This vegan pumpkin challah is a delicious fall spin on a Jewish classic. Perfect for enjoying as is or even making french toast.
We learned a long time ago that challah can make some of the absolute best french toast, and when it’s fall, we make it pumpkin flavored.
Now this is not traditional in any sense; however, it is a delicious fall recipes!
Now, you don’t have to make french toast with it. In fact, it’s delicious no matter if you are eating it plain or you are making something out of it like a sandwich or french toast.
If you are wondering how you say challah – it’s pronounced “hal-la”. The ch doesn’t not make a “chuh” sound but rather the C is silent.
So what is vegan challah bread?
Oh I’m so glad you asked. First let’s taste a look at what challah is.
Challah is a speciality bread in Jewish culture. It is braided and eaten on Shabbat and some major Jewish holidays. It does not contain dairy typically.
The end result is this stunning masterpiece of woven dough and filling, like marbling, through the bread. Eat it in slices.
For today’s recipe we are going to be making a vegan challah bread recipe version that is simply amazing!
What does vegan challah bread taste like?
Challah, whether vegan or not, tastes similar to brioche if you are familiar. It’s rich and spongy with a little sweetness. Soft, sweet, and delicious are great ways to describe it.
Never miss another post! Sign up for our weekly newsletter and get them all delivered easily! Plus, 15 easy recipes delivered immediately!
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have to use a stand mixer?
No, not at all. We prefer it, but it’s not a requirement. You can make this recipe with a bowl and a silicone spatula.
Can you make this a Top 8 Allergen Free Pumpkin Challah Bread?
We do not currently have a gluten free dough recipe to recommend, although we are working to create one.
For the remaining ingredients, yes you can.
And ensure that you are using a soy free, dairy free butter. We use Earth Balance Soy free that comes in a red tub.
Nothing else included in the recipe contains a Top 8 allergen.
Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant to make vegan challah bread?
Instant yeast rises faster and less of an issue. However, you can still use active dry. It typically will take longer to rise, so just follow the instructions for letting is rise until doubled in size.
Can I prep vegan pumpkin challah bread ahead of time?
This bread can be made and stored in an air tight container for 5-7 days.
Also — when making the dough, once you put cover the bowl to rise, Instead of leaving in a warm place, you can place the bowl in the fridge up to 2 days before you plan to use it.
Just make the recipe as written, cover and place in fridge until ready to use.
Can I replace the pumpkin with something else?
Yes! Regular white potatoes or sweet potatoes can be used. Sweet potatoes will continue help give it that orange-yellow color that you see.
This purpose of using this is both for color and to be the “egg” in the recipe. So you can use any of these in a similar manor.
Can I make this vegan pumpkin challah bread oil free?
You can! We recommend that you follow our recipe for our vegan everything dough which is an oil free bread recipe. Then just follow the steps for the rising and braiding.
It won’t have the richness that you get from the vegan butter; however, it will still be great.
How do you eat vegan challah bread?
If you are making vegan challah bread for the Sabbath, then Jewish culture says to say a blessing over it and eat it plain.
Others times, you can use as you wish. Toast it with vegan butter and jelly, make a french toast with it, bread pudding, to make sandwiches and more.
How do I make vegan pumpkin french toast challah bread?
We love turning this into vegan pumpkin french toast. If you desire to make french toast out of it, then you can follow the instructions that we have for our vegan babka french toast. Just scroll down to the french toast sections once you have your challah bread made.
We do not recommend letting challah get stale first like we do with the babka. We prefer to be able to use right away once it has cooled.
How can I make braided challah instead of round?
You can check out the instructions for our traditional vegan challah bread and see how to braid a standard or 6-strand braid.
What other savory bread recipes can I make?
If you love bread, this you will love this garlic and herb butter vegan babka. However, you may be wondering what other savory vegan bread options you can make. Here’s some of our favorite:
- The Best Vegan Dinner Rolls
- Vegan Chimichurri Monkey Bread
- Easy Vegan Garlic Knots
- Vegan Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Vegan Italian Cheesy Bread Rolls
- Tuscan Mushroom Rolls
- Vegan Ham Broccoli and Cheese Rolls
- Vegan Sausage Egg and Cheese Rolls
- Easy Vegan Soft Pretzel Bites
- Vegan Bread Bowls
- Vegan Pesto Rolls
- Easy Vegan Focaccia
- Vegan Hawaiian Rolls
Did you make and love this recipe?
Click the 5 stars in the recipe card above or below in the comment section! This is a great way to support us so we can continue to bring great recipes!
Vegan Pumpkin Challah Bread
- 1 cup warm water (not hot)
- ¼ cup vegan cane sugar
- 1 package instant yeast (1 package = 2 ¼ tsp)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (sub with white or sweet potato)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups bread flour, divided (can use all-purpose)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup vegan butter
For the simple syrup
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon plant based milk
For cinnamon maple butter (optional)
- ½ cup vegan butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- In a stand mixer bowl, with a paddle attachment, (or a large bowl) add the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Mix together. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add in pumpkin and vanilla. Combine again.
- Turn stand mixer to low and add 2 cups of flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. When almost all combined add 1 more cup of flour and combine again.
- Switch to a dough hook and add 1 more cup of flour and mix just until combined. Add in butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing completely after each.
- Let knead for 8-10 minutes on medium speed or until it doesn't stick to the bowl. It will pull away from the bowl. Still slightly sticky but not sticking to your hands.
- Spray bowl, form into a ball and place ball inside. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 60-90 minutes in a warm, draft free place until doubled.
- Punch it down. Let rise again for 40-60 minutes until risen again.
- Uncover, punch down again and take out. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces If one large round bread or 8 pieces if you want 2 rounds. Use a scale for accuracy if possible.
- Roll each section into a 16 inch log, tappering the ends (making them smaller).
- To braid your challah, place two logs vertically next to each other and weave remaining two logs horizontally over and under the vertical strands. You should have what looks like a plus sign and there should be zero space between the logs.
- For each vertical and horizontal log, take the piece of the left and cross It over the piece on the right, again do not leave space between. Then, do the same thing but the opposite direction. Repeat until you have no more dough left to cross, then pinch the ends closed together and tuck under the loaf.
- Lay braided bread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover for 35-40 minutes to rise. Preheat the oven while waiting to 375 degrees F.
- 15 minutes before going into oven, make the simple syrup by adding the maple syrup and dairy free milk to a bowl and whisk. Once ready, brush the dough with the syrup simple mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
For cinnamon maple butter (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a bowl, and beat together with a mixer. Spread on cooled bread as desired.
Let’s see your creations!
Share to Instagram and tag us @makeitdairyfree so we can see and share it!
My first homemade challah bread…woohoo turned out delicious. Thank you! My braids were not as beautiful as yours but still great. The bottom end pulled apart a bit so I guess I didn’t pinch it enough. Also I’ll cut back a bit on the final rise bc it got pretty big. I’ll keep ‘practicing’ especially since it’s half gone already 😋. Thank you for sharing.
So happy to hear that you loved it Dolores. And don’t worry, our first braids (and sometimes still now) don’t always turn out perfect!
Y’all, I’ve made this three times in the past couple of weeks and my family has gobbled it up. It is SO good; tastes just like normal eggy challah. Thank you for this recipe!
A word of caution to folks living in humid areas like I do: go ahead and half the amount of water, then add more if you need it. My dough was too wet the first time and difficult to shape.
Thank you for sharing your tip. So happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe!
Made this challah for Shabbat tonight and we all loved it! Will definitely make again.
So happy to hear that you loved it so much!