Vegan challah

A healthy make-over for the iconic Jewish bread.

  • place PRE 15 minutes+ 3 hours for rising the dough
  • place COOK 35-40 minutes
  • place SERVES 8
  • printicon

We need a healthier challah! Egg replacer is used to bind. Yeast and baking soda give a perfect rise. A minimal amount of sugar provides just the right amount of sweetness. Finally, the recipe is oil-free and uses a surprising mixture of coconut milk and potato puree to give a moist crumb.

I invented this by accident while recipe testing - I wanted to use apple puree but it was 5am and I only had a potato. I tried it and it works! It hits all the Challah taste and appearance boxes: smells like Challah, tastes like challah and pulls apart like challah. Best of all, it is healthier for our bodies and our planet. 


  • Make the potato puree by peeling and dicing a medium potato and boiling it for 12 minutes. Mash with a fork and set aside to cool.

  • Prove the yeast: place yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 120ml warm (not hot) water. Mix and leave to sit for about 10 minutes until foamy.

  • In a separate prep bowl, combine coconut milk, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

  • In another prep bowl, combine egg replacer with 3 tablespoons of water and set aside for at least 1 minute.

  • Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast, coconut milk, egg replacer and the potato puree mixtures to the dry ingredients in the large bread bowl. Combine well, using clean hands, until a sticky dough forms.

  • Tip the dough onto a clean floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Add flour sparingly as needed.

  • Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for 2 hours.

  • Gently push the air out of the dough and divide into strands - two for a round challah and three for a braid. It is worth using a kitchen scale to make sure you have equal parts.

  • For a two-strand round challah: roll each strand into a long cylinder and twist them round each other to form a double helix shape. On an oiled baking sheet, arrange the dough twist into a spiral shape. Tuck the end pieces under.

  • For a three-strand challah braid: lay the strands side-by-side and pinch together at the top end. Braid and pinch to finish the end. Place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover the challah with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (190 C).

  • Optional step: brush sparingly with a maple syrup wash. The aim is to add shine - too much will make your bread soggy. 

  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until bread is golden brown.


  • Chewy: add 1 cup of chopped raisins or cranberries when combining wet and dry ingredients.

  • Baked starch: use baked sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree to sweeten and give a yellow hue. 

  • Apricot Jam: In shaping your dough, roll it into two long thin rectangles and spread with 60ml of apricot jam and 2 tablespoons of applesauce. Roll each into a cylinder (like a Swiss roll) and then twist them together into a double helix shape.

Recipe adapted from Beyond Chopped Liver: 59 Jewish Recipes Get  A Vegan Makeover



90g potato puree
1 ½ tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
120ml warm water 
3 tbsp coconut milk 
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp warm water
1 ½ tbsp egg replacer
375g plain flour, plus more for kneading step
1 ½ tsp salt
50g natural cane sugar + 1 tsp for proofing stage

For the maple syrup wash:
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive