Golden Milk Challah (Photo/Micah Siva)
Golden Milk Challah (Photo/Micah Siva)

This spiced vegan challah recipe is easier than it looks

I’ll never turn down a bite of challah, no matter how full I am. Especially when it’s redolent of the spices of “golden milk,” the newly popularized version of a traditional Indian health drink. This challah has the aromas of golden turmeric, warm cinnamon, spicy cardamom and coconut.

The secret to making really good challah is using high-quality ingredients and a little bit of love. The dough should be soft but not sticky, and it should have just the right amount of saltiness to balance the sweetness. Although challah may look complicated to make, it’s actually quite simple.

Golden Milk Challah

Makes 2 challahs

  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1⅓ cups lukewarm water, divided
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened vegan milk
  • ⅓ cup olive oil (or preferred oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 4-5 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cardamom
  • ½ cup toasted coconut

Maple wash:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened vegan milk
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • Coconut, untoasted, optional

Combine yeast, sugar, and ½ cup water in a bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam or “bloom.” (If it doesn’t foam, you may need fresher yeast.)

Add remaining water, maple syrup, vegan milk, oil, vanilla and salt, mixing on low to combine. Replace the paddle for the dough hook.

Combine spices, flour and cornstarch, and add one cup at a time, mixing on low using the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. Add coconut when fully mixed,  kneading for 1-2 minutes longer (If you do not have a stand mixer, use a wooden spoon to mix until the dough is thick, and knead in the bowl until smooth, about 10-15 minutes.)

Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Punch down dough to remove any air bubbles, and transfer to a floured surface.

Cut into 6 even pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, approximately 12 inches long. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Lay 3 ropes down vertically, and braid. Repeat with remaining dough.

Make the maple wash: whisk together the vegan milk and maple syrup. Brush with wash, and sprinkle with optional coconut. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through and brushing with additional maple wash.

Let cool and serve.

Micah Siva
Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a registered dietitian and trained chef in San Francisco. She develops modern Jewish recipes inspired by her grandmother, with a plant-forward twist. See her recipes and photography at Nosh with Micah.