Rosh Hashanah is almost here so it seemed like a good time to update this part of my Bountiful Bread Basket series, the best gluten-free challah bread recipes. I was delighted to find even more gfe reader-worthy challah bread recipes. In fact, this collection is now up to the Top 20 Gluten-Free Challah Bread Recipes. One of the newest recipes in this collection is shown below but read on to check out them all and of course, grab the recipes.
Shanah Tovah to all our gfe readers!
Beautiful and wonderful gluten-free challah bread recipes. The best gluten-free challah bread recipes. Even grain-free recipes. (More on the grain-free factor in a moment.) Even vegan recipes. There’s even a great gluten-free Sourdough Challah recipe!
Challah is usually a braided bread that is traditionally eaten on Jewish holidays, at certain Jewish celebrations, and at Shabbat, the weekly Sabbath meal.
I learned that there is an important religious symbolism in the appearance and presentation of challah. For example, holiday challah, such as for Rosh Hashanah, is baked in a circle rather than presented as the more traditional braided loaf. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year—which is considered a time of renewal–and the circle represents the cycle of life and the wholeness of the universe.
There are other meanings for the seeds and twin loaves (when used) and even symbolism for the flour used in the recipes and for the loaf itself. Rosh Hashanah is a serious and respectful time marked by many traditions and rituals, and enjoying challah bread–gluten-free challah bread for all of us who eat gluten free–is an important one.
Challah Baking Pans and Molds
Some gluten-free versions of challah are actually braided from three strands of dough, but others—especially grain-free versions—are made using a mold, such as The Kosher Cook Amazing Perfect Braid Royal Challah Silicone Bakeware or this Kaiser Bakeware 15-Inch Classic Braided Loaf Pan. Other options are the Kaiser 13-Inch Classic Braided Ring Mold and The Kosher Cook Deluxe Royal Challets/Rolls Silicone Baking Pan. One of the readers who commented on one of these recipes stated that she used a Bundt pan to make her round challah.
An important note: Per my research for this post, for bread to truly be considered challah and suitable for religious purposes per the Jewish faith, it must contain a certain amount of grain-full flour. The flours specified by Judaism all contain gluten except for oat flour IF one uses certified gluten-free oat flour that is made from purity protocol oats. My understanding is that over half of the weight of the flour must be oat flour for the challah to qualify as Hamotzi and be used in the Hamotzi Braccha for Orthodox Jews.
UPDATE: On April 4, 2023, Gluten-Free Watchdog issued a new statement, Gluten-Free Watchdog Cannot Recommend Any Brand of Gluten-Free Oats. Read the full statement here. This statement was followed by details on recent testing results of gluten-free products that contain oats., which showed 30% of the labeled gluten-free oat products tested contained quantifiable gluten.
This statement was followed by details on recent testing results of gluten-free products that contain oats, which showed 30% of the labeled gluten-free oat products tested contained quantifiable gluten. I’m not eating any oats and I urge all of my readers who eat gluten free for medical reasons to also abstain.
If you are Jewish and seeking a recipe for that purpose, please check with your rabbi on the suitability of the recipe you have in mind beforehand. Some of these recipes contain neither grains nor oat flour and may not be suitable for religious purposes. However, knowing that some of you who are gluten free also can’t tolerate certified gluten-free purity protocol oats, personally, I hope that sometimes exceptions are made.
Now, let’s get to these delicious challah recipes! (Notes: All photos are reprinted with the permission of the individual authors/photographers. Click on the recipe title to go to the recipe.)
Gluten-Free Challah Bread Recipes
~ The Best Ever Gluten-Free Challah Recipe from Just Call Me Chaviva ~ gluten free, corn free, dairy free, vegetarian
Chaviva says this is the challah that she “perfected in her kitchen, that her son prefers to regular challah and that was recently a hit at a friend’s conference.” She uses The Kosher Cook Deluxe Royal Challets/Rolls Silicone Baking Pan for making her challah.
