Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Challah Atcha'!

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I have never baked Challah bread so this was a huge thrill for me to find this recipe in Betty's Big Red. Looking at it it seemed easy enough to veganize so that made me even happier because you see tonight at sundown Dan and I will be celebrating our first Hanukkah as old married folks. We're exchanging presents, lighting candles, spinning dreidels and watching basketball - you know you just like Judah & the rest of those bad-ass Maccabees did back in the day.

So for your enjoyment - here's my favorite Hanukkah song! You have to hit "Read More" for the the player to show up. I figure since no one listens to the radio anymore you folks won't be too sick of it. Besides I have to admit this song still makes me smile* everytime. Everytime! It also helps me lead into this :  I dedicate this bread to Captain Kirk and Mr.Spock - both Jewish!

So if your Festival of Lights has been missing this Jewish classic - here's a recipe that might just fill that hole on your holiday table. 

Ah Freilichen Hanukkah Everybody!

Challah Bread
  •  3 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Package Quick Active Yeast
  • 1 Cup Very Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon Applesauce
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray - for baking sheet 
  • Vegan Vegetable Shortening - for greasing bowl
Vegan "Egg Wash"
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple Juice 
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutritional Yeast

In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of the Flour with Sugar, Salt, Nutritional Yeast and Quick Active Yeast. Add the Water and Oil and blend with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Be sure and scrap the sides of the bowl often to make sure all the ingredients are mixed in. Then blend in the Applesauce and remaining Flour until the batter is smooth.

Place Dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl with Vegetable Shortening. Place the Dough in the greased bowl and spin it around a few times to get a light coating. Loosely seal the bowl up with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it doubles in size. We let ours sit overnight.

Heat oven to 375.

Spray a light coating of Olive Oil Cooking Spray over a cookie sheet.

Once the Dough has doubled in size and is springy to the touch, remove it from the bowl and divide it into 3 equal segments. Roll each segment into a long rope - try to keep them about the same size. Here's a tip : Don't stretch your dough. We did and you can see it caused the bread to have that pulled and well just not smooth appearance. Just roll it out.

Lay the 3 ropes in a row and start braiding them loosely from the center out. Then pinch the ends under to secure them. Brush a light coating of Olive Oil over the bread and then place the Loaf on your greased cooking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for another hour.

In a small bowl mix mix all the ingredients from the Vegan Egg Wash with a whisk. Once the loaf has risen, brush the Loaf with the Vegan Egg Wash.

Bake 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven once it is golden brown. Thicker braids may take longer to bake.

*Interesting fact - I have family members who swear Tom Cruise is Jewish too.


  1. Ah, such a classic song. :) Happy Hanukkah! The Challah looks beautiful.

    And I really like how you tagged this post with Star Trek. Heh heh.

  2. Yum! Do you think it would work as well with regular active yeast, not quick rise?

  3. Any excuse to tag Start Trek is a treat. :)

    I do think regular active yeast would work for sure. If you make it - Let me know!

  4. or Star Trek - stupid auto correct.

  5. My boyfriend's family is Jewish and where his parents live, there's an awesome bakery that makes a variety of Challah with chocolate chips. He never goes home without getting a loaf because its soooo good. We added chocolate chips to our first homemade attempt and it was awesome! The only difficulty was getting the chocolate chips evenly mixed into the dough.

  6. I am so impressed that you were able to make a vegan, braided challah, but I became exhausted just reading your recipe! Enjoy.

    P.S. Can't get enough of the Hannukah song either.

  7. Pretty challah!! And happy Hannukah!!! I'm not Jewish, but I'll definitely be celebratin' with some latkes this week.

  8. I used the regular active yeast and it turned out beautifully! The "egg wash" both terrified me and blew my mind with the first bite. Thanks for this recipe as well as the baked latkes - gonna try those soon. I blogged about my/your challah (with a pic) at and linked back to you! Love The Betty Crocker Project!

  9. I have made this bread twice and it is sooo delicious thanks I love your blog and reposted on mine!

  10. Hey guys! I have referenced your blog a couple of times on my own, so I thought I should let you know. It's a dinky little thing, but you're on it anyhow!! Once because I made this Challah - it was perfection! - and the second is as a reference in a Guide for New Vegetarians post.