Sweet Vegan Challah Bread
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 to 4 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
egg replacer for 1 egg
(I use ener-g egg replacer; you could also use 1 tablespoon flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1. Dissolve yeast in the warm water in a large bowl; stir in agave. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Add melted vegan butter, salt, and egg replacer; stir well with a whisk. Lightly sift flours with a fork to break up any lumps. Add 2 3/4 cups flour mix to yeast mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Dough will be very soft. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top.
3. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°f), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. To check if dough is ready, gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough. Punch dough down. Shape dough into a ball; return to bowl. Cover and let rise an additional 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
4. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 25" rope with slightly tapered ends. Place ropes lengthwise on a large baking sheet, pinch ends together to seal. Braid ropes; pinch loose ends to seal.
5. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow until when lightly tapped, let cool for 20 minutes and then dig in!
Source of recipe: I adapted this recipe from one I found in cooking light, took a bit of tinkering but I think I finally got it right! Enjoy!