It’s almost the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah! And you know what that means, lots and lots of challah. While I of course love regular white challah, and am not celiac, consuming too much bread over the holiday always seems to irritate my stomach. Gluten doesn’t always sit well with my stomach so I wanted to try a new recipe where I could enjoy some dips and challah, but without the bloat and icky feeling in my stomach.
This recipe is made with oat and tapioca flour which makes this challah super light. I found the original recipe here. I made a few modifications which worked out really well.
1 & 1/4 cups warm water
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs (egg-free version: 2 tbsp. flax seeds blended with 6 tbsp warm water until frothy)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 cups oat flour
1 cup tapioca flour
You can add whatever toppings you like: raisins, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and chocolate chips to name a few. I tried “Everything But The Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s and it was delicious! My favorite brand for the flours and xanthan gum is Bob’s Red Mill.
*The original recipe includes rice flour, sorghum flour, and psyllium husk powder, in addition to the oat and tapioca flour. I personally leave those ingredients out and it still turns out delicious.
In a large bowl, place the yeast and honey. Pour in the warm water and whisk together to dissolve the yeast. Let the yeast foam and bubble for about 5 minutes.
Add in the wet ingredients to the bowl: eggs, oil and vinegar.
Then, add in the flours, salt and xanthan gum. Mix well and add in any additional ingredients that you like (raisins, chocolate chips, etc.)
Pour the “batter” into a lightly oiled 9×5 loaf pan or challah form pan and smooth the top. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise for 2 hours.
15 minutes before it’s finished rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the towel and bake until golden brown for 45 minutes.
Let it cool for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven before removing from pan. Then, turn it onto a cooling rack and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Note: Gluten-free bread is not braidable. I purchased a challah mold pan on Amazon to create the shape and it worked perfectly. Just spray the mold with a little oil so that it easily comes out.
You may want to add a topping, as I did. Since the challah will be baking upside down in the challah loaf pan, you will not be able to egg wash and place sesame or poppy seeds on prior to the baking. If you want seeds on top of the challah, take out the challah a few minutes early, flip it over and egg wash the top. Place the seeds on and put it back in the oven for a few additional minutes (on a regular baking sheet).