August 09, 2012

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Challah

First try, a little over proofed but still really frigg'n good! Recipe below.

I love my Kitchen Aid for doing all the kneading. Take the dough out, oil the bowl and return it back in.

Cover it with a clean cloth in a draft free area for about an hour or until it's doubled in size.

It should look something like this after about an hour! Look out much it grew!

Grease your loaf pan with v.butter, in this case I used Becel Vegan.

Take the dough out of the bowl and rough it up a little bit with a punch or two and smushes.
Cut into thirds and roll into logs a bit longer than your pan.

You can (and should) use a scale, but I can't be bothered aka. I don't have one. It's okay, I eyeballed it and you can too.

Braiding time! Just like hair. Take the three "strands" of dough and press together at the top then braid! 

See? It should look kind of like this. Tuck the ends under for a neater look.

Set it inside the greased pan. Look how comfy and tucked it looks! If bread were cute, this would be it.

Take that clean towel and cover. Leave it for another 35 minutes or so or until it has doubled in size!
Don't be like me and forget about it while watching the Olympics and come back over an hour later...

I would say that "it should look like this" and it should, but less proofed! Preheat your oven to 375F or 350F convect.

Look at that. It looks like a puffy cloud studded with...nuggets of poo raisins. Delicious, plump, sweet and kind of chewy.

Get some soy milk, add some sugar (powdered or regular) or even a spoon of jam, dissolve and brush it all over the top of the bread.

Make some streusel and try not to pig out.

Sprinkle and lightly press the streusel to the (now kind of wet and sticky) top of the bread.

Shove it in the oven and set the timer for 35-40 minutes! Note that I made a foil "pan" to catch any streusel that falls off.
I could have used an actual pan but didn't want to disrupt the heat distribution. It saves me from having to clean the oven!

At about the 35 minute mark, it should be looking pretty delicious and golden. The kitchen will smell divine.

Take it out of the oven and let it cool at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan!

Wait until it's 100% cool before slicing. But if you're not slicing, you can just rip it into pieces once it's cool enough to handle. :)
The end result was a bread that had a nice crust on the outside and the perfect fluffy chewiness on the inside. I found that the soy milk used make it actually improved the bread's flavour and the raisins and cinnamon just took the bread to a whole new level of yumminess! Oh, and the streusel made the crust my favourite part of the bread! We polished off the whole loaf over the long weekend. I think I'll be making another loaf or two this week. Mm..

It was delicious fresh, it was tasty at room temperature the next day, even better toasted then slathered with vegan/non-vegan butter but what really made it awesome was...VEGAN FRENCH TOAST! Here's my recipe.

Vegan Cinnamon Raisin Challah

1 loaf
4 cups all purpose flour (optional 3tbsp malt powder, 1tbsp nutritional yeast)
3/4 tsp  salt 
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
2 tsp active dry yeast
6 tbsp sugar
2tbsp ground flax seed 
1/4 or more raisins
1tbsp or more cinnamon
3tbsp melted v.butter
Egg wash (3tbsp soy milk, 1tbsp sugar or jam-dissolve) for brushing
Streusel (3tbsp flour, 3tbsp v.butter, 1.5tbsp granulated sugar- mix)
V.butter for greasing the bowl and the baking pan(s)
Directions (using a Kitchen Aid mixer)
  1. Sift all purpose flour (malt/nutritional yeast if using) and salt, set aside. 
  2. In you Kitchen Aid bowl, combine warm milk, sugar and yeast together and let it do it's thing (foam up) for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ground flax and slowly add the flour/salt. Mix (speed 2) with a dough hook until a ball of dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Still too sticky? Add another tablespoon of flour, mix and repeat if needed. The dough needs to pull away from the sides, be soft and supple yet just the slightest bit tacky to the touch.
  4. With the machine still working, add in your raisins, pour in the melted butter and continue to kneed until it's all incorperated. 
  5. Add in the cinnamon and run the Kitchen Aid for another 20 seconds. You want streaks of cinnamon, not for it to be totally mixed in.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl, add about a teaspoon of oil to it, put the dough back in, swirl it around and leave it covered with a clean damp towel in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size. I put mine in the sun room.
  7. After it has finished it's first rise, take the towel off and give the dough a good punch or two to release the air bubbles. 
  8. Divide the dough into 3 (pretty equal) lumps and roll it into a "snake" a couple inches longer than your bread pan. 
  9. Braid the dough and tuck the ends in under the loaf. Put it in your greased pan.
  10. Cover with a damp towel to let it rise a second time until it's double in volume. It should take about 30 minutes depending on how warm the room is. 
  11. Preheat oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the bread with "egg wash" and sprinkle/press your streusel on top.
  12. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. You'll know when it's done, when the bread is golden all around and your house smells amazing. 
  13. Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan and allow it to cool completely before slicing into it!

Forgive the unsightly walls in the background, we got a new counter top and the back splash has yet to be done. I can't wait to tile!

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Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and often veganize recipes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's really cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

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