Challah Bread - Egg Free

1 large braided loaf

Prep Time
30 minutes
    Cook Time
35 minutes
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3 fork recipe Vegan Challah Bread

Recipes are rated from 1 to 5 forks, with 1 fork being the easiest and 5 forks the most challenging.

Traditional Challah bread is enriched with eggs and oil, but this recipe replaces the fat with sweet potatoes or butternut squash to achieve a similar moist, slightly sweet, and light bread that is great on it's own or made into a vegan version of French toast. The recipe calls for the addition of oil, but to keep the calories lower and the recipe oil free, substitute the oil with 1/3 cup of apple sauce.

Instructional images follow the recipe.


  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
  • 1.5 cups warm non-dairy milk, divided (100 F)
  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour (substitute oat flour or additional whole wheat flour if desired)
  • 2 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup butternut squash or sweet potato cooked and mashed
  • 8 large Medjool dates (soaked in 1/4 cup hot water)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil (optional - substitute with 1/3 cup apple sauce)
  • 2 Tbs non-diary milk (for brushing dough)

Special Equipment:

  • Blender   (like this standard blender)     (or this high speed Vitamix blender)
  • Stand Mixer with dough hook (optional)   (inexpensive but good stand mixer)     (high quality expensive stand mixer)
  • Potato Ricer (optional)   View Potato Ricer    

    Preparation Method:


    You can boil or roast the squash or sweet potato as desired, or you can cook in the microwave. The finished product should be very soft. If boiling, dice into 1 inch cubes and add cover with at least 2 inches of water, boiling for about 20 minutes until it is very soft. Once cooked, strain to remove as much liquid as possible. If roasting, cut into 1 inch cubes and wrap in foil before baking, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very soft. If microwaving, microwave with the skin on until very soft, then scoop the flesh from the skin once cooled.

    Substituting oat flour or additional whole wheat flour for the bread flour will create a healthier bread, but it will be a little more dense.


    Dice the dates and place in a small bowl. Top the dates with 1/4 cup of hot water and let soak while gathering the remaining ingredients. Once the dates have softened in the water, add the dates and soaking water to a blender and pulse a couple of times to begin breaking down the dates. Add 1 cup of the non-dairy milk and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the mashed sweet potato or squash (and oil if using - or apple sauce) to the blender and blend to fully combine.

    Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk until it is warm to the touch (Microwave for 20 seconds, but do not exceed 110° F). Sprinkle the yeast into the liquid and stir. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. You should see the yeast growing and forming foam on the top of the milk)

    In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine whole wheat flour and bread flour, along with the flaxseed and stir to combine. Add the sweet potatoes or squash mixture. Mix the dough until it comes together as a single ball and let rest for 15 minutes to completely hydrate.

    If using a stand mixer with a dough hook, turn the stand mixer on low and knead for 5 to 7minutes. If kneading by hand, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Bread can be touchy based on the weather, so it may be necessary to add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky, or a little extra water if the dough is too dry. This dough should feel moist and only slightly sticky to the touch.

    Once the dough is fully kneaded and feels smooth but slightly sticky, place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a moist towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size (proofed).

    Once the dough has proofed, divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll each piece of dough into a rope about 18 to 24 inches long. Lay the three ropes parallel to each other and press the ends of the dough on one side together. Braid the dough by taking the outside ropes and folding the over the center rope. Next, take the center rope and fold it over the rope closest to you, and take what is now the center rope and fold it over the rope that is furthest from you. Continue this braiding process until you reach the end of the dough. Press the ends together and tuck them under the braided loaf.

    Gently transfer the loaf to a parchment lined baking sheet and cover the loaf with plastic wrap or a moist kitchen towel. Place the dough in a warm spot in your kitchen and let raise for about 30 minute, or until it has doubled in size. During this time, pre-heat your oven to 375° F.

    Once the braided loaf has raised, place it in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. At the altitude of Denver, the internal temperature of the loaf should be between 198°F and 202°F when done.

    Combining and kneading the bread:

    Combine all ingredients and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes

    {image: Challah - mix ingredients}

    Knead the dough - it should be slightly sticky and moist, but shouldn't stick to your hands or the counter.

    {image: Kneading Challah bread}

    Let the dough proof:

    Let the bread rise until doubled in size.

    {image: Challah - proofing}

    Once the dough has proofed, divide into 3 equal parts

    {image: Proofed dough}

    Divided dough

    {image: Challah - divided for braiding}

    Braid the dough:

    Roll the dough into 3 equal ropes

    {image: prepare challah for braiding}

    Pinch the ends of the dough together and begin braiding

    {image: braiding challah}

    At the end of the loaf, finish the braiding by pressing the ends of each individual rope together and tucking them under the bottom.

    {image: Finish the challah loaf}

    Final proof and baking:

    Cover the loaf with a moist kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size (about 30 to 45 minutes). Brush the dough with non-dairy milk and sprinkle the dough with sesame seeds.

    {image: challah - ready for the oven}

    Bake the dough until it is lighlty brown and reaches an internal temperature around 198° - 200° F.

    {image: Challah from the oven}