The Challah is a bread traditionally prepared for the three meals of the Jewish Sabbath. It is made with a large number of eggs, but in this vegan recipe I use soy lecithin. People who have eaten this bread have loved it, and cannot tell that there are no eggs.
1 package active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice, Sucanat, Florida Crystals…)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 tablespoons soy lecithin
5 tablespoons golden flax seeds
10 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins per loaf (optional), soaked in warm water
Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.
2. Grind lecithin into a powder (it will be sticky). Grind flax seeds into a meal. Mix together and beat in 10 tablespoons of water. (this is the “egg” mixture). I grind up the entire package of soy lecithin when I buy it and store it in the refrigerator to use as an egg replacer when need. I do the same with flax seeds – grind them and store them in a jar in the freezer or refrigerator.
3. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in lecithin mixture, sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. Mix well with hands into a dough. Knead dough until smooth. The dough should be moist and slightly sticky. If the dough is too wet add flour, a little at a time. If the dough is too tough and dry add water a tablespoon or two at a time.
4. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
5. Drain water off raisins. Knead the raisins into the dough, before forming the two loaves. Dough can be braided, shaped and placed on a greased baking sheet or cooked in a greased loaf pan.
6. Let rise another hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350oF. Brush loaves with warm water. Sprinkle bread with poppy or sesame seeds.
8. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.