Challah Baking Tips
Gluten free challah will not rise like regular challah dough, so here are some baking tips from our customers to help you get the best results!
- I turn on the oven to the lowest setting, (170 F) and I let the dough rise in the oven both before (1 hour) and after (45 min) I shape it. This is the only method I've found to work and the dough does rise!! Also, the dough is much easier to work with when it has risen before shaping.
- To prevent the dough from drying out in the oven the first time, before it has been shaped, I put it into a plastic shopping bag or cover it with a wet towel.
- The second time I put it into the oven to rise, the dough is already braided and in individual aluminum pans. No bag or towel this time. I leave the oven on at 170 F until the dough has risen noticeably, about 45 minutes.
- Next, I egg-wash the dough, and I put it back into the oven to bake at 375 degrees F. I always leave it baking for 40 minutes minimum.
What % of oats are in your mix?
Blends by Orly Challah Mix contains 12.5% oats and is certified Hamotzi by Rabbi Chaim Weissmandl
How many pounds of dough do you need to perform the mitzvah of separating the sanctified dough, also known as Hafrashat Challah?
If you make between 2 lb to 5 lb of dough, you can do the mitzvah of hafrashat challah but without saying a bracha (blessing). Anything over 5 lb of dough, you can do hafrashat challah with a bracha.
What % of oats do I need to consume to say a Hamotzi? A Birchat Hamazon?
You can definitely say hamotzi on the challah if it has 12.5% oat flour regardless of how much you eat, but in order to bench you need to eat a כזית of the oat flour itself rather than a כזית of the whole challah, which is the case if the challah is mostly oat flour. Bottom line: to bench with Blends by Orly Challah Mix at least a large roll's worth must be eaten.
Can I make challah in a bread machine?
You can use a bread machine. Some of the newer machines have a gluten free setting, so use that if you have the option.
Can I use egg replacer instead of the eggs to make it Vegan?
Yes you can. Just follow the egg replacement directions for how much egg replacement to use per egg.
Why isn't the yeast mixed with lukewarm water bubbling? What should I do?
If you are in a very hot environment, you are likely to see the yeast bubble. In a kitchen at a regular temperature, it is normal if the yeast does not foam after 5 minutes. As long as you are using yeast that has not expired and lukewarm water (not hot) the yeast will start to activate, even if you don't see it "bubbling". You can follow the challah mix directions and continue to add in the other ingredients. The yeast will also have more time to activate when you let the challah dough rise in your oven set to warming mode before baking. I would suggest letting the challah dough sit in an oven set to about 100 degrees for 45 min, covered with a moist towel so that the top of the dough doesn't dry out. When the dough is proofed, it should feel very soft and fluffy to the touch.
Is it possible to freeze the dough in small loaves or rolls for future uses?
Yes. You can let the frozen dough sit in the freezer for up to 4 months. When you are ready to bake off the loaves or rolls, pull the dough from the freezer to let it defrost. After the dough is defrosted, let it rise in a warm temperature as you would with fresh dough.
How can I make a pull apart challah with this mix?
Follow the directions for how to make rolls with the mix. For the easiest, cleanest and most uniform option, use an ice cream scoop with a lever. Instead of batching the dough onto a flat baking tray, batch the dough balls very into a round 9" cake pan with just a bit of space between each roll. After letting the rolls rise, they will stick together. For moister and fluffier rolls, use 1 1/4 cups of water instead of 1 cup plus 4 tsp as directed in the ingredients.
I am gluten intolerant but when I eat whole rolled oats, they bother my stomach. Does this mean that I won't be able to eat your challah mix?
Some gluten intolerant individuals can tolerate oats and some cannot. There is a protein in oats called avenin, which is very similar to gluten. Sensitivity to oat foods can also result from their frequent contamination by wheat. However, since oats have a very similar molecular structure to gluten, they sometimes react like gluten in our bodies. If you are sensitive to oats that are GF certified and don't come in contact with wheat, the likelihood is that you are sensitive to oats because of how your body reacts to the avenin protein. My husband who has celiac and for whom I created this product, can no longer eat my challah mixes because over the years, he has become intolerant of all oats too! There is only a 12.5% oats content in the mix so perhaps it won't bother you as much as eating straight oats would.