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Gluten Free Challah, or the-most-beautiful-braided-bread-ever, or egg bread or Easter Bread … whatever you call it and for whatever occasion you bake it, it’s a true treat.
Even if you’ve never made homemade bread or if you’ve never braided bread dough, this recipe will make you look like a super star in the kitchen! The dough is soft and easy to work with when made with my gfJules Flour, and you can braid or shape it (or not!) however you like!
Some folks braid it like so …
Others bake it into crown shapes or even bake off in muffin or popover tins for individual rolls.
Gluten free challah this good is great any time. Why wait for the next Jewish holiday or even for Friday? You can even prep this dough and refrigerate it overnight to bake the next day!
Simply follow my directions through the braiding step. Allow the bread dough to rise for 30 minutes to one hour or so, brush with another egg wash or spritz lightly with water, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
The next day, remove the tray to the counter while you preheat your oven and then bake. Voila! Amazing bread!
It’s a wonderful treat for anyone at any time of year, especially now that you have this wonderful gluten free version to make and enjoy!
In fact, it’s not only a truly delicious bread, it’s also one that will impress any guest or crowd. The braids merely look like it took a skillful baker to weave, but that can be our little secret. When made with my gfJules™ flour, these braids will be such a nice surprise to work with!
The dough will be unlike any gluten free dough you’ve worked with before — soft and pliable, not brittle. You’ll be making beautiful gluten- and dairy-free challah that will have everyone marveling at your baking prowess! See how flexible this dough is in this quick time lapse how-to video on braiding bread.
Here’s a quick video showing how to braid this gluten free bread.
Feel free to skip the apples and raisins, or add your own toppings like sesame seeds and sea salt (as pictured below). Or braid into a crown!
Just proof your yeast, measure your ingredients, make the dough, braid, rise and bake!
The eggs in this bread help to keep it moist and fresh for days, thus, on the off-chance there are any leftovers, enjoy it with hummus, peanut butter, honey, or plain (or make French Toast or overnight gluten free French Toast Casserole!).
Fitting that it is the manna that just keeps giving! Enjoy this recipe for the gift that it is — there’s just nothing like soft, fresh baked bread, and it means so much to be able to enjoy the best bread, gluten free!
Preheat your oven to 200º F, then turn it off. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup 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 (remaining 5 Tbs water, yogurt, cider vinegar, egg yolks, oil, honey) and mix until combined.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (gfJules Flour; 3Tbs + 2 tsp. sugar; salt, baking soda, baking powder).
After 5 minutes of proofing, stir in the bubbling 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 the dry ingredients into the wet until fully integrated, adding more warm water by the tablespoon only 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, add more warm water then mix 1-2 minutes more on medium speed to integrate the additional water. The dough should be workable; keep in mind you will be braiding it, so it can't be too loose or too tight (think of Goldilocks dough!)
Once the dough is combined, divide it in half and divide each half into three equal-sized balls (6 balls total). Roll each ball out into an 18-inch coil or log on a clean, flat surface very dusted lightly with gfJules All Purpose 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 long braid.
Gently transfer braid to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the second set of three balls. You may divide the dough into as many balls as you like, counting on at least 3 balls per loaf. Roll each to equal lengths of coil and braid into 1, 2, or 4 loaves.
In a small bowl, mix the extra egg together with a splash of water and brush over each loaf well, coating the entire top surface. Sprinkle the fruit or any toppings at this point, then place the tray (covering the loaves with wax paper sprayed with cooking oil) in a warm location for at least 20 – 30 minutes.
Once risen at least slightly, place the uncovered tray in an oven preheated to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection) for 20 minutes (less time for smaller loaves).
(Optional: instead of baking right away after rising, brush again with egg wash or spritz with water and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Remove to the counter while pre-heating your oven. Remove plastic wrap and bake as directed.)
Remove to cool on a wire rack.
*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.
**for a vegan egg-substitute, check my comprehensive vegan substitutes article for ideas. I have not tried anything in this recipe yet myself, but I would lean toward a combination that would include vegan mayo and commercial egg substitutes.
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Don’t wait for the next special occasion to bake this incredible gluten free challah bread!
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
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