Gluten Free Braided Bread (Gluten Free Challah) - Bob's Red Mill Blog
Gluten Free Braided Bread (Gluten Free Challah)
Special Diets, Recipes on March 22, 2018 by

Gluten Free Braided Bread (Gluten Free Challah)

Confession: I love playing with dough. I have always loved the challenge of taking old favorites and making them suitable for our dietary restrictions.

Baking is definitely a challenge, but if you give yourself a little pep talk, along with some wiggle room for error, you will be able to enjoy delicious homemade gluten free breads.

When I was in culinary school, I worked at a bakery. This was before I knew I couldn't eat gluten. Those memories of soft doughy sweet breads and crispy crusted artisanal breads still float in my memory. My then boyfriend, now husband, also worked at the bakery and he has the same memories. Neither of us can eat gluten and this is why I love the challenge of developing recipes for us to enjoy.

Don't let this process scare you. I feel like I say this every time I publish a recipe here. I guess the best advice I can give you is to just enjoy the process, knowing that regardless of what the bread looks like, it will be delicious smothered in butter.

Now, this gluten free "braided" or "twisted" bread is slightly sweet, soft, and perfect next to your morning cup of coffee or on your Sunday brunch table. It's best to eat it while it's slightly warm, but will soften up nicely with a short trip in the microwave or you can toast it up beautifully.

Let us know, are you scared to jump in there with yeasted gluten free breads, or are you a baking warrior? What's your favorite bread to bake, or if you haven't found the right recipe yet, what would you like us to share? We hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.

Gluten Free "Braided" Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp Honey

Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and allow to proof for 10 minutes.

In the bowl or your stand mixer, combine the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, cornstarch, sorghum flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix until blended. Next add the yeast mixture, melted butter, honey, apple cider vinegar, and eggs to the dry ingredients. With your dough hook, blend the mixture until well blended and then knead the dough with your dough hook for 5 minutes. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it onto a parchment lined baking sheet dusted generously with rice flour. Wet or oil your hands and separate the dough into 2 or 3 long strips, depending of if you are braiding or twisting it. Roll dough to coat with flour. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Overlap the dough ropes to make a twist shape or braid. Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and place in a warm place to allow to rise again about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush the risen dough with melted butter and honey mixture. Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