Reader reviews: “I just made these and they turned out great! Really delicious – thanks so much.” and
“I substituted coconut milk for the almond milk, and arrowroot starch for the potato starch. It still turned out really good! I also baked them in a silicon muffin pan (12 small), just for less time. Perfect size for a single-serving.” and
~ Braidable Gluten-Free Challah from Just Call Me Chaviva ~ gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian
Chaviva says: “This recipe simplifies on my Best-Ever Gluten-Free Challah recipe (shown above), and it also creates a dough that is … wait for it … braidable! Yes! Now, it’s not going to be braidable like a traditional gluten-based dough, but it fits the bill and makes for some beautifully braided gluten-free challah at last. You end up with a very delicate dough, so make sure you have some spare flour on hand for braiding. This makes roughly five very good-sized small loaves for me.”
~ Easy 1-Hour Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Challah from Gluten Free A to Z ~ gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, yeast free, vegetarian
Judee notes that with this recipe if you want a braided look (as shown in her photo below)—versus making a regular loaf of bread—you need to use The Kosher Cook Amazing Perfect Braid Royal Challah Silicone Bakeware. She advised: “I found that the large mold was too big. Remember coconut flour is very high in fiber and very filling. You won’t eat as much of this bread. However, if you do want to purchase the large mold, you can just fill it half way with batter and it will work fine and by buying the large mold, it will give you a choice to make a small or large challah!”
She adds that this bread “slices beautifully and tastes like a mildly sweet bread. It is perfect for French toast. It was so so easy to make the batter (I just mixed it in a bowl) and then I poured it into the mold. Actually, I made it with my 3- and 6-year-old grandkids. Does it get any easier?”
Reader review: “I made the recipe using maple syrup, oat flour instead of almond, and a little cinnamon. It came out a little crumbly but delicious.” (Shirley here: When replacing grain-free flours with grain-full flours, other adjustments should be made, such as adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp xanthan gum in this case.)
~ Easy Braided Challah from Fearless Dining ~ gluten free, vegetarian, with dairy-free, egg-free, gum-free, vegan options
Sandi says: “This challah bread is light and fluffy and doesn’t taste gluten-free! I share all of my tips and tricks so you can make this incredible challah recipe and a gluten free round challah for Rosh Hashana!”
Reader reviews: “I bought the Steve’s bread flour specifically for this recipe and I finally got around to making it. Wow! If you didn’t know it was GF, you wouldn’t guess. The dough was so easy to work with – don’t be intimidated by the braid. Even though I made my strands fatter than shown (I didn’t look at the photos closely), it still came out great.” and
“Love this recipe! I had been looking for a gf challah bread recipe with just a few eggs so that its easier to make vegan (Ive found with bread recipes its generally easier to find a gf version and then adapt it to be vegan rather than the other way around, both vg and gf versions are hard to come by). For those wondering, I used JUST egg (absolute favorite egg replacement for literally EVERYTHING) and I replaced the 2 eggs with 8 tablespoons of JUST egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of non dairy milk, and you can use a smaller version of this (about 2 tablespoons JUST egg, 1 tablespoon non dairy milk) for an “egg” wash! Came out beautifully, and was super easy to braid (I did the traditional challah shape with the four rolled segments braided in a circle).”
Reader reviews: “I used this recipe with a “braided-loaf” pan to make gf challah for my son’s Bar Mitzvah. It was fantastic, and the challah was GONE within five minutes.” and
“It’s only been a few years since I had “real” challah, but this tasted EXACTLY like the real thing to me, and made in the “braided-loaf” pan, it looked like the real thing, too!
Naomi says: “Challah is an egg bread, very similar to brioche bread, but a bit denser. It stays very moist, for days, and is great for dunking in soups or using in bread puddings and other applications where a sturdy structure is called for. Challah is also very sweet. This makes a very large braid or two regular sized ones.”
~ Gluten-Free Challah from Gluten-Free Bay ~ gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian
Reader reviews: “Well I tried this today but had to substitute almond flour (no rice), xanthan gum (no guar), and my dried milk wasn’t dairy free, and I didn’t use any honey (dont eat sugar) It was DELISH! Thanx for your help 🙂 As a pastry chef I was pretty determined this wouldn’t fail!” and
“This was delicious! I did make one small change that I thought I would share. I used a small single serving vanilla soy yogurt instead of the dairy substitute. It turned out amazing. Moist and light. And it even smelled like traditional challah when it was baking! thanks for sharing this!”
Reader review: “Thanks for the recipe: I tried it and it came out wonderful! Thanks for sharing.”
