine into numerous little loaves about 6 inches long. I kept one out for Shabbat and froze the rest. Today I got one out and after defrosting in the microwave, I could again enjoy unbraiding the loaf bite by delicious bite. I LOVE your flour!!!

    • Oh Louise, I’m so glad you didn’t give up! Using extra flour to roll the dough is definitely key – so happy you have delicious Challah back in your life now! :)

  21. HELP! I have (tried to)made this bread 3 times. It is never cooked- always raw inside. I put in in my 200*then turned off oven, for 30min. 15min longer this time with oven at 150*. then, 30 min in 350*oven. I left it in for 20 min longer, tented with foil, and it’s better, not great. Should I be letting it rise in a turned ON oven? I used Bob’s red mill and added xanthum as required. Please advise.

    Dee

    • Hi Dee, why don’t you try it with my flour, as the recipe is written? I can’t vouch for any other flour blend in any of my recipes, particularly one so different as Bob’s Red Mill. The results could not possibly be the same when such a critical ingredient is so totally different. I know you’ll love the recipe when you use the right ingredients! :) By the way, my flour is on special right now for $5 off and the results are guaranteed!

  22. Tonight we’re off to celebrate Hanukkah with some friends we consider family.

    They’re Jewish. We’re Christian.

    I made this GF challah last year, and it was such a big hit that our amazing hostess asked me to bring it again this year.

    Let love reign!

  23. Hi Jules, What can happen if we use regular yeast instead of the rapid rise yeast? That is all I have in the house. Do I change the time it rises? Baking time? Help please.

    • Hi Anna, if you only have regular yeast, just plan on letting it rise much longer. I would let any bread recipe rise for at least one hour or more before baking with regular yeast. It should work just fine with that extra rise time, though!

  24. Hi Jules, I love your bread mix packets & have several in my pantry now. Could I use the bread mix packet for Challah? What would you add or modify?

    • Wow, Pam, that’s a really interesting question! The mix makes a totally different kind of bread than traditional challah which is largely egg yolk-based. On the plus side, the bread mix makes a thick dough. I guess if I was going to try the bread mix as challah, I’d substitute 2 egg yolks for each egg called for in the recipe, and if you could get your hands on one of those braided bread pans, you wouldn’t even have to worry about braiding the dough, it would just bake in the pan with a braided impression on top! That’s where I would start, but expect to do some experimenting! At least it’ll taste delicious no matter what, so you can always eat any mistakes! Let me know if you try it – I’d love to know how it turned out!

  25. I already have your “Bread” Mix Packet. Can I use it instead of your GF flour to make this Challah. IF so… would I simply substitute it for the flour? THanks.

  26. Hi Jules,
    I just broke down and bought your gluten free flour. I’m sure it will make all of the difference. I have been making challah for years and was so excited to see your recipe and the pictures. I followed everything but used my own blend of GF flour. The recipe was a big failure. The mixture was much more like a pancake batter, there was no way to shape it. It ended up down the drain and I was so sad after using all of those good ingredients. So, I decided to buy your flour. I can’t wait to get it and try the recipe again. I hope it makes the difference. Thanks! Julie

    • Hi Julie – unfortunately, gluten-free flour blends are ALL different! I hope you make the best challah of your life when you get my flour! :)

  27. Yikes Jules. I am not sure what I did wrong here. I followed the recipe but the dough is too sticky to braid. I ended up having to use my challah pans. I scooped the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping the flour out of the bag with the measuring cup. I’m not sure if that made the difference but I floured my pastry board and it just wouldn’t move. There was dough stuck everywhere. I can say that it did go into my challah pans nicely, I’m just hoping that it will turn out well in the pans. We have yet to find a satisfying gluten free challah for Shabbos. We went gf after Passover so I’m really hoping this works for us since the High Holidays will be here in no time.

    • We found our go to gluten free challah!! WOW both loaves are gone. I loved it, my husband loved it and the kids loved it! Thank you. I just need to figure out why it was so sticky that I couldn’t braid.

    • You’re right, Andrea – High Holidays are around the corner! Time is flying too fast, but you are on top of it, experimenting with Challah in the summer! :) I saw the pictures you sent our customer service department of your challah in the pans! Gorgeous!! So glad your family loved it and you’ve finally found great GF Challah! Regarding the stickiness if you wanted to braid it in the future, I would say your guess about scooping the flour out with the measuring cups was probably the culprit. That method can wildly skew the amount of flour you wind up with for your recipe. I always recommend spooning the flour into the cups and making sure they are nice and full, then slide a knife across the top to make it even. One cup of my Jules Flour should weigh 135grams (the most accurate way to measure). If your dough was that sticky, there just must not have been enough flour because it is very easy to braid this dough. Either way though – you made the best of it and wound up with beautiful Challah in your pans this time – congratulations!

      • Thank you so much. I actually have a food scale that I would measure my ingredients in a bowl when I was baking a lot before the gluten free. This actually helps me out knowing how much a cup of your flour weights. I can now just use it on the scale. I’m excited to see if I can braid it on Friday. My family loved the challah so much for the first time since going gluten free BOTH loaves were eaten. Would you suggest any changes around Rosh Hashanah when I need to add the raisins?

