Here is an extra sweet challah recipe for an extra sweet Jewish New Year!  This recipe is a spin off of my original gluten free challah recipe, but with the addition of raisins in the dough and topped with a sweet almond glaze. Make sure to watch the accompanying challah baking video for step by step baking instructions.  Happy New Year and Happy Baking! 

Orly's Gluten Free Rosh Hashana Sweet Raisin Challah

Makes 1 plaited loaf or 12 small rolls

1¼ cups warm water (105—115°)
1 Tbsp. dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
½ cups honey
1 large egg (or egg replacement for vegan option)
1/3 cup oil
3 1/3 cups (16 oz.) Blends by Orly Manhattan Blend
1/3 cup gluten free oats (*see notes below)
1 tsp baking powder
2.5 tsp. salt
½ cup raisins (either dark or golden, depending on your preference)

For the Garnish (optional):
¼ cup sliced almonds (raw or toasted)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of orange juice, non-dairy milk or water

Heat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).   Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Mix: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine 1 packet of yeast, 1 cup lukewarm water and 1 tsp sugar.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.  Add honey, egg, oil and mix together.  In a separate bowl, mix together Manhattan Blend, oats, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Gradually add another 1/4 cup of water and mix on medium speed until the dough is fully mixed. Lastly, add the raisins and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds or until dispersed evenly into the dough. The dough should feel soft and slightly sticky, but not like a batter. 

Shape and Proof: Turn the dough out onto a surface floured with Manhattan Blend or rice flour.  Coat your hands with flour and divide dough into three equally sized parts. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Carefully roll each portion into three long ropes.  Add more flour to your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  Place each rope parallel to each other on the pan. Pinch the top ends together and braid the dough into a plaited loaf. If the dough sticks to your hands, you can dip your fingers in oil to help stick the ends of the dough together.  Let sit in a warm and moist area for 45 min-1 hr covered with a warm wet towel to let the dough rise. 

For Rolls: If you want to make rolls, scoop up some dough with a large ice cream scoop with a lever and wipe the scoop on the side of the bowl to flatten. Release dough in a perfect ball directly onto a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Bake: Egg-wash the top of the risen challah with a lightly beaten egg.  Bake the challah for approximately 35 minutes, or until the color is a golden brown and the outside is crispy.

Garnish (optional): After bread cools, make glaze.  Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with a 1-2 Tbsp of liquid until it’s a thick spreading consistency. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle the topping over the challah. As soon as you drizzle the topping over the challah gently sprinkle slivered almonds over the challah and press it into the topping.  Do this just an hour or so before serving.

Orly's Tips:
a) If this is your first time baking gluten free bread, start by making the rolls.  They are really easy to make and are a good stepping-stone towards your mastering the braided loaf.
b) For letting the dough rise, I like to set my oven to warming mode (about 90-100 degrees F or 40 degrees C) and let the challah dough proof for about 30-45 minutes, until it almost doubles in size.
c) If you prefer to use a mold:
For loaves- you can spread the dough into a challah shaped silicon mould
For rolls- you can spoon the dough into muffin tins
d) If you don't want to use oats, use 3 2/3 cups of Manhattan Blend instead.