challah rolls

23rd February 2021

Challah is a type of yeasted bread popular in Jewish cuisine, it is similar to a brioche but with no dairy. Challah usually contains egg, however, like my other challah recipes, this one is vegan –  light, fluffy, dairy and egg-free. Before baking, I brush the dough with oat milk and top it with sesame seeds. 

These rolls might seem a lot of work because they are small and braided but they are actually very easy to make. The shaping isn’t difficult at all, if anything they are a lot of fun. They are even a great project to do with young children! I have put a link below so you can see how the braiding is done or go to @goodnessis Instagram stories.

challah rolls

Preparation 2½ – 3 hours

Baking time 25 minutes

Makes 8 small challah rolls

The recipe uses a mixer with a dough hook, but you can easily use your hands.

dough ingredients 

2 Tbsp/20g flaxseed

1 cup + 2 Tbsp (246g) oat or nut milk

6 Tbsp/60g olive oil

1 heaped tsp active dry yeast

1¼ cups/150g whole spelt flour

2¼ cups/350g white spelt flour

¼ cup/40g light brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

toppings

oat milk for brushing

sesame and poppy seeds

preparation 

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together the flaxseeds with warm oat milk, oil and yeast. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes, undisturbed until the mixture foams, about 5 – 6 minutes.

2.  Add the flour, sugar and salt to the yeast and milk mixture, turn the machine onto the lowest setting and knead on medium speed for about 5 – 10 minutes.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time or if too dry, add more liquid, a teaspoon at a time. The dough should feel tacky but shouldn’t stick to your hands.

3.  Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until well risen and doubled in size.

plaiting the dough

4.  Take out the dough and divide it into eight equal pieces, approximately 110g each.  Using your palms, and starting from the centre and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope approx 40-cm long.  

For easy braiding instructions, refer to this video – jump to 1:02 mins.

5.  Place the strand onto the work surface and bring the end piece around and pinch it into the middle of the strand to look like a number 6. Then take the long strand and bring it over the top and through the loop; allow it to hang while you gently pull and twist the loop into a figure 8. Take the strand, and bring it from underneath and over the right side so that it tucks down into the bottom of the figure of 8. Gently pinch it underneath.

6. Place on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining 7 pieces. Brush with oat milk and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds.

7.  Cover loosely with an oiled plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 – 1½ hours.

8.  About 15 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 180C/350F.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the tray halfway through. Allow to cool down before cutting into them fully.

variation

  • 6 rolls – divide into 6 pieces, approx. 145g each – roll to 45 cm.
  • 10 rolls – divide into 10 pieces, approx. 90g each – roll to 35 cm.
  • You can leave the dough rising overnight. After the first rise, when the dough has doubled, store it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. The next morning leave at room temperature for an hour and then resume braiding.
  • You can make them pull-apart rolls: place the shaped rolls into a lined baking dish close to one another, so they touch each other after the second rise/baking.

note

  • Make sure to divide the dough into evenly sized portions for even baking.

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