August 13, 2009

Braided Challah (B&P17)

Baking & Pastry Project #17 - Three Strand Braided Challah

It has been a busy summer. We headed to Florida, so I could help my Dad out with my Mom. She had a stroke in October and some of her abilities are still in recovery mode. The doctor believes that she will eventually make a full recovery, but it has been a long road for her.

She wants to return to doing all the things she used to do, like cooking a meal or driving the car. However, the doctor won't allow her to do these things yet. To help out her gross motor skills and balance, my dad bought her a beautiful blue Schwinn Meridian tricycle. (I love this bike!) After my husband put it together for her, we took her outside for her first ride.

Then we all had to take a turn riding her tricycle. It's very easy to ride and steer. It has a great collapsible basket on the back for carrying your shopping. It made me wish our neighborhood was bicycle friendly. I'm a visitor over at Cycle Chic from Copenhagen. How I wish we had bicycle lanes and I could somewhat safely ride to get groceries. Where we live, I'd like to have a Jersey barrier between me and a car or truck before I'd even think about riding a bicycle on the road.

This loaf I set up to rise while my husband was putting the bicycle together. After I baked it and it was cooling, my husband, brother and I took our turn riding the bicycles. We headed out around the neighborhood taking turns riding the tricycle. Afterwards we headed back for a tall glass of iced tea and a warm slice of challah.

This was a wonderful loaf of bread. It sliced up neat and clean, which was great for making sandwiches. The loaf didn't last past breakfast the next day as it was a big hit with everyone.


Yield: 1 loaf

Protein Content:
Original Recipe: 38.74 g
Gluten Free Recipe: 38.45 g


40 g brown rice flour (3.6 g)
40 g sweet rice flour (2.4 g)
40 g arrowroot starch (0.12 g)
60 g almond meal (12 g)
50 g millet flour (5.75 g)
8 g chia seed meal (1.68 g)
60 g white bean flour (12.9 g)
3 g agar agar powder
22 g instant dry yeast
30 g sugar
5 g sea salt
165 ml water
66 g egg yolks (approx. 4 yolks)
28 g vegetable oil

Egg Wash

57 g egg
60 ml milk
smidgeon sea salt


Combine the flours, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the water, egg yolks and oil together. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. The dough should be slightly firm, smooth and slightly sticky.


1. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with sweet rice flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll the dough into oblong pieces about 12 inches/30 cm long. Make sure each piece is the same length and the center of each should be thicker than the ends.

2. Dust each length of dough and the parchment paper with sweet rice flour. Lay the strands of dough parallel to each other lengthwise on one side of the parchment paper. Begin braiding the challah from the center. When you reach the end pinch the tips together. Taking the edges of the parchment paper in your hands, ease the braid over until the top is now the bottom. Begin braining from the center again and when you reach the end pinch the tips together. Tuck both ends of the braid under the loaf. Sprinkle the parchment paper with sweet rice flour and gently ease the braid into the center of the paper. Slip the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place in a warm location to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

3. Preheat a convection oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/177 degrees Celsius. Make the egg wash and brush over the wash over the braid. Place the braid into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until a dark golden brown and shiny. Cool on a rack before serving.


1. White Bean Flour – You can purchase white bean flour from Barry Farm or you can grind your own using a coffee grinder. Make sure to sift your bean flour before using to make sure any bits that weren’t ground are removed.

2. Chia Seed Meal – You can purchase chia seeds from Barry Farm and use a coffee grinder to turn them into meal.

Other Baking & Pastry Project Posts

Baking & Pastry Project #17 - Braided Challah
Baking & Pastry Project Week 9 - Twisted & Braided
Baking & Pastry Project #16 - Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Baking & Pastry Project #15 - Rustic Raisin Bread
Baking & Pastry Project Week 8 - Raisins & More Raisins
Baking & Pastry Project #14 - Cheddar & Onion Mock Rye Batard
Baking & Pastry Project #13 - Prosciutto & Provolone Bread
Baking & Pastry Project Week 7 - Ham & Cheese

Want More?

You can find me on Twitter at glutenagogo.


Cheryl Harris said...

challah is my next to see what you did with it! I have no doubt that it's delish, but does it taste like real challah?

Sheltie Girl said...

Hey Cheryl - Thanks for stopping by to visit and chat.

This is my own opinion, but I don't think any gf bread tastes like one made of wheat. To me, there is so much difference in the taste of wheat versus any gf flour blend.

When I up a gf flour blend, I shoot for the spirit of the bread. For Challah, I was looking for something rich with egg and a slightly denser texture that has a wonderful crust. This recipe hits that goal. It has a nice texture and lovely crumb. Slices easily and makes a great gf BLT.

Take care!


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Gluten Free In the Greens said...

I'm so excited to see that you actually braided it--I hadn't gotten around to trying the braid GF (I always just use a faux-braid mold). I think I even have everything I need for the recipe here in Tbilisi so I'll give it a shot next week!