Ultimate Vegan Challahby Ashley Goldstein
The chickpea custard gave the dough just the right amount of enrichment, so the crumb was soft and tender, with a sweet almost cakey, but not overpowering flavor. For the glaze, I mixed a bit of soymilk with a touch of silan (date syrup), which helped give the loaves a bit of sheen and that same rich color that traditional loaves have. The recipe will either make one large round loaf, or one large braid (which I prefer to bake in a loaf pan to retain more height). You can sprinkle the top with traditional toppings like poppy or sesame seeds, or you can have a bit of fun and try za’atar or paprika!
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 cup soy milk
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup sugar
4 – 5 cups flour
1 – 2 teaspoons black salt, to taste
3 tablespoons nondairy milk mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of silan (date syrup) or maple syrup
sesame seeds, poppy seeds, za’atar seasoning
- First mix the starter, let sit about an hour, till bubbling. This is the autolyse.
- Add the chickpea flour to a small saucepan and mix in a little bit of the milk to form a paste, then stir in the remainder of the milk and open a low flame on your stove. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, then add the sugar and oil, stirring until well combined.
- Now add the chickpea mixture to the “autolyse” you made earlier, and mix well. Add in the flour and black salt, and begin to incorporate the mixture all together, until it forms a cohesive dough.
- Sprinkle your work board with a bit of flour, and begin to knead. Challah dough should be kneaded for at least 10 minutes (by hand) for optimal results.
- When the dough is smooth and elastic, let it rest for a minute while you clean the bowl, then dry, and coat with a small amount of oil.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the bowl, turning it over to coat with the oil.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in size or overnight.
- Shape your challah into two loaves or 8 rolls, let rise until doubled. For a round loaf, roll the dough into one long rope. Tie the rope into a regular knot, tucking one end underneath the loaf, while letting the other stick out just a bit.
- When pressed, the dough should spring back very slowly.
- Brush with nondairy milk once after braiding and once before baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) until golden brown. Fully baked loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.