|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 43g||16%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Years ago, some people tended to shun eggs for fear they'd raise their cholesterol. Lots of kosher bakeries turned out so-called "water challahs" to cater to the egg abstainers. Some people still do avoid eggs, but as nutrition science advanced, the egg was vindicated, and for many, the water challah was forgotten.
It seems blasphemous to make egg bread (another name for challah) without eggs, but if you're out of eggs or vegan, this recipe produces a spectacular and delicious result. We have provided two methods of making this challah bread, one using the mixer and the other using a bread machine.
The dough rises beautifully and is easy to work with. Crusty, chewy, and a bit sweet, this recipe will become your go-to challah—even though there probably won't be any leftovers for French toast.
"This water challah is incredibly straightforward to make and the resulting loaf is tender and plush with the perfect slight sweetness. If you don’t have a stand mixer, the dough is super easy to make by hand. For a taller loaf, consider a six-strand braid." —Kayla Hoang
For the Challah:
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
6 tablespoons vegan sugar, plus a pinch for the yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola, more for the bowl
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, more for the work surface
2 teaspoons salt, kosher salt, or pink Himalayan sea salt
For the Glaze:
1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons soy milk, or another non-dairy milk substitute
Steps to Make It
Hand or Stand Mixer Method
Gather the ingredients.
Place the lukewarm water in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add a pinch of sugar and sprinkle with the yeast. Set aside in a warm place until the mixture is foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. If your yeast doesn't proof properly, discard the mixture and start again with new yeast.
With a hand whisk or the mixer's whisk attachment, mix in the sugar, oil, 2 cups of flour, and the salt.
Switch to a sturdy wooden spoon or the mixer's dough hook, and add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until a shaggy dough forms and begins to pull into a ball (you might not need all the flour).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With clean, floured hands, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, continue to knead in the stand mixer with the dough hook.
Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
Grease a clean large bowl with a bit of oil.
Place the challah dough in the bowl and turn to coat with the oil.
Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough has risen to at least double its bulk, about 1 3/4 hours.
The recipe will make 1 large challah loaf, 2 medium challah loaves, 1 medium challah loaf plus 6 challah rolls, or 12 challah rolls. Lightly grease 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Shape or braid the dough as desired.
Place the shaped challah and/or rolls on the baking sheet(s) and cover with clean, dry tea towels. Allow to rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If using 1 baking sheet, position a rack in the center of the oven. If using 2 baking sheets, position a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 F. While the oven is heating, make the maple wash by whisking together the maple syrup and soy milk.
Brush the wash over the challah with a pastry brush.
Bake the challah until the crust is a deep golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes for a large challah, 20 to 25 minutes for a medium challah, and 15 to 20 minutes for rolls.
Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Make this in smaller loaves or rolls so you can freeze and save one (or more) for later use. This recipe makes 1 large challah, 2 medium challahs, 1 medium challah plus 6 challah rolls, or 12 challah rolls.
Bread Machine Challah
Place the ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select "Dough Cycle." When the cycle ends, remove the dough from the machine. Shape as desired and transfer to prepared baking pans. Allow the challah to rise, covered lightly with a clean, slightly damp tea towel, for 30 minutes to an hour or until doubled in size. While the bread is rising, make the maple wash by whisking together the maple syrup and soy milk. Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the challah with the maple mixture. Bake in a heated oven until the crust is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes for a large challah, 20 to 25 minutes for a medium challah, and 15 to 20 minutes for rolls. Cool on wire rack.
- Top it with herbs such as fresh chopped rosemary, or some sesame seeds.
- Mix in some raisins or cinnamon in the dough, or use both.
How to Store and Freeze
- Although best eaten the day it is baked, this vegan challah bread will last for two to three days in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature. Do not place in the refrigerator as it will go stale quicker. It makes wonderful French toast.
- Challah bread can be frozen for up to three months. Place it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze.