Time to party like it’s 5772 – Rosh Hashanah, vegan style

I’m not Jewish, except by association. But I am a huge fan of exploring food traditions, and veganizing them whenever possible, especially when they are important to people that are important to me. I started thinking about what Rosh Hashanah dish I could bring to the family get together, and poking around on the internet.

So other than planning to eat apple slices with maple syrup (sure, some people are using agave, but I’m on team maple,) I also decided I wanted to try my hand at challah. For those not familiar with challah, it’s also sometimes called… egg bread… since the original recipe often has 8 or more eggs in it. Yup. 8. Plus an egg white wash.

I found a couple of great recipes, some that I probably would have attempted if I had more experience with baking challah, like this one from Creative Jewish Mom (because making 4 loaves of braided bread is much more ambitious than I had in mind), but the one I opted to do was the Egg-Free Challah off of VegKitchen by Rachel Ornstein Packer. I wish she had a website (EDIT: she does! – Lick the Bowl – minimal recipes, but still fun to read,) because all of the recipes I’ve seen from her have been great (and easy!).

While I didn’t end up using Creative Jewish Mom’s challah recipe, I did find her guide on “How to Braid a Round Challah for Rosh Hashana” really helpful. I’m really visual, so her step by step photograph guide was especially useful. She’s right though, once you do it once or twice it just seems obvious.

My first attempt was a bit of a unbraided mess, but we had it for breakfast this morning, so the evidence was eaten and hidden away. I changed the recipe a little, and the second try was definitely much better.

pre-bake challah action

nice and toasty in the oven

get in my belly.

We celebrated with J’s family tonight, I wasn’t sure what to bring (if anything) so the challah (and some wine) was our contribution, and it went over well. Everyone was a bit surprised that the challah was made without eggs, but overall, the reviews were good.

If you celebrate Rosh Hashana, L’shana tovah to ya! If you don’t… well, hope you had a great Wednesday and Thursday!

8 Responses

  1. Very impressive. I'm sure you're making it sound much easier than it is, but it sure looks amazing.

  2. Nice! I have not yet jumped into extreme bread braiding. Yours looks really good!

  3. This bread looks amazing and so fun to pull apart! Your photos are great, I want to eat everything!

  4. @Lee & Mo: Thank you! It was SO good. I was really happy with how it turned out. 🙂

    @Andrea: I was genuinely surprised at how easy it was. Maybe all those years sitting in my mom's kitchen while she baked things finally soaked in.

  5. I've never actually had challah before, but I've always wanted to make it since I saw a picture of it ages ago. I'll have to try out that recipe, yours turned out beautifully!