~ Gluten-Free Challah from Let Them Eat Gluten-Free Cake ~ gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian
Kim says: “This gluten-free challah bread is rich, golden, slightly sweet, and soft. It’s not just for Jewish holidays anymore!”
Reader reviews: “I made the recipe just fine using aquafaba instead of eggs, but couldn’t get your braid thing down, so I made 2 small wreath shapes, and one big long straight one. They were all excellent . And yes…. French toast in the morning was the bomb.💕” and
“Just tried this recipe for Shabbat and my family adored it! I got several cheers and the whole thing was gone in minutes. I was so happy to find a gf challah I could braid since most other recipes are a wet batter. Thank you for taking the time to develop this recipe!” and
“For all you Canadians out there … I made this challah with President Choice gluten-free all purpose flour (plus the psyllium). I also added 1/4 cup applesauce and about 1/2 cup raisins for Rosh Hashanah. It turned out AMAZING. Shana Tova.”
Reader reviews: “I just finished eating 2 slices of this recipe & it is FANTASTIC! ! Though I must admit I’ve never had challah before today. I made this with a gf flour mix I made that’s very close to your mix. This was the EASIEST gf bread I’ve made yet and I’ve been at this for 3 years! I’m NO expert OR blogger just a simple girl trying to feel better by eating gf…. & NOT going broke while doing so! I will make this again!” and
“My two young girls were diagnosed with Celiac two weeks ago. We have challah every Friday night at our Shabbat dinners and we were so disappointed with the frozen gluten-free store-bought challah we tried last week. We didn’t think that we would ever eat good challah again. I found your recipe, bought the silicone pan, and promised my family I would make yummy challah for them. It was my first time trying a real gluten-free bread recipe. I was nervous when I put it into the silicone pan since it was not a consistency I was used to. It was very sticky and wet. But, when it was done baking, it looked beautiful. We sat down to dinner, cut into it and noted that it “looked like challah.” So one by one we tried it and everyone began to smile. It was delicious!!! Very close to what we are used to eating. We are thrilled!! Thank you so much for the great recipe!!!!” and
“The bread is delicious!”
Reader reviews: “My son made me the most delicious challah using your gluten-free bread mix!” and
“I have made this a few times and it always turns out delicious.”
When a reader asked “Can I just put all the ingredients in my bread machine under the dough cycle. Then put the dough in a greased silicone challah mold let it rise, then bake it?” Pamela’s replied, “That should work fine.”
Reader review: “Made it exactly as posted except I proofed the yeast in the warm milk, water, and sugar for 10 minutes. And I baked it in the silicone challah mold for 25 minutes then flipped it out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to finish baking. It came out wonderful.”
Reader review: “Oh my goodness…Jules! Thank you!! This challah is absolutely delicious. I love the texture of the challah as well…I have only 1 major issue…I might eat it all before my kids and husband get home. OY!! Oh well…happy baking and eating.”
~ Gluten-Free Challah Crown from GF Jules ~ gluten free, vegetarian, with dairy-free and refined sugar-free options (Note: Here are Jules’ directions for making this recipe in a bread maker. “Add the liquids first in the bread maker then add whisked dry ingredients next. Let the bread maker mix the dough for you and bake as a regular loaf, or take out the mixed dough and shape per the recipe and bake in the oven.” (Be sure to check out Jules’ 18 Tips for Baking Gluten-Free Bread.)
Reader reviews: “I tried the recipe tonight for the first time and my child devoured the challah! Great recipe! Thank you Jules best GF challah we found to date!” and
“Seriously, this is amazing. I have so missed challah; it’s a part of our every week Sabbath table and I have been searching for a GF replacement. I have found it!!!! I really don’t like baking, but this is worth the time and expense. It will be on our table every week.” and
“The challah turned out great and is very tasty, followed your recipe to a T and used your amazing flour!” and
“Me and my 6yr old daughter had great fun making these together! We put flaked almonds on the top. Thank you for the recipe.”
~ Gluten-Free Sourdough Challah from Nourishing Foodways ~ gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, with refined sugar-free options
Dori’s inspiration for this bread was a sourdough bread recipe from Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation, which is an outstanding resource that I have spoken about and given away here before on gfe. (Note that there is an updated version of this book and another fermentation book from Katz here.)
