Rum Raisin Challah Bread

Sooooo, bread-making and I have a love/hate relationship. I can never knead the dough correctly, get the yeast to work out right, etc. The solution: buy a bread machine! 

Seriously though.

It even takes a little practice with the bread machine, but I promise, it’s worth it. They put so many additives in bread these days – just make your own. I do not bake it in the machine; it becomes a weird shape and the mixer gets baked in; I always use the dough setting and bake it in the oven.

This Challah recipe was adapted from Post Punk Kitchen. It is an awesome website for vegan cooking and she just released a cook book. 

This is part one of a two-part breakfast recipe – so tune in tomorrow for the second half!

For the bread:
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

Scant 1 c. water
1⁄4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
1⁄4 c. + 1⁄2 T. organic sugar
1⁄4 tsp. ground turmeric, optional, for a more yellow color
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. rum-infused raisins
1 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
2 1⁄2 c. bread flour or organic all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. bread machine yeast

Glaze:
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. almond milk, or another non-dairy milk
Poppyseeds for sprinkling, if desired

For the rum-infused raisins:
Grab a 1/3 cup of raisins and place them in a resealable bag or bowl. Add enough rum (or other alcohol) to cover the raisins. Seal the container and let the raisins re-hydrate overnight or even two days.  The raisins may become a tad discolored, but don’t fear; they will look and taste fine!

For the bread:
Drain the rum-infused raisins and pat them a little with a paper towel; you don’t want them too drippy when you put them in the bread machine.

Load your bread machine as directed by the manufacturer. (For mine, I’m supposed to load it with the liquid ingredients first, then dry, followed by the flour and yeast last. I listed the ingredients in the order that I would put them in.)

bread machine.jpg

Once it’s loaded, plug it in and set it to the “dough” setting. Sit back and relax!

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or attempt to braid the loaf like me! If you’re braiding, line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface. Once the bread machine is through its cycle, take the dough out and pat it down so the dough is covered in flour. 

If you are baking it in a loaf pan, stick the dough in the pan and pop that sucker in the oven!

If you are attempting to braid, here goes nothing: stretch the dough into a flat rectangle. You can cut the dough into four strips and follow the diagram below, or you can cut it into three strips and braid it normally.

challah braid Collage.jpg

*Note: if I were doing it again, I would probably just do the regularly braid. If you do the fancy braid, be sure to send me a picture of your beautiful work!

Once the braid is done, cover it on the pan and lay it in a warm place. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. 

After, remove the cover and apply the glaze/poppyseeds. Let it bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

It smells SOOOOOOOO good when it’s baking!

Okay, so my loaf isn’t the prettiest thing I have ever seen, but it sure is delicious. 

Homemade bread tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff – give it a chance!

Cheers!
-Aileen