I can honestly say that challah bread is one of the foods I miss most since going gluten free. However, my health is too important to me to eat challah, even just one night a week, so I've come up with this delicious gluten-free challah alternative made with 51 percent gluten-free oat flour. This challah is hamotzi-worthy, baby! Now you can celebrate Shabbat with a delicious gluten-free challah. Can I get an, "Amen?"
Keyword: challah recipe with oat flour, gluten-free challah recipe
Activate yeast by combining warm water, yeast and honey in a small bowl. Whisk it together and allow it 4-6 minutes to begin to bubble and froth. If it doesn't bubble, your yeast may be old or expired.
While yeast is activating, combine the oat flour, tapioca flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
In the large bowl attached to your standing mixer, add oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar and yeast mixture. If you don't have a standing mixer, simply add the ingredients to a large bowl. I recommend using a standing mixer as the dough is difficult to mix by hand.
With your mixer running on low, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined or for about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides to ensure all flour is incorporated and mix on medium-high for 1-2 minutes.
Add the mixed dough to a lightly greased challah mold pan (recommend - see notes). Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and let it rise for at least two hours. It needs to rise in a warm environment for best results. The dough should double in size. If it does not rise, it may need more time, a warmer location, or it could mean your yeast is dead. I use a heating mat to ensure a consistent rise each time (see notes).
Preheat your oven to 375º F and bake for about 23-28 minutes until lightly browned on top. If using a metal pan, bake for less time. Watch challah carefully to ensure it doesn't burn. When it's brown on top, that is your signal to take it out of the oven.
Remove challah from oven and allow it 5 minutes to cool in the pan before flipping it onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!
Extra Honey: I add an extra 1/4 cup of honey (1/2 cup total) to my challahs from time to time. It adds a touch more sweetness and the honey gives the challah excellent rise. It's optional to do. Experiment and see what you think.Vegan / Egg-Free Version: To make this recipe egg-free, swap two eggs for two tablespoons of flaxseed meal combined with 6 tbsp of warm water. Allow the mixture to gel for five minutes before adding to your mixture. I think both versions taste great!For a Sweet, Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah: Add 1/4 cup of applesauce, an extra 1/4 cup honey, and 1 tsp cinnamon to the dough and mix with your mixer until incorporated. Fold in 1/2 cup or more raisins by hand. Place the dough in a round bundt pan to rise and bake. Getting a Good Rise: A good rise is essential to getting a fluffy, light challah. Allow the dough plenty of time to rise in a warm place in your home. I place the challah atop a small heated seedling mat to ensure I get a good rise. You can also proof it in your warm oven.Flour Substitutes: You can use sorghum flour or another gluten-free flour in lieu of brown rice flour. You can use potato starch in lieu of tapioca flour. The oat flour cannot be swapped as it is essential to getting hamotzi-worthy challah (read full article for details).Do Not Braid: Please note that challah will be sticky and cannot be braided. Please use a challah mold pan to get the desired challah shape. If you do not have a challah mold pan, two loaf pans (dough divided) or a bundt pan will work just fine.No Egg Wash: There is no need to brush the dough with an egg wash mixture. It browns well as is.Freeze: This challah freezes well. I freeze it inside a large zip top bag.Mini Loaves: Because I'm often the only one eating the gluten-free challah for Shabbat, I like to make myself mini loaves in a mini loaf pan or muffin pan. Be sure to shorten the bake time and freeze loaves/muffins in a zip top bag. Defrost a mini loaf that day you're ready to enjoy it.Challah Box Mixes: Don't feel like making challah but want challah in your life? Try these awesome gluten-free challah mixes.Cooking Time: Cooking time may vary depending on your baking pan. You will need less time in a narrow, metal pan, and more time in a deep silicon pan. Less baking time will also net a more dough result.This recipe inspired by an article in Kveller.com.