Because this challah is a sourdough recipe, Dori shows you how to make a gluten-free starter culture using what she calls a “whole flour mix,” a common fruit to introduce natural yeast into the process and water. She says this bread is “excellent sopped in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.”
~ Gluten-Free and Vegan Challah from The “V” Word ~ gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegetarian, vegan
Rhea says it took “a gazillion attempts” to create this delicious gluten-free, vegan challah, but she persisted because her followers “kept asking for a recipe—whether it was for their child who was gluten-free and feeling left out at school or for a special occasion coming up like Jewish New Year. Well, my persistence paid off. This challah is perfect!”
My vegan and gluten-free challah is soft, moist, light, and tender. And it was still soft and tender the next day when it made delicious French toast. It even held together on the 3rd day when sliced thinly and put in the toaster.”
Note that she used the Kosher Cook Amazing Perfect Braid Royal Challah Silicone Bakeware Mold.
~ The Ultimate Gluten-Free Oat Challah from Couldn’t Be Parve ~ gluten free, corn free, anthan gum free
Shoshana says: “Each time I have made this challah I have changed it just a bit more, until I have a final version that I adore. I kept the basic blend of flours the same as that original recipe but I have changed the ratio of pretty much everything else. More honey to give it extra sweetness, an extra egg yolk for added moisture, and even a bit of gelatin to give it a bit more of that chew that I want in my challah. The end result does not taste exactly like traditional challah, but it is sweet and delicious in that special Shabbat way. And it makes my gluten-free son very happy to have his challah like everyone else.”
She uses the same Royal Challah Silicone Baking Pan used by so many others or this Challah Rolls Pan, which yields what she calls mini challahs (shown below). For smaller, individual challah rolls, Shoshana recommends using a muffin tin.
Final note on the recipe itself: Shoshana is a rabbi herself. She says that her research, “including extensive conversation with other rabbis,” indicates to her that “the amount of oat flour in this challah is sufficient to deem it hamotzi, especially if it is being used for that purpose. The rules of what makes something hamotzi or mezonot are quite complicated, but this is similar in composition to a standard challah recipe in terms of ratio of eggs:honey:flour.”
Reader reviews: “The challah is amazing!!!! I love it and so did my non-gf family. There was hardly any left for me!”
Jennifer says: “As you know, baking in the paleo world is a little sketch. It’s hit or miss sometimes and the smallest variations can make quite the conundrum. That’s why it is often necessary to make and remake and rebake again in order to get things just right. I mean, after all, I own a paleo bread company for crying out loud, I can’t just release ANY bread recipe. It’s got to be Legit.”
She declares her challah: “the most authentic loaf of challah this side of wheat. My new grain-free braided challah is outrageously delicious and the crumb is beyond.”
Reader reviews: “Made it tonight. It came out beautiful and tastes delicious. The crust is fantastic!” and
“Really impressed with the texture of the finished product! Probably the airiest, springest bread I’ve had since going GF 12 years ago.” and
“Finally! This is the best paleo bread I have made to date (and I have been experimenting with recipes for 6 or 7 years now). It actually has a true bread-like structure, rather than the typical cake-y structure of most grain-free breads. Not taking away from them – they have their place. But THIS! We had a chicken dinner that begged for bread to sop up the sauce and this delivered.”
~ Grain-Free Challah Made in a Shaped Pan/Mold from Zenbelly ~ gluten free, grain free, rice free, corn free, refined sugar free, xanthan gum free, vegetarian, primal
Simone used this Kaiser Bakeware Braided Loaf Pan to create her Grain-Free Challah. She jokes about what the pan and resulting loaf remind her of, but I think her loaf is really very pretty in the photos. She said she plans to use The Kosher Cook Amazing Perfect Braid Royal Challah Silicone Bakeware shown above in the future. She adds: “It’s so amazing for French toast! Seriously just like I remember it from my pre-paleo days.”
Reader reviews: “I made it today and it was a great success! I used the ground flax meal instead of psyllium husk. Thinking of the difference in the behavior of the two ingredients I upped the flax to a generous 3 tbls.” and
“I have to say again how fantastic this is and how grateful I am for the efforts that must have gone into perfecting it. Even my “I wish you’d never started this stupid Paleo diet” kids ask if they can have a slice (or two, or three) of this bread. I may have to bake it again before Thursday. It’s going fast.” and
“I don’t have the challah pan and only own one loaf pan…. So I’ve been making it in my Bundt pan! It turns out really well, though it does have to bake a bit longer. I’m making it for the 3rd time tonight – it’s my hubby’s favorite grain-free bread.”
