Make the Most of Autumn With This Vegan Apple Challah Bread

If you’re a vegan in desperate knead of some challah, looking to bake a difference by consuming less animal-derived products, or just excited for the challah-days, this is the vegan challah recipe for you!

It’s light and fluffy on the inside with a crisp, glossy crust on the outside. Thanks to a pinch of turmeric powder, it also has the vibrant golden hue of the classic challah we all know and love without the use of any egg yolks.

Plus, every bite of this challah is filled with a gooey, decadent dose of Adamah’s Apple Butter, which is made from organic apples at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (and tastes like a spreadable version of fall). And with the onset of autumn amongst us, now is the perfect time to eat seasonally by indulging in apple-flavored everything.

But if you’re more of a pumpkin spice-and-everything-nice kind of person, a pumpkin butter like this one from Trader Joe’s would also be a lovely, autumnal alternative.

Challah makes a beautifully braided addition to any Thanksgiving table (even if it comes out lopsided like mine), as well as a delicious breakfast when paired with a warm beverage to dunk it in. This recipe can easily be adapted for any season by swapping the apple butter for any spread you like, or by omitting it entirely for more traditional challah.

Hope you'll loaf every bite!

Vegan Apple Butter Challah Bread

  • Prep Time: 3 hrs
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 40 mins
  • Servings: 1
  • 3 – 3 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope instant yeast about 2 ¼ teaspoons
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil or refined coconut melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • A few tablespoons apple butter

Isabella Alessandrini

Step 1

Add yeast and a pinch of sugar to warm water and let stand for a few minutes, or until it is frothy and bubbling. If this doesn’t happen, try again with a fresher packet of yeast.

Jedd Marrero

Step 2

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together 3 cups of flour, sugar, turmeric and salt in medium bowl. Add the oil. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the coconut oil. Mix together to form a rough dough.

Jocelyn Hsu

Step 3

Knead, knead, knead! Either by hand or using a mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough until it is smooth and holds a ball shape.

Rica Beltran

Step 4

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, rolling the dough around gently to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1.5-2 hours. Gently press dough to deflate, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size again, 45-60 more minutes.

Photo courtesy of Chef Cait

Step 5

Lightly flour a counter surface and transfer the dough to it. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a larger rectangle. Cut the rectangle into thirds lengthwise and spread the apple butter on the inside of the strips. Press the edges of the strips together to form three ropes and braid them, making sure to pinch the ends together.

Isabella Alessandrini

Step 6

Transfer the braid to a large, lightly greased tray and drape the plastic wrap over the top. Let rise in a warm place for another half an hour. Whisk liquid sweetener (maple syrup or agave) with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.

Isabella Alessandrini

Step 7

Preheat oven to 375°. Brush the loaf with the maple/agave-water mixture and then bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool and enjoy!