This recipe for the Best Water Challah is a popular vegan alternative to our Miracle Challah and Braided Challah Recipes. This recipe is super delicious and has all of the flavor of those other recipes and none of the eggs! Even without the eggs this Water Challah is still a fluffy and tasty Shabbat or Yom Tov treat.
Why This Recipe Works
Shabbat is a sacred time to spend with family and friends. The challah we eat on Friday night and on Shabbat lunch signify the manna received in the desert... so it better be good! Fortunately, we have that covered with this recipe. Some of the things we love about this Water Challah are:
- Easy to follow instructions. When you are not using a bread machine, Challah bread recipes can be intimidating but we make it easy with instructions that anyone can follow.
- Only a few ingredients. Without eggs, this vegan recipe only uses 6 ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.
- Great for people with dietary restrictions. Besides being kosher, this recipe for Water Challah Bread is, pareve, and vegan. Serve this to almost any guest or family member.
Making Water Challah step by step:
Step 1 - Proof the yeast
Start by putting the active dry yeast into a large bowl with ½ cup of sugar and 4 cups of warm water. The water should not be too warm, room temperature is fine. A lot of recipes tell you to proof the yeast in a separate bowl but there really is no need. Proof the yeast in the large bowl for 10-15 minutes first and then just add the rest of the ingredients right on top.
Step 2 - Add the remaining ingredients
As mentioned in step one, once the yeast is nice and foamy you can throw the rest of the ingredients, oil, sugar, flour, and salt, into the bowl. There is nothing complicated or scary about it. I like to mix it all together with my hands and not use a stand mixer. Ultimately you will achieve a smooth and not sticky dough.
Step 3 - Knead the dough
It is very important to kneed the dough for a good 5-10 minutes to activate the gluten in the dough. Doing this will allow your bread to have a fluffy yet chewy texture. Once you are done kneading cover your dough with a piece of plastic wrap and cover the bowel with a clean dry dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm draft-free place and allow to rise, uninterrupted, for 90 minutes.
Step 4 - Push the dough down
After allowing your dough to rise beautifully it is very important to push the dough down and push all the gas out. Its very satisfying. Knead your dough for another minute or two to make sure you've gotten rid of all the gas bubbles and then your dough is ready for separating and braiding.
Step 5 - Shape the dough
I like to cut the dough into four large equal pieces up front front to ensure they are even. Each large dough ball can then be divided for braiding.
Step 6 - Braid the dough
After the dough has been separated into dough strands, braid and get ready for baking.
Step 7 - Bake
Place the braided challah dough onto a baking sheet or silicone baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
It does not. The main factor that makes water challah different than standard challah bread is the lack of eggs. This makes the Best Water Challah recipe completely vegan.
Turn it into something else. Some of our favorite uses for leftover challah bread are challah toast, Challah French Toast, Challah Bread Pudding, and Challah sandwiches.
Challah dips have become hugely popular and our Easy Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip is one of our favorites. You can also try our Green Onion Dip and our Easy Honey Garlic Sauce.
Traditionally, challah bread is eaten on Shabbat night and for Shabbat lunch. This recipe for the Best Water Challah is also amazing on:
- Fast breaking
- Rosh Hashanah
Best Water Challah
- 3 tablespoon yeast
- 2 cup sugar divided
- 4 ½ cups water warm
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 5 lbs all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Proof the yeast by adding the yeast and ½ cup of the sugar into a large bowl with the water.
- When the yeast is fully proofed, add the remaining sugar, vegetable oil, flour, and salt. Knead by hand for 5 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Push the dough down with your hand to let out some of the gasses and knead it again for 1-2 minutes.
- Separate the dough into 4 equal dough balls. Separate each dough ball into 4 equal parts and roll them into dough strands by hand. Braid.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serving suggestionsTraditionally, challah bread is eaten on Shabbat night and for Shabbat lunch. This recipe for the Best Water Challah is also amazing on:
- Fast breaking
- Rosh Hashanah