Author: Katharina Arrigoni | BesondersGut

Here is a fully vegan version of traditional challah with several braiding options and video tutorials by Swiss recipe developer and cookbook author Katharina Arrigoni. Enjoy!

Vegan Challah Recipe

Ingredients

For the water roux

  • 125 g water
  • 25g white all-purpose flour

 

For the poolish

  • 100g water
  • 50g white all-purpose flour
  • 50g white spelt flour
  • 1g fresh yeast

 

For the dough

  • Water roux, cold
  • Poolish, cold
  • 80g refined canola oil
  • 10-20g water (depends)
  • 8g fresh yeast
  • 30g sugar
  • 375g white all-purpose flour
  • 0.3g turmeric
  • 10g salt

For brushing/sprinkling

  • Maple syrup
  • Coarse salt or decorating sugar

Directions:

Water Roux

  1. Day before: Put the water and flour in a small pan. While stirring constantly, slowly bring the mixture to the boil until it thickens somewhat.
  2. Allow to cool slightly and place covered in the fridge until use.

Poolish

  1. Day before: Put the water in a bowl and stir in the yeast. Add the flour, mix well and cover. Let it sit for two hours at 21–23°C (69.8-73.4F) so the yeast starts to ferment. Then let it continue to ferment in the fridge until the next day. The batter should at least double in size.

Dough/First Proof

  1. The next day: Put all ingredients (except the 10-20g water) in the order shown in a mixer bowl and knead for 8-10 minutes on a low setting. The dough will be a bit sticky, even slightly gummy. But don’t worry! Continue to knead gently for another 5 minutes and add 10-20 g of water to the dough if and as required. The dough should ultimately be soft and smooth.
  2. You can also knead the dough by hand to the specified consistency, but this can take a few minutes longer.
  3. Ideal dough temperature after kneading: 23–25°C (73.4-77F).
  4. Cover airtight at 21–23°C (69.8-73.4F) for 1 hour.

Shaping/Second Proof

  1. Place the dough on an unfloured or very lightly floured work surface and divide the dough into the number of pieces required (weigh each piece for more precision). Prepare each strand, braid the dough and place on baking paper. Leave covered to proof for another 30–45 minutes.

Braiding (with video tutorials)

8-Strand Braid Video Tutorial:

5-Strand Braid Video Tutorial:

(Note: the text overlay in the following two videos is in German, but the visuals should be easy enough to understand even if you don’t speak German!)

4-Strand Braid Video Tutorial

Brushing/Baking

Brush the braid with maple syrup just before baking and bake in a very well preheated oven at 190–200°C (374-392F) without steam for 45–50 minutes. After, but while still warm, brush the loaf with more maple syrup and sprinkle with either the coarse salt or decorating sugar.

 

 

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Vegan Challah Recipe (with Video Braiding Tutorial)


Scale

Ingredients

For the water roux

  • 125 g water
  • 25g white all-purpose flour

 

For the poolish

  • 100g water
  • 50g white all-purpose flour
  • 50g white spelt flour
  • 1g fresh yeast

 

For the dough

  • Water roux, cold
  • Poolish, cold
  • 80g refined canola oil
  • 1020g water (depends)
  • 8g fresh yeast
  • 30g sugar
  • 375g white all-purpose flour
  • 0.3g turmeric
  • 10g salt

For brushing/sprinkling

  • Maple syrup
  • Coarse salt or decorating sugar

Instructions

Water Roux

  1. Day before: Put the water and flour in a small pan. While stirring constantly, slowly bring the mixture to the boil until it thickens somewhat.
  2. Allow to cool slightly and place covered in the fridge until use.

Poolish

  1. Day before: Put the water in a bowl and stir in the yeast. Add the flour, mix well and cover. Let it sit for two hours at 21–23°C (69.8-73.4F) so the yeast starts to ferment. Then let it continue to ferment in the fridge until the next day. The batter should at least double in size.

Dough/First Proof

  1. The next day: Put all ingredients (except the 10-20g water) in the order shown in a mixer bowl and knead for 8-10 minutes on a low setting. The dough will be a bit sticky, even slightly gummy. But don’t worry! Continue to knead gently for another 5 minutes and add 10-20 g of water to the dough if and as required. The dough should ultimately be soft and smooth.
  2. You can also knead the dough by hand to the specified consistency, but this can take a few minutes longer.
  3. Ideal dough temperature after kneading: 23–25°C (73.4-77F).
  4. Cover airtight at 21–23°C (69.8-73.4F) for 1 hour.

Shaping/Second Proof

  1. Place the dough on an unfloured or very lightly floured work surface and divide the dough into the number of pieces required (weigh each piece for more precision). Prepare each strand, braid the dough and place on baking paper. Leave covered to proof for another 30–45 minutes.

Watch the videos above for the braiding tutorials!

Brushing/Baking

Brush the braid with maple syrup just before baking and bake in a very well preheated oven at 190–200°C (374-392F) without steam for 45–50 minutes. After, but while still warm, brush the loaf with more maple syrup and sprinkle with either the coarse salt or decorating sugar.


Notes

Tip: If you use this recipe to bake two smaller loaves instead of one, reduce the baking time by approx. 12 minutes.

 

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