This recipe is a guest post from my dear friend Talia. She was on a mission to create a delicious gluten-free challah recipe after her son’s celiac diagnosis. I’m so thankful for her hard work and perseverance in developing this recipe. Nothing gets in the way of mothers doing their best for their children! Read more of her story…
Developing a Gluten-Free Challah Recipe
I was fortunate enough to meet Steve from Authentic Foods at the Celiac Expo in Pasadena this past Spring. He was sampling out delicious freshly made pita bread. We started chatting and I told him how the one thing my family truly missed was my beautiful braided challah that I would make every Friday for Shabbat dinner. He told me that with his new ﬂour blend, I could actually braid challah dough!
He is a biochemist and ﬁgured out a way to re-create the protein gluten in a plant ﬁber. There are no hard to digest gums in his blend either! That week I called Steve and made arrangements to come to his ofﬁce/factory in Gardena with my challah recipe.
Steve shared his recipe with me and converted my old wheat ﬂour recipe to work with his blend. My ﬁrst batch was a ﬂop, but after an SOS call to Steve, we got it right. I tweaked the recipe a touch since then, and also created an oat four version with encouragement from my friend Nikki so it can be used to say Hamotzi.
We now enjoy delicious challah with ingredients that are almost identical to my old recipe every Shabbat!
Talia’s Gluten-Free Challah
You must use a kitchen scale to weigh out some of the ingredients.
This recipe will only work if using Steve’s GF Flour Blend by Authentic Foods.
This recipe will produce two small loaves.
For a Hamotzi version replace half of the flour blend with oat flour. The oat challah is heartier and bakes better as individual rolls, but also delicious!
For the yeast mixture:
1/4 Cup Warm Water (lukewarm 105-115 F)
2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet (7g) Yeast
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Steve’s Flour Blend
542g Steve’s Flour Blend (can mix with up to 50% oat ﬂour)
6 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Aluminum Free Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Potato Flour (NOT potato starch)
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Large Eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water (add up to 1/4 more if too dry)
6 Tbsp (3 oz) Organic melted butter, canola, olive, or coconut oil
2 Tbsp Honey (optional)
Preheat oven to 400º F.
In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the yeast mixture, stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly.
In a large bowl of an electrical mixer ﬁtted with a paddle attachment (not dough hook), combine the dry ingredients and mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and slowly mix in warm water and melted butter/oil. Add the liquid and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute and then on medium speed for 3 minutes until well combined. (If you would like to add chocolate chips or raisins soaked and drained, add them now).
Lightly dust the work surface with tapioca starch and turn out dough on to it. Shape into a ball and then divide the dough in half. Break each smaller ball into three and roll out gently with a light hand into three strands.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Gently place the strands on to the pan and braid. Repeat with the second loaf. Lightly cover formed loaves with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
For the oat challah version, I prefer to divide the dough into 12-16 pieces and make rolls. Roll out one long strand, lift up and tie a knot. Place on to a sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame, poppy seeds (or anything else!) if desired.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Place pan in the middle rack of your oven and let bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF (Reduce baking time for challah rolls, about 25 minutes). Cover lightly with aluminum foil if getting dark and let bake for another 15 minutes. Make sure the dough is ﬁrm to the touch before removing from the oven.
Remove from oven and cool.
My son Jack especially loves it when I knead cinnamon sugar into each strand before I braid it and top off the egg wash with a light dusting of cinnamon sugar over the egg wash. It is delicious on its own and for Sunday morning french toast!