        • Andrea- that’s wonderful that the loaves were so well-loved! :) Happy that the food scale will help you get the measurements just right, too. I’ve added raisins with no adjustments to the recipe, so you should be fine for Rosh Hashanah. Enjoy!

          • I ended up being sick for two Shabbats and was out of town for one so this is the first time I’ve been able to do it again. Should I be using Greek Yogurt maybe? It is still way too sticky to braid and I measured using my scale. I’m not sure what in the world I’m doing wrong but I’m doing something wrong. :(

          • Andrea – why don’t you email us at Support@JulesGlutenFree.com to walk through the recipe so you’re sure to get it right this time. It could be something as simple as using more flour to dust the counter or pastry mat when rolling out, but there could be an issue with the yogurt, or something else, so email and we’ll walk through it with you to help!

  28. I love Challah, but am not overly found of matzos. Needing GF matzo posed even a greater problem. I checked all over, and finely foung Yehuda GF matzos at Whole Foods.

  29. I had a chance to try this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it was amazing! It was a delight to actually be able to braid challah again. It had been 6.5 years, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until now. I almost cried while I was making them. They tasted delicious, too. Something weird happened while it was baking, though. The braids kind-of opened up as they baked, so they ended up looking like claws, or teeth, not exactly the best image for a peaceful Shabbat meal, lol. Any idea why this happened? Maybe I didn’t let it rise enough, or I let it rise too much? Also, it wasn’t close to done after 20 min, so I baked it another 20, which ended up being too much. I’ll try 30 min. next time. Two questions: If I was to double the recipe to make larger loaves, how long should I bake them? Will they freeze well? I am looking forward to trying it with dairy-free yoghurt so I can pass the recipe on to my mom and sister, who are also gluten free and keep kosher. To make this truly “rabbinically kosher” I’d have to use 1/2 plus a little oat flour, so I’m going to try that at some point too. Thank you so much for this recipe! Now I can teach my daughters how to make challah.

    • Laurie – that’s so fantastic! I’m so glad to hear that you have challah back in your life again! About the rising, it sounds like they rose a bit too much – you can play with it, but maybe even cut back on the yeast a bit next time; if you’re using oat flour in it as well though, you might not need to do that, since it’s heavier. As for freezing, I have frozen it after baking and cooling and it thaws beautifully, so no worries there. Just keep a close eye on them to determine bake time — everyone’s oven cooks a bit differently, but if the loaves are larger, 30 minutes might be the right answer. You definitely don’t want to over cook them. Enjoy passing along to your dairy-free family too – recipes like this can become family treasures! :)

  30. This looks delicious! My only issue for making this myself is that I keep kosher, so when I need Challah for Shabbat dinners (that are typically meat meals), I wouldn’t be able to make this because of the yogurt (even the coconut yogurt is marked, at least on the website, as kosher dairy probably because it’s processed with the same machines that process dairy products).

    Do you have suggestions for making this without yogurt?? I’m new to gluten free cooking, was just diagnosed with Celiac, so I’m looking for all the help I can get!!

  31. Hi Jules,

    I finally got around to making your challah. The taste was incredible, but it did not rise more than 2 inches. I followed the recipe but did substitute olive oil for canola. Could that be the reason it didn’t rise?

    Thanks,
    Maureen

    • Maureen – that’s odd that the challah didn’t rise much. Was your yeast fresh? Next time proof a bit of yeast in warm water with some sugar to make sure it’s active. Another culprit could be that it was not warm enough where you proofed it – it should be covered and in a warm place to rise. You can always let it rise longer next time before baking too, just to give it more time to rise. I also use instant/quick rise yeast. If you used regular yeast, it needs more time to rise. Let me know how it goes next time. Glad it still tasted yummy for you!

  32. I have tried this Challah recipe exactly as stated, but it had a cake batter-like consistency that was too sticky for braiding. What am I doing wrong?

    • Dana – I’m not sure what would have went wrong, because it’s definitely not a cake batter consistency. Why don’t you email Support@JulesGlutenFree.com and they’ll walk through it with you to see if they can help figure out what might have happened! I want you to get to enjoy this great recipe!!!

  33. Jules-
    Help! I’m at my parents in Virginia, we’ve been to 8 stores and no one here sells so delicious yogurt and we are CF. What can I use as a replacement? Applesauce? Thanks!

    • Crystal – if you are GFCF and can tolerate soy, that is the best, most readily-available option. Almond or even rice yogurt will work as well. Sometimes you can find soy sour cream even in regular grocery stores and that is also an acceptable substitute. Hope you can find any of those!

  34. This sounds so good that I’trying this for x-mas but have two questions:
    I use yeast in a jar, how much is one packet ?
    and what is •1 cup vanilla dairy or non-dairy (yoghurt or milk) My family is GF but not CF

    • Hi Jacqueline, yeast in a jar (if it’s rapid rise/quick rise/or bread machine) is fine to use. One packet equals 2 1/4 tsp. from the jar. If your family can eat casein and dairy, simply use your favorite vanilla flavored yogurt, but don’t use non-fat. Even Greek yogurt works fine. Enjoy!

