Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Challah-days!

Before I was vegan, my absolute favorite thing for a naughty breakfast was french toast made with challah bread (a Jewish egg bread). Since it's Hanukkah, I set out in search of a vegan challah recipe. Well, I tested a few and by far, the best one I found was on a little blog called Apple Cider Vinegar. I had to do a little tweaking here and there, but: Ta da! Homemade vegan challah that even my steak-and-potato husband loves!

Vegan Challah

2 cups unbleached, bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 cup water (divided)
2 ½ tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix 4 tablespoons of warm water with 1 tablespoon of sugar until it dissolves in a small bowl. Sprinkle in yeast, mix, and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a second bowl (medium sized), sift together bread flour and wheat gluten. Set aside. In a large bowl, pour the oil and set aside.

Boil 4 tablespoons of water with the salt and remaining sugar until it dissolves. Add this to the oil and mix well. When the contents of the bowl has cooled from hot to warm, add yeast mixture and incorporate well.

Slowly begin adding the flour until all has been incorporated. During this process, add remaining water as needed (roughly 1/4 cup).

Spray foil or parchment with nonstick spray. Place on top of warm oven, cover with damp cheesecloth. Allow dough to rise for at least two hours until it have doubled in size.

Punch down dough, allow it to rise for 30 minutes. Divide into three balls, roll into strands on lightly floured surface, and braid. Allow dough to rise for 10 minutes, brush with melted soy butter before baking for approximately 30 minutes (or until it sounds hollow when you tap the top ad bottom of the loaf).