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Dec 13, 2013

Jewish Challah Bread / Vegan Challah Bread / Four Strand Braided Challah

Jewish Challah Bread was in my do list for long time and finally it happened this week. Thanks to Priya R for challenging Home Baker's Group Members with Christmas Bakes - Cakes, Cookies & Bread for this month's Challenge. This Jewish Challah Bread was one of the recipe given for this Month's HBC event. She given us the Traditional Challah Bread recipe with eggs and also a Vegan version. I tried the Vegan Challah Bread/ Four strand Challah braids this time and wanted to try the Traditional version with 6 strand braids sometime later.
The vegan bread turned out so soft, aromatic and delicious than to my expectations. I used besan flour instead of chickpea flour, so i felt very light flavor of chickpea flour. It was to me only, by hubby did not complain anything and the kids too. So i recommend to use chickpea flour and if you use besan flour, dry roast it for 2-3 minutes then use it in the recipe. My kids liked the bread as such with butter. I also tried Eggless Bread Pudding with few slices and that was super Hit, will be posting here soon. Now off to the recipe...

Recipe Source : The Sweet Life  Preparation Time : 10 minutes 
Resting Time : 1 hour + 40 minutes  Baking Time : 30-35 minutes
Makes : 16" Loaf

  1. All Purpose Flour    3-4 cups
  2. Highly Active Yeast / Instant Yeast  2 tsp
  3. Salt    1 and 1/2 tsp
  4. Sugar       1/4 cup sugar
  5. Water      1 cup
  6. Chickpea Flour     1/2 cup + 1/2 cup water
  7. Olive Oil     1/4 cup
  8. sesame seed or Poppy seeds   for topping

  • Sift chickpea flour and take it in a small bowl, add 1/2 cup water and whisk to a smooth and lump free batter.
  • To this add sugar, oil and whisk until sugar dissolves.
  • Then in a mixing bowl, add 3 cups flour, salt and instant yeast mix well and now add the chickpea-sugar mixture and combine together.
  • And using water knead it to a soft dough and add remaining flour as needed to make a smooth, soft and elastic dough. The dough should be very soft but not sticky.
  • Once done place it in a greased bowl, cover it and rest it to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in volume.
  • After that punch down the dough and on a lightly floured surface flatten the dough to a flat disc and cut it to four equal pieces.(Please refer the video for how to braid four strand challah).
  • On a lightly floured counter roll each piece of dough out into a long log shape with tapered ends that is about 18 inches long. Do this by starting in the center and then moving your hands out in a rocking motion to elongate the piece of dough.
  • Place the pieces in front of you vertically and kind of fanned out with the ends farthest from you lightly pinched together.
  • Starting on you left hand side number the positions of the dough strands as 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Starting with strand 4 cross it over strand 2, then cross strand 1 over 3, followed by 2 over 3. Repeat as many times as needed to get to the end. Don’t be tempted to try to get too many repeats when you get to the end, otherwise you will have a lopsided loaf that is fat on one end and really narrow on the other.
  • Then Press the ends well together and tuck the ends of the braid under the loaf.
  • And place the braided dough in baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush with soy milk or creamer and set aside to rise for about 45 more minutes, until dough slowly pushes back when an indentation is created with your finger.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush loaf with soy milk on final time, sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown and a firm crust has formed.
  • Let cool completely before slicing.

If using Besan Flour/Gram flour instead chickpea flour, dry roast the flour for 2-3 minutes in medium heat and cool for a while then use it in the recipe.
And if you use active dry yeast, please refer the original recipe link for the method.
You can do 3, 4, 6 strand braids.
I don't have soy milk so i brushed with olive oil, so mine did not get the golden brown colour so lastly it turned oven to broil mode for 1 and 1/2 minutes.
I used sesame seeds for topping.
As my kids were troubling and also both my camera and mobile turned off I could not take a detailed step wise of braiding pattern, plz refer the video for it.

This is off to Home Baker's Challenge Event hosting by Priya R.


  1. looks wonderful.. perfectly done.. apt for the season.. nice clicks too.. :)

  2. Wow, braids look so perfect sangeetha. Wonderful bake and that too vegan...

  3. wat a preparation . its really superp i wish u agreat destination .keep it up sangi

  4. Super perfect braid aks... very soft and airy texture... Love it alot..

  5. Beautifully baked bread :) looks superb sangee love your braids :) its perfect and thanks for participating

  6. perfect n love the effort u put in stepwise pictorials as well sangee!!!

  7. Lovey moist bread sangee.Lovely clicks too


  8. Delicious and lovely looking challah bread. Looks so soft and moist.

  9. Super moist and soft bread,the braid has come out perfect..


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