Crispy & Soft, Vegan, Whole Wheat Challah Bread

Baking bread from scratch is the single most magical trick the kitchen provides. The yeast requires warmth and time to expand, the flour changes form under cover, the smell throughout your entire home is beyond compare. Many people think bread baking is difficult, labor intensive and simply not worth it. Allow me to prove otherwise...

Challah bread is known as "egg bread" and in lieu of eggs we're going to work with the flax seed. If you're unfamiliar and curious about the health bennies of flax, see here. Last week on the blog, I showed how to make brilliant vegan butter and today we're going to do flax eggs. My goal is for you to be able to open up any recipe for baked goods and veganize with these butter and egg replacers! Now, on with the bread...

What you need:

2 packs or 5 tsp of Rapid Rise or Active Dry Yeast (usually come in a 3 pack)

2 tbl flaxmeal + 6 tbl warm water

2/3 c sugar of choice, or maple syrup

2 c very warm water

7 c flour, divided (whole wheat used in our video, white & spelt both work great)

2 tbl sea salt

1/4 c neutral oil (grape seed, light olive etc)

1 tsp vanilla extract

toppings: seeds, oats, rosemary, sea salt, Trader Joe's everything bagel topping (sesame/poppy blend with garlic & salt)

vegan butter, olive oil, maple syrup

What you do:

In a small bowl, make the flax eggs by combining 2 tbl flaxmeal with 6 tbl warm water.

In a large mixing bowl, rise your yeast by combining yeast, sugar/maple & 2 c very warm water.

Allow both flax egg and yeast mixture to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Add the first 3ish cups of the flour mixture and salt, mix to combine.

Add the other wet ingredients: flax eggs, oil, vanilla, mix to combine.

Add the remaining 3ish cups of flour - then roll up your sleeves and do a little kneading. Don't be afraid of this step - spend about 3 minutes punching, pulling, stretching, combining. Push some good vibes into your bread.

Lightly oil your mixing bowl for the dough to rise - cover with saran wrap and a towel and place in a warm spot. 2 good options for your warm spot: Either use the warm sun outside or inside near a sunny window OR if it isn't warm or sunny, warm up an oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off leaving your oven light.

Allow the dough to rise at least 2 hours, or longer. If you want, you can set this up in the morning and it can rise all day long until you can get back to it. Extra credit: punch down the rising dough at any point in the rising process and allow it to rise again (for even more softness). This is not a perfect science, it just needs time and warmth and privacy. So sexy, right?

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start to play with your dough. Become a kid again. Make rolls, twists, braids, or just put it in a bread pan.

Have fun with this! (If you'd like to up your braiding game, check out this play by play for several different looks)

Before you bake, add a glossy and seedy topping. Melt our Vegan Butter, or use some oil with a touch of maple syrup. "Paint" it on the challah with a pastry brush or balled up paper towel. This will allow your seeds to stick - get seedy, cinamonny, etc.

Bake for 30-40 minutes (smaller rolls will be ready first).

Take some deep inhales, your home just became a bakery. Look at you, you just did magic. That wasn't so hard, was it?

Share with everyone you love <3

white flour:

white whole wheat flour, that butter-less butter & me:

also - this dough recipe can make you pizza & garlic knots (homemade mozzarella recipe coming soon!)