Sunday, November 17, 2013


We made vegan challah! And it was delicious! Banana, turmeric, coconut oil... I know challah doesn't usually have these ingredients, but Isa's recipe worked like a charm. We halved it so that the recipe just made one large loaf, and this is reflected in the instructions and measurements below.

The bread was crisp on the outside and soft inside. Slightly sweet, not only from the sugar but also from the banana and the coconut oil (we didn't have refined so we used the coconutty kind).

Delicious. I may make stuffing out of this for Thanksgivukkah.

Vegan Challah

3/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 cup (refined?) coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/6 cup warm water
1/1 additional tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 very overripe banana
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1/2 tablespoon salt
For brushing:
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon plain non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. Add water and turmeric to a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Keep an eye so that it doesn’t boil too long and evaporate. Immediately turn off the heat. Add the coconut oil and 1/4 cup sugar to the pot, and stir to melt coconut oil. You want the mixture to cool so that it isn’t hot to the touch, but is still warm. So let it sit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
2. In a very large mixing bowl, mix together the warm water and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast and set aside to get all yeasty. Note: make sure that the mixing bowl is large enough to hold all of the flour and additional ingredients for this recipe, because this is where you’ll be mixing everything.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the banana very well, until it appears pureed. The coconut oil mixture should be cooled enough now, so proceed with the recipe.
4. Add the mashed banana to the yeast bowl, along with the coconut oil mixture. Give a stir just to combine. Begin adding the flour a cup at a time, adding the salt along with the first cup. Mix after each addition, and begin to knead with your hands when a dough starts to form. Once all 3 1/2 cups have been added, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and begin to knead like crazy for 10 minutes or so, or until dough is nice and smooth. Add up to another 1/4 cup of flour as needed, until the dough is no longer tacky. Form dough into a ball.
5. Clean the mixing bowl, and lightly grease it with some canola oil. Add the ball of dough, spinning it into the bowl to get it lightly coated in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and set aside to rise for about an hour and a half. It should double in size.
6. Grease baking sheet and set aside. Also, make sure you have plenty of space for rolling out the ropes to create the braids.
7. When dough has doubled, punch it down, knead lightly and divide it into thirds. Roll each third into a long rope, 18 inches or so. Now place the three ropes on the baking sheet the long way, and…braid! Pinch the ends together to form butts.
8. Let the loaf rise for about 30 minutes. It should get nice and puffy. No need to cover it for this part. When loaf has risen, preheat oven to 375 F. Mix together maple syrup and milk in a small container. Brush loaf with the mixture and sprinkle with poppyseeds.
9. Bake bread for about 40 minutes. Bread should be browned and golden outside. If you tap it, it should sound hollow. Let cool for a bit, maybe 30 minutes or so, and then it is ready to slice and serve! If not using immediately, wrap well in plastic and keep stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes one loaf.

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