Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

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 …

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.

 

Others bake it into crown shapes or even bake off in muffin or popover tins for individual rolls.

gluten free easter rolls

Alexis from Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures uses my gfJules Flour and recipe to make these beautiful Italian Easter Breads every year! Click the photo for her method and more photos.

 

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.

gluten free braided bread covered for rising gfJules

The next day, remove the tray to the counter while you preheat your oven and then bake. Voila! Amazing bread!

gluten free braided bread gfJules

I let this dough sit overnight in the fridge (covered) then allowed it to rise longer the next day before baking. It rose to be so big and beautiful! No need to wait that long, and it arguably rose a bit TOO much! It’s still soft and flavorful, no matter what!

 

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!

soft gluten free challah - gfJules

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

 

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!

proofed yeast gfJules

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!

Gluten Free Challah collage - gfJules.com

gluten free challah

Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

Yield: 2 large loaves
Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Gluten free challah is great anytime you're craving insanely good bread ... which is all the time, right? Made with soft, never-gritty gfJules Flour, it's easy to braid the dough and easy to please anyone with this bread!

Ingredients

  • 1/2+ cup warm water
  • 1 package rapid rise gf yeast (Red Star® - NOT platinum)
  • 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 vegetable or safflower or sunflower oil
  • 4 Tbs. honey, agave nectar or molasses
  • 4 cups (540 grams) gfJules™ All-Purpose Gluten Free 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 with 1 Tbs. water
  • poppy seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, diced apples or other toppings (optional)

Instructions

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 1/4 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 (including remaining 1/4 cup 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 if 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 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.

Notes

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

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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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Gluten free challah is great anytime! Especially when you can't even tell it's gluten free. Made w/ soft, never-gritty gfJules Flour, that's what's you get!

Gluten free challah (braided bread) so good you'll never wait for a special occasion to make this bread recipe again! Easter bread, Braided Bread, Challah -- whatever you call it, it's delicious! | gfJules #glutenfree #challah

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112 thoughts on “Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

  1. This recipe is amazing. Thank you! Not only does it have the same taste as my gluten based Challah, but I can BRAID it, and that is part of tradition for me.

    Amy idea why it splits when baking though? I’ll take taste over looks, but if it can look good too…

    • That makes me SO very happy to hear! I’m thrilled that you have truly delicious REAL gluten free challah — braidable gluten free challah — in your life! Regarding the splitting, you can try a couple things. It’s more related to the rapidity of rising, I’ve found, so you can switch to regular active rise yeast instead of rapid rise yeast, and you can slow the rise down to rise overnight in the refrigerator or in a cool place, rising more slowly. That would be one thing to try the next time you make gluten free challah and have a bit more time on your hands. I also use raisins to my advantage where there are larger splits :).
      Happy baking!
      ~jules

  2. Planning on making this today 🙂 I have my Jules gf flour ready to go. Two questions- When it says to turn on the oven to 200 and then turn it off- what step do I use the warmed oven?
    I only have active dry yeast even though the recipe calls for rapid. What adjustments do I need to make?
    Thanks!

      • Follow up: I made it and it was awesome!!!! I can’t wait to make this next Shabbat! I’ve been gluten free since 1990 and had yet to find a good challah recipe, so thank you!

        • WONDERFUL to hear, Jenny! I’m so excited for you! Congratulations on having REAL challah back in your life!!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let me know!
          ~jules

    • Hi Jenny, the warmed oven is for the rising part. So, turn the oven on to 200F and when it’s come to temp, turn it off and put the bread into the oven to rise in the warmed — but turned off — oven. If your kitchen is already warm or you have another warm place to rise the gluten free challah, you don’t have to follow this step. Hope that makes it more clear!
      ~jules

  3. With yeast at a premium I need to use what I have on hand – fleischmann’s active dry yeast. Any suggestions to accommodate for using that instead of rapid rise?

  4. I’m hoping to make my first gf challah soon. Ordered your flour on line as I have heard it is the best. I don’t have a standing mixer and have also made my regular challah by hand. Can I do this with your recipe? Due to the scarcity of yeast at this time, I could only find saf-instant yeast and wonder if I can use this?
    I have all the other ingredients.
    Please advise. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Helen, I’m so glad to know that others are recommending my gfJules Flour to you as the best, especially for gluten free challah! I certainly believe it is, and have heard from so many people who had previously given up on ever making real challah (and braiding it!) again until they’d tried it with my flour, so I know that it has meant so much to so many who have been successful with it in their gluten free challah making.
      Back to your questions though: you may make this dough by hand, but be careful not to over-work it. Having made traditional gluten challah by hand, I’m certain that there was a great deal of kneading that you were doing. Resist the urge! Simply mix the dough until it is mixed and then follow the instructions I give for how much more to integrate the yeast. Remember that the mixing comes first, then the braiding, then the rising, so leave room when braiding for the rise to occur after braiding. And the SAF instant yeast will work for you, yes.
      Happy Challah Making!
      ~jules

      • Thanks for your response. Happy to say that the challahs came out great and my daughter was thrilled. Her family who are not gf loved it as well. Hoping to try some other gf treats soon. Thank you!,,

  5. Is there a reason not to use butter? If butter works, how much in place of the oil? (Since there’s already yogurt in, it’s OT to avoid dairy)

  6. Pingback: How to Make Easy Bread for your Family - The Outmatched Mama

  7. I made this dough and used a scale to measure the flour. It came out WAY too wet! There was absolutely no way we would be able to roll out the dough.

    I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour, which has the following ingredients. Sweet White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Xantham Gum. I compared this to your gfJules blend and it is very similar (not sure about proportions though).

    We added some extra flour and that didn’t even work! Does anyone else have this problem? How do I make this dough workable?

    • Hi Valerie, most of my recipes are either vegan or can be made vegan, but this recipe is for egg bread, so I don’t recommend using an egg substitute. If you really want to try it though, check out my article on vegan baking substitutes and select a couple to blend together as a sub in this recipe, such as vegan mayo. Let me know how it goes!
      ~jules

    • Hi Haley, not sure what you’re talking about exactly. Can you explain – “the South?”? And I’m assuming you were using something other than my gfJules Flour? It’s pretty critical to use my flour in recipes like this so that it WON’T turn out dense and crumbly. Here’s a link to an article on gluten free flours so that you can see the differences and why WHICH flours you use makes such a difference!
      ~jules

      • is there something I can use in place of the yogurt. Would like to make the challah but am quarantined at home and dont have any 🙂

        • Hi Gisele, you could use sour cream if you have it or you could use milk but the texture will be somewhat different and you’ll need to use less. If using milk, I would add milk until the dough gets to the texture where it’s not dry and it’s braidable but not tight or too sticky. I’ve not made it with milk yet, or I’d be able to tell you exactly how much to add. Sour cream should be close to the same measurement. I hope one of those works for you during quarantine!
          ~jules