Vegan Challah Bread

This is one of our favorite bread recipes for any time of year, but if you’re visiting family for the Jewish holidays (or hosting a vegan at the family meal), hopefully this vegan challah recipe will be helpful for your Hanukkah spread.

While we have plenty of different vegan bread recipes, this vegan challah is one of our favorites. It’s soft, fluffy, and absolutely beautiful as a festive centerpiece during the holiday season, or at any other time of year. 

This special braided ceremonial bread is sometimes made with raisins and/or saffron. Poppy or sesame and anise or sesame seeds may also be added to the dough or sprinkled on top.

Hopefully this vegan challah recipe will conjure pleasant memories for those who grew up in Jewish families and remember eating challah on ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and other holidays. 

Traditional challah bread is made with eggs from chickens (with some recipes using as many as a dozen eggs at a time!) But our vegan challah skips the eggs in favor of a vegan egg replacer, while still creating a soft, delicious bread that is highly enjoyable.

If you have a breadmaker, you can prepare the dough in the machine, then remove it for the braiding and baking (see directions below). You can also add a cup of golden raisins or sultanas to the dough just before shaping.

Vegan Challah Bread
yields 1 loaf (or 2 small loaves)

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. sweetener
2 1/2 tsp. powdered egg replacer mixed with 1 cup water
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup oil
4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted

2 Tbsp. poppy seeds (optional)

To make dough with a bread maker, do so according to your machine’s directions. The water should go in first and the yeast last to keep it dry. Begin here at step 4.

1.  Dissolve yeast with sweetener in warm water (not hot) and let sit for at least 15 minutes in a warm place until yeast bubbles and is doubled in size.

2.  Mix egg replacer with water in a bowl and add risen yeast along with sea salt and oil. Add flour slowly to the wet mixture and mix together well. Place on a floured board and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Dough should be smooth and elastic yet not sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, then punch down.

3.  Divide the dough into thirds making three equal ropes. Pinch together at one end and braid together. Pinch at the other end to secure the braid. Let rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes). Brush lightly with oil and sprinkle poppy seeds on top.

4.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 25 minutes until golden-brown.

Discover more incredibly delicious vegan recipes in the Gentle World cookbooks

– available in our online store –



© Gentle World 2023. Gentle World is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, helping to build a more peaceful society by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition. EIN: 59-1999433