~ Kneadable Grain-Free, Nut-Free Challah from Zenbelly ~ gluten free, grain free, rice free, corn free, dairy free, nut free, refined sugar free, xanthan gum free, vegetarian, paleo, primal
Simone says: “This gluten-free grain-free, dairy-free challah is way too good to be all of those things. Just in time for Rosh Hashanah. Shana Tova! And if you don’t celebrate, make this anyway and have the best French toast ever. An important note: this is made like real bread, in that it is mixed, proofed, punched down, proofed again, kneaded, shaped and proofed again. BREAD! It’s worth it. It takes time; most of that is not active, but plan accordingly.”
Reader reviews: “What a thrill to be able to knead bread again. And the texture is amazing. The bread tastes fantastic without toasting or butter. Of course, we ate it warm. Oh so good.” and
“This bread is awesome. I added 1 1/2 TSP cardamom and 1/4 cup raisins to make it into pulla. It worked great. Thanks.”~ Updated Grain-Free Challah Made in a Shaped Pan/Mold from Zenbelly ~ gluten free, grain free, rice free, corn free, dairy free, refined sugar free, xanthan gum free, paleo, primal, vegetarian
Simone says: “This challah recipe is a variation of the original Grain-Free Challah that I wrote last year around this time. I’ve updated it to yield a regular-sized loaf, and also to be dairy-free, so it is both more paleo-compliant and suitable to be eaten with meat if you’re kosher.” She adds that this recipe works fine in a traditional loaf pan, or the braided loaf mold (which is what she used to make the loaf shown in the photo below) or the challah rolls mold may be used.
Reader review: “As always, your recipe is perfect. This turned out the most amazing, satisfying bread. we savored it with butter and raspberry jam warm out of the oven, then as French toast, and finally as a fried egg sandwich. Thank you so much for sharing your passion, our bellies are grateful!”
~ Water Challah Rolls and Egg Challah Rolls from Levana Cooks ~ gluten free, vegetarian with refined sugar-free options
Levana says: “This gluten-free bread recipe is quite elastic, and might well be the solution to your gluten-free bread cravings. This is quite a place to include some superfoods ingredients your children might ordinarily resist if they were offered in recognizable forms. Here’s all I ask if you want to pull this off perfectly: Don’t shape the dough into loaves until you get more experienced. Rather, shape into rolls. There will be much less chance to end up with a dried-out bread.”
Reader reviews: “The challah recipe is amazing! I have tried every type of recipe for four years and this has been by far the best.” and
“I used all oat flour (plus the tapioca) and it was lovely GF dough that rose well.”
Recipes Made with “Leftover” Gluten-Free Challah Bread
Note that these recipes may not be suitable for Jewish holidays, kosher, etc., but leftover challah can be used in all.
~ Mini Maple French Toast Casseroles from Go Dairy Free ~ gluten free (use the gluten-free option), dairy free, with egg-free, vegan options
This recipe from Alisa has only five ingredients! She says “they can be made on the spot or in advance. You can chill them unbaked, or stash a couple baked ones in your fridge for reheating on demand.”
~ Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding from Gluten Free Easily ~ gluten free, vegetarian, with dairy-free option
In the photos shown for this recipe, I used leftover ready-made gluten-free challah, which had been sent to my support group for one of our meetings. Note that any bread will work though, even the occasional loaf of “failed” bread.
Reader reviews: “I made this recipe today and it is absolutely delicious! I used gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread and cut back on the cinnamon and nutmeg. I have tried other recipes for gluten free bread pudding but this one is the best! Thank you for sharing!” and
“I just made this recipe with some adaptations [for my diet]. Its sweetness is just right and a good texture too. Thanks for the great framework!”
If you’re interested in more terrific gluten-free bread recipes—in all categories—you’ll want to check out the whole series via the links below.
Part 2a: The Best Gluten-Free Rolls
Part 2b: The Best Gluten-Free Biscuits
Originally published September 11, 2015; updated April 27, 2023.