Since Thanksgiving this year fell on the first day of Chanukah, I felt it was only fitting to make vegan challah instead of the usual rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe is adapted from a Swedish cardamom bread recipe from the Vegetarian Times. This is probably one of the most delicious breads I have ever tasted. And if you know me, you know that I love bread.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s also fairly easy to make. Just be sure to plan far enough in advance to let it sit overnight in the fridge. That’s important. The first time I made it, I only chilled it for about 30 minutes because I’m impatient like that, and the finished product wasn’t nearly as big and beautiful as the next time I made it when I actually chilled it overnight.
So without further ado, I bring you, challah. Make some in the next few days to celebrate Chanukah! You won’t be sorry.
2 cups almond, soy or rice milk, plus more for brushing loaf top
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup
1/3 cup canola oil, coconut oil or melted Earth Balance
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons organic sugar, for sprinkling
First, stir together the non-dairy milk, flaxseeds, agave nectar, oil, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and mix well. You may need to use your hands to mix it thoroughly, but you don’t need to knead it. When the dough is mixed, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let stand 2 and a half hours at room temperature. Then chill it overnight in the refrigerator.
When you’ve made your three dough ropes, pinch the ends together and braid them. When you finish, pinch the other ends together.
When I made the loaves pictured, I decided to add rosemary to my second loaf. If you want to get fancy with the spices, then feel free to throw in some rosemary (or other desired spice) to your remaining dough
Repeat with your second half of dough and cover both with a towel, allowing them to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the top of your braided loaves with almond milk or spray lightly with cooking spray. Then follow by sprinkling with organic sugar. In the loaves I made today, I sprinkled one with cinnamon sugar and the other with fresh rosemary from my newly acquired baby rosemary plant.