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!

Pin for later!

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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94 thoughts on “Gluten Free Challah with Apples & Raisins

    • Hi Gen, I wouldn’t recommend an egg replacer in this recipe, as it is an egg bread. Most of my recipes work well with an egg replacer (if an egg is even called for in the ingredients), but when a recipe calls for this many eggs, the results will be radically different. I wish I had a better answer here!
      ~jules

  1. Hi Jules…
    Do you have any recommendations for this bread in high elevation? We live in the mountains in Colorado. My dough turned out a dry, I tried to add liquid but wasn’t successful. The bread tastes amazing but doesn’t look so good. I also need to order your gf flour blend…I was so excited about the recipe I used a similar blend because I will have to order yours online, so next time I will wait to make it when your flour blend arrives. Thanks, Christine

  2. Pingback: Rosh Hashanah Round-up|Savoring Saturdays | Only Taste Matters

  3. Pingback: Gluten Free Rosh Hashanah Recipes| Savoring Saturdays - Flippin' Delicious

  4. Oh my goodness…Jules! Thank you!! This challah is absolutely delicious. I baked it plain on this 1st attempt but will definitely be adding chocolate chips, raisins, sesame seeds etc the next time. I love the texture of the challah as well…I have only 1 major issue…I might eat it all before my kids and husband get home..OY!! Oh well…happy baking and eating. Thanks again for a terrific recipe and a wonderfully versatile GF flour mix!

    • Hi Lisa,
      That’s wonderful to hear, and a good problem to have! 😉 I love your idea of all the additions on future loaves. Have fun!!!
      ~jules

    • I just bought your GF all purpose flour and want to make our weekly Challah, however I wanted to know if your flour will work as a replacement in any flour recipe. I have a special recipe I love to use that normally uses bread flour. Can I replace it with yours?

  5. I love your recipes. I do not have your flour mix on hand right now, but would like to try making this now anyway. I know your mix has xanthan gum added to it, so how much would I have to add to this recipe to make it work? Thanks.

  6. I just tried this recipe as a substitute for an old family recipe called julekai (Christmas cake). I added 1 tsp vanilla and 1 additional Tbs sugar. Right before I rolled it out, I added some frozen, pea-sized pieces of butter, about 1/4 cup. Then I rolled it into two sheets, each about 9×11 inches. I spread the center with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, chopped hazelnuts, and dark chocolate chips. Then I folded the edges up about 2 inches on each side to make a smaller rectangle. I let them rise and baked them until golden. They were delicious and the closest thing to the original recipe I have had yet. Thanks for posting this recipe!

    • Wow, Abbey, your Christmas Cake sounds divine! I can’t wait to try that modification this holiday season! Thanks so much for sharing, and I’m so happy to hear you loved this dough with your recipe! It’s one of our family’s favorites, as well!

  7. Just bought your kindle edition of your latest book so that I can have it on my iPad as I shop. I downloaded your other cookbooks. Makes for a bulky 3 ring binder. Thanks for the kindle edition.

  8. I loved to bake bread, but I’ve been GF for 11 months. While my GI is much happier, my baking skills have been tested, challenged, and frustrated! I just tried this recipe and there was no way I was going to roll that dough out to braid. It was way to sticky. I added more flour, but I’m not sure how that effects the dough given it isn’t glutinous. How much more flour can I add to get it not to stick so much? Thanks. I wanted to make a challah for Thanksgivukkah in few weeks.

    • Hi Michelle, did you use any ingredient substitutions with the challah recipe? Did you use my Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour? Let me know so I can better help you figure out how to get this recipe right next time! Did you bake it out anyway? If so, how did it turn out?

      • I did use your all purpose flour, which I recently stalked up on for the holiday season. I didn’t have rapid rise yeast, so used the red star original. Other than that I tried to follow the recipe per se.

        I couldn’t bread it, but I was able to shape and bake it. Tasted wonderful and the non-GF in my household enjoyed it tremendously.

        It was just really sticky. I measured out the flour, but it felt like there wasn’t enough.

        I guess it will just take practice and jolly gee won’t that be a shame. (Heehee)

        • I love your attitude about the practice and taste-testing, and it’s great that you are experimenting BEFORE you need the recipe! I wonder if you are measuring the flour differently than I do. Do you have a food scale? If so, 1 cup of my flour = 135 grams. If not, just make sure to scoop flour and put it into your cup measure then level with a knife. If it still feels too sticky when you’re done, add more and mix it in until you think you could braid it and see how that goes for comparison. Luckily you love the taste, so it’ll still be a winner regardless. :)

  9. I must admit that this recipe is delicious–but I made a big mess! LOL! Just bought a new bread machine and I really want to try the Challah recipe–mess free this time….I hope. How can I adapt it to work using a bread machine? Thanks!

    • Hi Elyse – you can use the dough setting on your bread machine, but in order to braid it, you’ll have to take it out after that and braid then bake in the oven. You could just let the dough bake in the breadmaker as a regular loaf, though. Glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  10. I am making this again today! The last time I made 8 or 9 little braided loaves and froze the extras. I love being able to again unwind the braids bite by bite! I did not notice any change in quality even being frozen for up to 8 weeks. Just 20-30 seconds in the microwave and it’s like they are just cooling out of the oven!

    • That’s wonderful, Louise! I’ve had good luck freezing these loaves, too, but your idea to make a lot of small loaves and freeze them is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you for this recipe. I used to make this every Easter until my son was diagnosed with Celiac. All these years we have been missing out. Can’t wait to try it. I like to incorporate the raisens in at the last minute instead of sprinkling them. Hope it works.

  12. Have you ever tried freezing some of the dough and baking later? I’m afraid that if I made two loaves, one would go stale before I could get to it, and halving the recipe looks complicated (what with the five egg yolks).

  13. Do you a recipe for pancakes? I attempted to use the flour with a traditional pancake recipe and it didn’t turn out very well. The pancakes were gummy and did not brown.

    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’ve been trying to make great Easter Bread for years and your recipe was my solution. I added the zest of one orange and one lemon. I made 12 rolls in my muffin pans sprayed with Pam (I had a little dough left over) and cooked them for about 17 minutes on 350. I put a powdered sugar/water glaze on top after they came out of the oven. So crazy yummy!!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=506872526024111&set=a.358578797520152.110850.358168717561160&type=1&theater

    • That sounds divine, Alexis! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications! Glad I could help bring Easter Bread back to your table! :)

    • Hi Cheri – I do don’t gelatin either, so no worries! My flour is free from gluten, the top 8 food allergens (including eggs and dairy) and is also vegetarian. Hope that works for you!

    • Hi Jennifer – if you follow the directions as written, it makes 2 loaves. You could easily make 4 smaller loaves though, just by dividing the dough again. Enjoy!

      • Your flour and recipes are great and you have shown us how to make many things gluten free. There is one thing I have been looking for and wondered if you had tried it, a loaf of sourdough bread. I would love to try it if you have any suggestions, we enjoy your many ideas!

        • Thanks so much, Carolyn! I am working on a sourdough right now, and hope to publish the recipe soon! So glad you’re enjoying my other recipes – keep the ideas coming and I’ll do what I can to help!
          ~jules