If you’re Jewish like me, it’s likely you miss doughy challah every Friday night. I watch my family devour the challah. The smell and texture – oh how I miss it and how it feels like Friday night.
On my quest to find a gluten-free challah recipe, I found this article on Kveller.com about how challah can only be “taken” if made with one of the five grains mentioned in the Torah, which are barley, rye, wheat, oat, and spelt. The only gluten-free grain of the five is oat. Apparently bread made from other grains can be Kosher, but you cannot say, “hamotzi” or call it a challah. I had no idea!
I understand some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities cannot eat oats, but fortunately I can, as long as they are gluten-free oats. Verid Meir, the author of the article at Kveller.com, says she consulted with a rabbi who told her “… that while no teshuva (responsum) has yet been written on this topic, the oat flour must be at minimum 51% of the total flour in the bread.”
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The gluten-free challah recipe below consists of 51% oat flour (I used gluten free oat flour by Bob’s Red Mill), along with other ingredients. I’ve made this recipe several times – once in a challah-shaped mold pan, and again as a loaf of bread. For Yom Kippur last week, I used my mini loaf pan (makes 8 loaves) to create mini-challahs for my gluten-free guests to enjoy in lieu of bagels during breakfast. Everyone complimented this gluten-free challah recipe. I’ve also made this recipe with eggs, and without eggs. Hands down my guests loved the egg-free version, so it’s the only version I make now.
You can read more about this gluten-free challah recipe and its origins here. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family enjoys it. While it doesn’t taste like challah, per se, it’s a spongy textured, slightly sweet bread that is truly delicious. Enjoy it as gluten-free challah at your Shabbat table or even as a bread substitute as my family did on break fast last Yom Kippur.
I am very grateful to Meir for her research and story in helping those of us who cannot eat gluten still enjoy not only a wonderful gluten-free challah recipe, but also one that we can use to say, “hamotzi,” too. Thank you!
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