Pumpkin and challah bread go together like chocolate chips and cookies ... which is to say they are a perfect match! The pumpkin does double duty in this recipe by not only flavoring the bread but acting as an egg replacer as well. This would be a great side for your favorite autumn soups, stews, or chilis – or you can enjoy them on their own with a generous smear of vegan butter.
Pumpkin Challah Rolls [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 2 teaspoons egg replacer plus 6 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons ground flax plus 6 tablespoons warm water
- 2/3 cup warm water plus 2 teaspoons sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons or 2 packets active dry yeast
- 4 cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend
- 1 tablespoon guar gum
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 tablespoons melted vegan butter or 1/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Coconut milk, for brushing (try to find a pumpkin spice flavor if you can!)
- In a mug or small bowl, combine the egg replacer with warm water. Stir and let sit for five minutes. In a second mug or small bowl, combine the flax and warm water. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes a thick gel. In a third bowl, combine the warm water with the sugar. Add the yeast, mix and let sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes very frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, guar gum, salt, and turmeric. Mix well so everything is well combined. Push the dry ingredients to the sides of the bowl to form a well.
- In another bowl, mix the warm water, butter or oil, and vinegar. It will look a little clumpy from the vinegar. Add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Add this pumpkin mixture to the well of the dry ingredients but don’t mix yet.
- To the well add the egg replacer mixture and the flax mixture. Using a whisk, mix these wet ingredients in the well a bit. Lastly, add the yeast mixture to the well. Using a spatula, mix the ingredients in the well, incorporating the flour more and more until all the flour has been mixed with the wet ingredients. It will not form a dough but a very thick and sticky batter. You can mix it with your hand but wet your hand first.
- When the batter is thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a damp towel. Put the bowl in a warm area and allow it to rise for 1 hour. It should easily double in size. While you’re waiting, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil the challah rolls molds.
- After the hour, wet your hand and mix the batter again for a minute. It will deflate. Fill the molds with the batter only 2/3 of the way full. This is important because the batter will rise now and again in the oven. If you fill them higher than 2/3, it will overflow. If you have extra batter, put it in another pan to make another small loaf or in an oiled muffin tin to make little challah muffins. Cover the mold with plastic wrap and the damp towel and allow it to rise another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the towel and plastic wrap and place the mold on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the top (which is really the bottom of the loaf) is browned. Take the baking sheet out of the oven. Using potholders (the mold will be very hot), carefully turn the mold over so the challah releases and is on the parchment paper.
- Brush the top of the rolls with milk. Return the challah to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the challah is golden brown and has a hollow sound when you thump on the bottom of it. The time may vary depending on your oven and the size loaves you are making.
- Let the challah cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving it to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing or saying prayers over.