38 Comments

  1. Cindy
    Can you use 1-for-1 baking flour instead of all the individual adds?
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      Hi Cindy, that's a great question. Our gluten free 1 to 1 flour is not designed to use with yeast. It works better for cakes, cookies and quick breads.
      Reply
  2. Patricia Pines
    Could I use the 1-1 baking flour (GF) in place of all the separate options above? Say two cups?
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      Hi Patricia, that's a great question. Our gluten free 1 to 1 flour is not designed to use with yeast. It works better for cakes, cookies and quick breads.
      Reply
  3. Aly
    Hi! I'm writing a roundup of the best gluten-free challah recipes for TheNosher.com. We like your recipe and would love to provide a link to it! I think it would be educational for our readers. May we have permission to use a photo from this blog post?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Aly! That sounds great! Yes, you have our permission to share. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Reply
  4. Barry N. Frank
    May I substitute the BRM's Sweet Rice Flour that I have on hand for the rice flour in this recipe without adversely affecting the braiding or taste of the loaf?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Barry! We haven't tested this recipe with the Sweet White Rice Flour, but in comparison to White Rice Flour the Sweet version has a higher starch content which may cause the dough to be stickier to work with. I don't think it will affect the taste but the dough may be more difficult to work with. If you do try this please let us know your results!
      Reply
  5. Kaula
    Is there any way uou could make a keto friendly gluten free Challah bread that is also braidable? If so please get back with me. Thank you so much.
    Reply
    1. Kat
      I am on the hunt of the same thing! Let me know if you find a good one!
      Reply
  6. Meredith
    Hi! If we cannot have dairy, could we substitute olive oil for the butter? Also, would this work as well with brown rice flour?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Meredith, I would recommend a dairy-free butter (like Earth Balance or similar) to achieve the closest texture rather than oil. You could substitute in Brown Rice Flour rather than White Rice Flour, the texture may be slightly denser. Enjoy!
      Reply
  7. JoAnne
    Can these be made in buns instead of a loaf? Any difference in baking time
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      We haven't tried making this recipe into rolls. If you try it, let us know. Here are two recipes for gluten free rolls that may help you.
      https://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes/how-to-make/gluten-free-dinner-rolls
      https://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes/how-to-make/soft-and-fluffy-gluten-free-dinner-rolls
      Reply
  8. Jennifer
    Hi, can you add raisins? If so, how much? And should the recipe be altered in any other way?
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      You can definitely add raisins without changing anything else. That would be a delicious addition!
      Reply
  9. Tara Looez
    I was so tired when I made this the other day I put bobs red mill 1 to 1 instead of the rice flour and it came out fine
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      Yay! So happy it worked for you! It's good to know you can use different flours. Thank you for letting us know.
      Reply
  10. Shahar Levi
    Hi, I couldn't find Sorghum flour any where
    (Don't have time to wait for an order), can I just add more of one of the other flours?
    Reply
    1. Sarena Shasteen
      I haven't tried this with another alternative, but you could likely use rice flour or buckwheat flour as an alternative. The buckwheat may change the color a bit, but it should taste amazing. Let us know if you try these changes. We would love to hear how it turns out.
      Reply
  11. Lisa
    The 1/2 cup water seems really low for the amount of dry ingredients. I made this with less honey and subbed psyllium husk for the gum and cassava flour for cornstarch and added some Ripple milk.
    Reply
  12. Nadia
    Wow! I didn't think this would work out - I followed the recipe exactly, and the dough was super sticky at the first rise, but it came out really nice! The dough did not hold its shape, and its really sweet! But it worked and the texture is alright for gluten free challah.
    Reply
  13. Rebekah
    Hi, I am so excited to find this recipe because I have not been able to eat challah since being diagnosed with celiac disease. I am wondering if I could use my gluten free sourdough starter to make this instead of the active dry yeast. If you think I could give it a go, could you please tell me how much gluten free sourdough starter I would add in place of the active dry yeast?
    Reply
  14. Haley
    Can this dough be prepared a day in advanced and do the first rise in the fridge overnight?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Haley - we haven't tried that. I have a feeling that the long overnight rise would cause the flours to absorb too much liquid and change the texture. I would recommend sticking with the recipe as written.
      Reply
  15. Michala Collis
    Could I substitute the Bob's Red Mill GF Homemade Wonderful Bread mix?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Whitney Barnes
      Hi Michala - that's not something we tried unfortunately.
      Reply
  16. Lily
    Is it possible to use the gluten free all purpose flour for this recipe?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Whitney Barnes
      Hi Lily - that's not something we've tested. If you do, we'd love to hear your results! :)
      Reply
  17. Sheila Sacks
    Can I use your GF all-purpose baking flour plus xanthum gum (so not the individual GF fliurs-) for this recipe? Just bought a bag...
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Whitney Barnes
      Hi Sheila, that's not something we've tested unfortunately. From the comments, however, it looks like a customer successfully made this with our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
      Reply
  18. Kailey
    Would it work to make ahead of time and freeze before baking? I really like this recipe but it's hard to make every week.
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Kailey - Hm, we haven't tried the freezing method. Generally you can freeze bread once it's baked and cooled. Make sure to wrap it well before freezing.
      Reply
  19. Jennifer
    Hi! I was wondering if I could use your egg replacer instead of real eggs? I'm also allergic to corn. Suggestions for a corn starch replacer as I see this recipe calls for other starches as well. TIA!
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Jennifer! Hm, we haven't tested this recipe with our Gluten Free Egg Replacer - if you try it, please let us know. Regarding a corn starch replacement, try potato starch or arrowroot starch.
      Reply
  20. Rosalyn Borg
    There is no dough hook for my 64 year old mixer . Couldn't I just mix and knead by hand as I used to do when making regular challah?
    Reply
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Rosalyn! Yes - You can also knead this by hand in a bowl or with a sturdy wooden spoon. After refrigeration it should be workable for braiding. Enjoy!
      Reply

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