  35. This Challah recipe looks really good. I’m looking forward to trying it for our special Chanukah Shabbat dinner this week. I’ve tried other gf challah recipes and they were virtually impossible to braid, so I’m a little skeptical, but we’ll see! Just one question: the 4th ingredient says, “•1 cup vanilla dairy or non-dairy, at room temperature (So Delicious® Vanilla Coconut Yogurt)” 1 cup of what, exactly? I’m assuming it’s vanilla yogurt, but I just wanted to be sure.

    • Laurie – if you’re using my flour, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to braid this challah! Sorry about the missing ingredient name – it is yogurt and I’ve fixed it now! Thanks!

  36. Nott sure what you mean in Challah recipe by Vanilla Dairy or non-Dairry. Is this yoghurt? What would be a good subastitute if non-dairy yoghurt is not available. Live in Toronto, ON, Canada.

    • Ruthann – yes, it is yogurt. If you can do dairy, simply use the yogurt of your choice, but I wouldn’t recommend non-fat. Even Greek yogurt works well. If you can’t tolerate dairy, I use coconut, soy or almond yogurt. If you cannot find those, dairy-free sour cream might be available nearby and that would work well. Vegan mayo is another option if you cannot find the others. Enjoy!

    • As I’m sure you noticed Jodi, this recipe relies very heavily on egg yolks. You could certainly try some egg yolk subs (I think I would try 3 Tbs. vegan mayo per yolk subbed) but it will turn out somewhat differently. I wish I could say I had tried a yolk sub in this recipe yet, but I haven’t. You could be the first and let us all know how it turns out! :)

  37. I need to register a complaint! This challah is SO GOOD it has completely thrown me off my diet. If I can’t fit into the dress I’m wearing for my son’s bar mitzvah, I will blame Jules Gluten Free!!! I’d post a picture but it didn’t last long enough to get a pic.

    ;-)

    Seriously, this is amazing. I have so missed challah; it’s a part of our every week sabbath table and I have been searching for a GF replacement. I have found it!!!! I really don’t like baking, but this is worth the time and expense. It will be on our table every week.

    I’ve always said my last meal on earth, should I get to choose, will be the bottom of the roast chicken pan. Not the chicken itself, but the bottom of the pan with all the caramelized juices, onions, roasted garlic and carrots, and the only utensil I would use is a loaf of challah.

    This challah is bottom-of-the-chicken-pan worthy.

    • Leah – you’re cracking me up! So glad you’re loving the challah recipe. I know how you feel though, it’s too delicious! I’m honored that you think it’s “bottom-of-the-chicken-pan worthy,” though … that’s really saying something!! : )

    • Leah is a woman after my own heart. That would be an awesome last meal. The chicken schmootz juice and veggies with challah.

    • Sure! Just use my regular challah recipe by adding the liquids first in the breadmaker then adding whisked dry ingredients next – let the bread maker mix the dough for you and bake as a regular loaf, or take out the mixed dough and shape per the recipe and bake in the oven. So yum!

      • how long does this keep tasting good once its baked, and what’s the best way to keep it fresh.
        I need to bake it on friday but want to eat it on saturday.

        • The absolute best way to keep bread fresh is to vacu-seal it, but short of that, wait for it to cool completely, then seal in a zip-top bag, squeezing to remove as much air as possible without squishing the bread too! It will be fine the next day – this recipe is really moist and the yolks help to keep it that way. Enjoy!

  38. Hi,

    Do you think this recipe would work as cinnamon rolls? Or, if you’ve figured out a cinnamon roll recipe, I’d love to try it! I just tried adapting one, but it didn’t rise well…and have noticed you seem to add baking powder and baking soda along with yeast, and fast rising yeast at that. Love your flour though!

    • I haven’t tried it, but if you cover it well and give it extra time to rise before baking the next day, it ought to work. Let me know!

      • To follow up. I made the 2 loaves, baked one and made it into a bread pudding the next day. I formed the second loaf, put it on parchment paper and wrapped it well with plastic wrap. I left it in the refrigerater for 24 hours. I took it out, let it come to room temperature, then proceeded with the recipe as if I had just formed the loaf and it came out perfect.

        • Diana – thanks for following up! I also made challah on Friday for Christmas dinner, but formed the second loaf, wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerated it overnight. Yesterday around noon, I took it out and uncovered it, let it rise in my warming drawer for about 1 1/2 hours, then baked it as normal and it was heavenly!

  39. Wow, this looks amazing! Somewhere along the way, I stopped craving bread, but this picture? Just brought back all those old memories!

  40. While I love to bake, making challah was always my husband’s domain. I tried a few GF challah recipes and they just didn’t cut it. I’ve been buying sliced challah from Katz Gluten Free, but I miss the smell of baking bread….

    Sue

    • Sue, you’ve got to try this recipe! I’ve even taught it at gf cooking classes -it’s not hard, I promise!
      It’s so totally yummy and will fill your home with that amazing yeast bread smell … I’m making it this week again and so excited to do it! I think I may even add some diced apples … ok, I’m really getting hungry now! : )

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