Gluten Free HaMotzi Challah

Gluten Free HaMotzi Challah

IMG_1726With many thanks to Julie and Judi, here is our new, delicious recipe for gluten free challah over which we can legally say hamotzi.

As Julie says on her kosher coeliac blog, “Gluten free hamotzi challah … is the holy grail of gluten free baking.” I didn’t think about this until recently, when Judi and Ray invited us to shabbat dinner. I accepted but made our usual disclaimer about not being able to eat certain foods, and offered to bring a GF challah. Judi, an excellent cook, said no, she loves to experiment and would make us GF challah. It was, of course, delicious, and she told us about having to search to find a recipe that satisfied the requirement for saying hamotzi. A light went off in my head — I knew the kashrut laws, and I knew that you only said hamotzi over certain ingredients, and I’d been making GF challah for years without those ingredients, and I just never thought it through before! Talk about missing the obvious!

challahSo I embarked on a new recipe search and experimentation period, and now have a new recipe that in addition to qualifying for hamotzi also tastes even better than my previous recipe. I also double checked with our rabbi and then weighed all the ingredients to assure myself that it really does satisfy the criteria for saying the blessing.

One recipe makes some nice little challettes using one of these pans: The Kosher Cook KCBW0164 Deluxe Royal Chalets/Rolls Silicone Baking Pan, or one big challah using this pan: Kaiser Bakeware 15-Inch Classic Braided Loaf Pan.


  • 2 cups GF oat flour
  • ½ cup GF rice flour
  • ¼ cup GF potato starch
  • ¼ cup GF tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • ½ cup soy milk or almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2¼ tsp dry yeast or 1 envelope
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp water
  • (optional: mix a little sugar or drizzle of honey or maple syrup to make glaze shinier)
  • (also optional, sesame seeds or poppy seeds to sprinkle on top)


I like to get everything measured and ready ahead of time, including preparing the bread trays and cookie sheet, before proofing the yeast. This is not necessary but it makes the process less hectic and keeps the yeast from sitting too long.

  1. Measure the flours, xanthan gum, salt and the 2 Tbsp sugar into a large electric mixer bowl. Stir well with whisk or fork to get rid of lumps as much as possible.
  2. In a 2-cup measure, combine the oil, soy or almond milk and 2 eggs and set aside.
  3. In a 1-cup measure, dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the ¾ cup warm water. Add the yeast and set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
  4. While waiting for the yeast to proof, heat the oven to 200°F.
  5. Make the glaze in a small bowl by mixing the egg yolk and 1 tsp water, cover and set aside until time to glaze. Best to keep at room temp. Save the egg white for tomorrow’s omelette.
  6. When the yeast is ready, combine the bread ingredients in these steps:
  7. Pour the oil mixture slowly into the dry ingredients with the electric mixer on low. Use a flat beater on the mixer.
  8. Add the yeast mixture and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
  9. When the oven has warmed up, turn the oven off.
  10. Cover the bowl with parchment paper and put it in the warm (but off!) oven for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
  11. 4 challettes ready to bake
    4 challettes ready to bake

    With a spatula, stir the dough down and then spoon into the lightly greased challettes or challah pan, half filling each mold. I usually make 4 challettes or 1 big challah. If I’m making two big challot I make two separate recipes, but you could try doubling this recipe,; if you do, please let me know how it turns out.

  12. Cover, return to warm-but-still-off oven, and let rise again for another hour or so, until the dough has doubled.
  13. Carefully remove from oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Set the parchment paper aside to use later.
  14. For stage one, bake uncovered at 375°F.
    Bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Line a cookie sheet with the parchment paper you used to cover the dough. Remove pans from oven and invert half-baked loaves onto the cookie sheet.
  16. Lightly glaze loaves with the egg yolk, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired, then return to oven.
  17. Bake uncovered at 375°F for 22 minutes or until golden brown.
  18. Move to wire rack to cool.

Modified from recipe found at

Quick method

If you’re short on time, skip the yeast proofing and the first rise, and it still comes out fine.

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F, then turn oven off.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in large mixer bowl, including dry yeast (but skip the extra tsp sugar).
    • 2 cups GF oat flour
    • ½ cup GF rice flour
    • ¼ cup GF potato starch
    • ¼ cup GF tapioca flour
    • 2 tsp xanthan gum
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1½ tsp salt
    • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  3. In a pouring cup, measure oil and almond milk; set aside.
    • ¼ cup sunflower oil
    • ½ cup soy milk or almond milk
  4. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, mix well with fork and add to the liquids.
  5. Measure ¾ cup very warm (120°F-130°F) water into a pouring cup.
  6. Turn mixer on low and pour in the warm water to mix with the dry ingredients.
  7. Add oil, almond milk and egg mixture and mix in.
  8. Turn mixer up and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
  9. Spoon dough into greased pans: 4 challette forms, or 1 big challah form.
  10. Cover loosely with wax or parchment paper.
  11. Place in warm but OFF oven and let rise for an hour.
  12. Remove pan from oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper greased side up on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  13. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Prepare glaze.
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp water
    • a little sugar or honey to make glaze shiny, if desired
  14. Invert loaves onto covered cookie sheet and glaze, sprinkle with seeds if desired, then return to oven.
  15. Bake challettes uncovered for 22 more minutes.

Note: This recipe is always subject to little changes but I got tired of recording each edit so I stopped.

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