Gluten-Free Challah To Write Home About
At last, a respectable gluten-free challah! How can I even express my delight, my joy, my excitement! And it not only looks good, but it tastes good too. I found the recipe online and made some changes that I think improved it. I will stick with this recipe for awhile, but I plan on changing it even further, with an eye towards substituting some flours that have a higher protein content. But for now, I’m in challah heaven! Naturally, make sure all your ingredients are gluten-free. Challah Yield: one loaf 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup warm water (120 degrees) 1 ½ cups cornstarch ¾ cup white rice flour ½ cup brown rice flour ¼ cup tapioca flour 3 tablespoons almond meal 1 tablespoon xanthan gum 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons dry potato flakes ¼ cup butter, melted ¼ cup honey 4 eggs + 1 extra egg yolk (at room temperature) 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional extra ingredients: Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, chocolate chips 1. Add yeast and sugar to warm water. Cover with plastic wrap. Put in oven with oven light on for about 10 minutes or until frothy. Oven should not be turned on yet! 2. Mix cornstarch, white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, almond meal, xanthun gum, salt, and potato flakes in a heavy duty mixer. 3. With mixer running, add yeast mixture, then add melted butter and honey. 4. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until blended. 5. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. The batter will look like pudding. 6. Spoon batter into greased 9″ spring form pan or 9×5 inch loaf pan. 7. Smooth top surface of batter using WET hand. 8. Cover pan with plastic wrap sprayed underneath with Pam type spray so it won’t stick to batter as it rises. 9. Let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes or until it reaches the top of the pan. The rising will change depending on the humidity and temperature of your room. 10. Using a fine serrated knife, cut 2 diagonal lines across top of bread about 1/8 inch deep (allows steam to escape). 11. Sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds on top. I haven’t tried it with raisins or chocolate chips, but I imagine they could be added to the batter while it’s being mixed. 12. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Cover with foil after first 20 minutes if top gets too brown. 13. Transfer to wire cooling rack, rub top with butter while it’s still hot, if desired. First time I made it, I sprinkled poppy seeds over the top of the bread before baking. I didn’t rub top with butter when it was finished. Tips: 1. To proof the yeast, empty the packet into the water. Add sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and put in your oven with the pilot light on. (The oven shouldn’t be on yet). 2. If you don’t have time to allow the eggs to come to room temperature, put them in a small bowl filled with warm water. Allow to sit in the water for at least 5 minutes before cracking. 3. Turn oven on for 30 – 60 seconds, then turn off and use it as a warm place for the dough to rise.