Joan’s Soft, Fluffy and Delicious Vegan Challah Recipe


Community Recipes is a recurring feature where I ask a community member  to share a vegan recipe with us. This week I’m featuring Joan Laguatan and her vegan challah recipe. 

Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes.  If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. 

Woman holding bread

About Joan

Joan is a Filipina-Jewish vegan mom and real estate broker.  She was born in the Philippines and grew up and lives in San Francisco. She became vegan eight years ago after watching the documentary “Earthlings” and learning more about the realities of factory farming.  She and her husband, Devin Benjamin had a vegan wedding in 2011 (you can read their delicious vegan wedding menu here).

Vegan Challah Bread

Challah is a central Jewish Food

Challah is a central Jewish food as it is served every Shabbat and on most holidays. The bread is visually beautiful and it smells delicious. The classic recipe includes flour, eggs, sugar/honey and oil. The traditional recipe is a very rich food and heavy on our stomachs. If you are serving it out of obligation, here is some food for thought.

Joan Favorite Shabbat Recipe is Challah

Her favorite food to make for Shabbat is challah so she created a soft, fluffy and delicious vegan challah recipe.  One time her family hosted a blind taste test with a group of friends. The taste test compared her vegan eggless challah to one with eggs and everyone preferred her vegan challah.

Every Shabbat, she normally makes two, four-strand braided challah loaves. She learned how to make a for strand challah by watching this easy to follow youtube tutorial by NY Bakers.

Leftover Challah for breakfast and a vegan snack

On Sunday morning her husband uses the leftovers to make decadent cinnamon Challah french toast breakfasts for their children.  Leftovers from breakfast can be eaten as a favorite vegan snack food!

Ingredients for Vegan Challah

Tools you need to make this Challah

For this recipe, Joan uses the following toolsunbleached all purpose flour;

organic canola oil

this ultrafine baker’s sugar;

good kosher salt

a dough scraper;

a silpat silicone mat for even baking.

This unbleached all purpose flour is certified 100 percent organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI) and approved organic by the USDA and it is never bleached and never bromated.

This ultrafine baker sugar is a key ingredient to get the desired texture of the Challah. Ultrafine baker sugar is made especially for baking so it mixes, blends and melts more evenly.

Silicone baking mat will help your Challah cook evenly and also it means that you do not need to grease up your baking sheet.

Kosher salt is always necessary in the kitchen. This special kosher salt is lovely tasting and really adds a new taste dimension to Challah.

Jewish Food Hero Kitchen Vegan Challah Recipe Cards

Download a beautiful printable Vegan challah recipe card – the recipe is oil free and has two surprising and top secret ingredients.

More resources for plant-based Shabbat recipes

This plant-based squash dip would be a delicious spread to serve with Joan’s Challah.

This dairy-free tapioca pudding is a delicious Shabbat dessert and kosher-for-Passover dessert.

This plant-based honey cake also makes a good Shabbat dessert especially during the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. This recipe is oil-free and lighter than traditional Jewish honey cakes. This recipe can also be used to make cute honey muffins. Add fresh lemon juice to the recipe to add an extra zing.

If you are looking to make a plant-based Shabbat meal, here are 17 plant based recipes to choose from.

Want to add a nourishing grain bowl as your Shabbat main dish, try Esther’s nourishing grain bowl recipe.

Joan’s Recipe is featured in a published cookbook

Joan’s recipe is published in the Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves Cookbook.

Food Collage

Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook features a short compelling narrative of 20 female biblical heroines from the Hebrew bible, paired with two healthy plant-based kosher pareve recipes inspired by the character’s experience.

This is a community cookbook by Jewish Food Hero and is the co-creation of 40 Jewish women. The twenty biblical narratives are contributed by Rabbis, Rabbinical students, Jewish teachers and emerging thought leaders. The forty-one plant-based recipes were developed by professional chefs, homecooks who are elementary school students, and great-grandmothers.

The NEW Jewish Holiday Calendar Art Print

Jewish Holiday Calendar Art Print
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Joan’s Soft, Fluffy and Delicious Vegan Challah Recipe

  • Author: Joan Laguatan



Makes 2 large loaves

  • 8 cups unbleached all purpose flour (use last cup towards kneading dough and lightly flouring surface)
  • 3/4 cup organic canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cups ultrafine baker’s sugar
  • 2.5 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 packets yeast
  • Sweet soy milk or agave nectar mixed with almond milk




  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, water, yeast, and oil. Stir and allow yeast to work and bubble for 10 minutes.
  • Add the salt and 7 cups (900 g) of flour. Stir well and transfer the mixture onto a clean, lightly floured surface. 
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes, gradually adding from the remaining flour, only as needed, to make the dough less sticky.
  • Lightly grease a deep bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning it gently so all sides are nicely greased – this prevents the dough from forming a crust. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth.
  • Allow to rise for about two hours or until the dough doubles in volume.
  • Punch down the dough and allow it to rise for a second time, about another hour.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal parts and form into large strands. Braid the three strands together. Divide the braid into 2 loaves.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F (180C) degrees.
  • Allow the braided challah to rise for another 20-30 minutes before transferring into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the challah out of the oven and baste with sweet soy milk, then place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  • Let the challah cool completely before slicing and serving.

Thank you Joan for sharing your vegan recipe with the Jewish Food Hero community!

If you are looking for a Vegan Oil-free Challah Recipes —> this is Absolutely the Best Vegan Challah Recipe (+ Two Surprising Ingredients) and it came about by accident one morning at 5am when I ran out of one ingredient and had to resort to another.

Your turn:  Want to share a healthy vegan recipe with the Jewish Food Hero community?  Send your recipe submissions to 

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