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December 11, 2009

Vegan Challah Bread

Good at Hanukkah and all year

VegNews.com

loaf of challah bread

Tracy Tucker/iStockphoto

1-1/2 cups puréed yams
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons brown rice syrup, divided
2 tablespoons baking yeast
6 to 7 cups flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
Non-hydrogenated margarine
1/4 cup water, room temperature
1/4 cup poppy seeds 

In a large mixing bowl, mix the puréed yams, water, salt, and 4 tablespoons brown rice syrup. Add the yeast, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in flour, one cup at a time, until dough comes together into one lump.

Spread 1/2 cup flour over the work surface, and place the dough on the floured surface. Continue kneading, sprinkling only enough flour on the board to prevent sticking. After about 10 minutes, the dough should be smooth, bouncy, and elastic.

Oil the mixing bowl with canola oil. Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn the dough so the top is oiled. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and keep warm until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly grease two cookie sheets with non-hydrogenated margarine. Flour the work surface again, and divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 1 inch thick and 15 inches long. Place the three ropes side by side on your work surface and pinch the three ropes together at one end. Starting from this pinched end, braid the three ropes together. When the braiding is complete, seal the braid by pinching the ends together. Place the braided challah in the center of one of the greased cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Set the cookie sheets in a warm spot, cover the braided loaves with a damp cloth, and allow to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350º F (175° C). In a small bowl, mix the remaining brown rice syrup with 1/4 cup water to make a glaze. Glaze the challah and sprinkle the loaves with poppy seeds. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets at once and set the loaves on racks to cool.

Recipe courtesy of VegNews.

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