Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Adventures in Challah Baking

I started out wanting to make challah, a wonderful jewish egg bread. Not being able to use wheat changes many things in baking, including which bread you can enjoy. This bread turned out wonderful, rich and with a perfect texture. It's almost challah but not quite, the chewiness that you get with gluten is missing but its own texture is moist and delightful. I offer you two methods: one for breadmachines but still baked in your oven, and the other you can do in a mixer. You can also take this recipe and use regular flour if your diet doesn't require you to be off wheat or gluten. Either way, you are in for a treat.

Almost Challah:A Gluten-Free Bread (makes 2 loaves)

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of water
3 large egg yolks
1 whole large egg
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup agave nectar, or honey

Dry Ingredients: Use the following flours or 4 1/2 cups of GF flour mix + the xantham gum, or for non-gluten-free version use 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, omit the xantham gum.

1 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca starch
1 cup of sorghum flour
1 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of garbanzo flour
1/2 cup of soy flour
4 teaspoon of xantham gum
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of yeast

Other Ingredients:
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
sesame seeds

Method 1 for the breadmachine:
1)If using a bread machine, put ingredients in according to manufacturer's instructions. Set the machine on basic dough cycle. Remove from machine when dough is done rising.

2)Divide into two loaves on oiled cookie sheet. I find it helpful to have wet hands when handling gluten-free dough. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 400F.

3)Paint the loaves with an egg wash and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the loaves are a beautiful golden brown and sound hallow when tapped underneath.

Method 2 for the mixer:
1)In a mixer, mix well the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 to two hours, or until doubled.

Continue with step 2 and 3 of method 1.


Kristen said...

Oh - well you know how much I love Challah! This looks fantastic :)

cindy* said...

almost challah looks beautiful! and so good with butter...

Dhanggit said...

this bread is so beautiful! i'll definitely keep the recipe :-) thanks for this yumminess !!

Is it Me? said...

I'm just getting into making my own bread, haven't been able to get xamtham gum from the shops in my area, bur will keep trying.

rachel said...

Alexa, this looks great! If you have any left, you should make french toast. I always have challah around and because of this I have a wide and varied french toast recipe "archive". But I bet you it would be great with just a thick shmear of peanut butter. YUM!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

When I lived in RI, we had so many wonderful Jewish breads that sold challah. I really need to try my hand at it. Thanks for the delicious inspiration.

Antonio Tahhan said...

this is fantastic!! My housemate was diagnosed with a whole laundry list of allergies last year (including gluten) and so this would be a great bread recipe to use to make her french toast (one of the things she's missed the most).

Alexa said...


Butter on warm bread will always be my ultimate comfort food. Thanks for your visit!

Glad you liked it!

I'll look into alternate for xantham gum and let you know if I find out anything. It is such great binder, maybe something else works as well.

French toasts sound so good. I wonder how it would work since gluten-free bread tend to be more crumbly. I'll have to try it to find out.

Challah is wonderful to make especially in the Winter when it warms up your home and the wonderful smell of baked bread lingers through-out.

Your housemate is lucky to have you for a house-mate... Hope she/he enjoys French toasts again!

Alexa said...

I looked into the other options if you can't find xantham gum and this is what I came up with
as an alternate:
--use 1 1/2 teaspoon of arrowroot powder for every 2 1/2 cups of flour


--use guar gum instead, in same proportion as the xantham gum.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Hope this helps.

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