A Low Carb Challah Bread made with yeast, that actually resembles REAL bread! All you need is a stand mixer, a dough hook, and an oven to make this delicious and beautiful 4 Strand Braided Loaf! We use a special blend of Vital Wheat Gluten, lupin flour, and Oat Fiber to get a beautiful springy crumb, without all the carbs!
** please use a scale to measure any ingredient with a weight (in grams) to give you the most accurate & BEST results! Measuring in volumes (ie. teaspoons/cups) is ok for the ingredients that dont need to be as precise hence why these are listed in volumes. If the ingredient has grams listed, then PLEASE use a kitchen scale**
- 220 grams (15 Tablespoons) Filtered or Distilled Water (80°F ) *see note 1
- 2 teaspoons Granulated Sugar (or substitute 1 Tablespoon Inulin)
- 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast (strongly recommend this SAF INSTANT YEAST)
- 100 grams (2 large), Eggs room temperature *see note 2 for shortcut!)
- 32 grams (2 large) Egg yolks room temperature (save the egg whites for the egg wash)
- 80 grams Lupin Flour (3/4 Cup) (this LUPINA brand will give you the BEST taste)
- 170 grams Vital Wheat Gluten (1 + 1/4 Cup) (King Arthur Brand Vital Wheat Gluten is the ONLY brand I recommend using)
- 38 grams Oat Fiber (1/2 Cup) (this Lifesource brand or this Honeyville Brand)
- 5 Tablespoons Allulose
- 7 grams Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (2 teaspoons) *other brands may measure differently, so use a scale!
- 2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil
For the Egg Wash/Topping:
- Two Egg Whites + 1 Tablespoon Water (use your leftover egg whites from the challah dough)
- Pastry Brush
*RECIPE VIDEO for my low carb brioche buns is shown in my above blog post.The mixing & kneading process is the SAME as that recipe video. The way the dough looks is nearly identical as well – although ingredients amounts differ slightly as well as shaping.*
- Mix together your “flour” ingredients (lupin flour, vital wheat gluten, and oat fiber) in a bowl & whisk until evenly distributed. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer bowl, add instant yeast, sugar (or Inulin), and filtered (or distilled) water warmed to 80°F (*see note 1 for water temperature adjustments). To ensure that your yeast is active (& not old or bad), allow the mix to sit for 5-7 minutes until you see foamy bubbles appear (it SHOULD look like the yeast is ‘blooming’’/foaming/expanding slightly in the water). If you don’t see any bubbles, expansion or changes, then your yeast might be bad or old! You will need to replace it.
- Once your yeast is foamy and blooming, add lightly whisked eggs + egg yolks, and allulose to the stand mixer. Using a dough hook, mix together on a low speed until lightly combined. Add half of your low carb “flour” mix and continue kneading on the level 2 (lowest mixing speed) of your mixer for 3-4 minutes. Add the other half of the low carb “flour” mix and continue kneading (still at level 2) for 9-12 more minutes. If the dough is getting too tightly wound around the hook at any point you can stop the mixer pull the dough off the hook, flip it over in the bowl & then resume kneading again. The dough should look cohesive, smooth and stretchy (hello gluten development!) *At this point, if you were to pinch a piece of the dough and try to stretch it away from the rest of the dough, it should NOT break off easily. If it does break off instead of stretch, then it means your gluten hasn’t developed enough, so you can just continue kneading for an additional 1-2 minutes. This dough pinching test, is called a windowpane test.)*. Add Kosher Salt & Avocado Oil to the dough, and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and the oil has been completely kneaded in (no greasiness should be left in the dough/bowl), which should take 5-8 more minutes of kneading. *If the oil is having trouble getting kneaded in (the dough may slip around kinda crazy the first few minutes while kneading with oil, which is normal and expected!) you can pause the kneading, pull the dough off the hook & then flip the dough over and continue your knead to help distribute the oil in.* Once the dough looks SMOOTH and is not greasy to the touch, turn off your mixer and gather all the dough in your hands (some of your dough may appear stringy or not all in one even ball , and this is okay! It is just tight from good gluten development). Form the dough into a smooth ball shape as best you can. If you can gently knead it on the counter a few times, it will turn into a SUPER smooth ball. Set the dough ball back into the mixer bowl and let the dough rest/RELAX at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (and NO more)!
- After the dough has relaxed for for 10-15 minutes, use a bench scraper (or a knife) to cut the dough into 4 equal pieces (tip: use the scale to weigh & divide by 4 if you want them all exact same size). Now, you can shape your Challah Braid! *watch a how to braid a 4 strand challah loaf video here). TO SHAPE: Take one of your 4 pieces of dough and gently flatten the dough with your hands into a rectangular/oval shape with long edge parallel to you. Pull the Long edge thats farther from you towards the middle of the dough and pinch or seal with your hand then continue rolling the dough into itself forming a log shape. Placing your hands on the middle of the dough log roll it back and forth with your hands moving out towards ends of the rope to create a 12-14 inch long ‘rope’ (mine were around 14 inches!). Do this with each piece of dough. Line up your 4 ropes evenly on the counter and pinch them together at the very top (making a tee-pee shape). Start by picking up the farthest left strand, pulling it towards the rightand weaving it by taking it over the strand second to the left, then under the next strand to the right, and finally over the last strand on the farthest right. Now, using whichever strand is NEWLY placed on the farthest left-repeat the process again (farthest Left strand goes over the strand to the right of it, then under the next one and over then over the farthest right strand). Continue this exact same left to right (over, under, over) set until you reach the bottom of the braid. Pinch the ends of the strands together at the bottom of the braid and tuck both the top end point and bottom end point of the loaf under itself (just an inch or so of each end tucked under the loaf)!
- Gently place your challah braid onto a greased or lined baking sheet (I use a silpat baking mat). Cover the whole baking sheet loosely with a lightly oiled piece of seran wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rise on your kitchen counter for 1.5-2.25 hours or until doubled in size. If your kitchen is a little on the cooler side (below 70-72 °F), your rise time will be slightly longer. If your kitchen is warmer than 72 °F then your rise time will be a little shorter. I actually prefer it to be cooler, because the LONGER the rise time, the BETTER the flavors that develop in your bread loaf! *** ALTERNATIVELY, you can place your shaped challah loaf in the fridge to rise OVERNIGHT (instead of at room temperature) – which will even FURTHER enhance the delicious yeasty flavor! SEE NOTE 3 for tips/instructions for an overnight rise and bake***
- Preheat your oven to 340° F while your dough is rising. You can and *should* conduct a “finger poke” test to check if your dough has risen enough to bake! *To do this, gently poke your dough & see how it bounces back. If it the poke does NOT leave a mark and the dough bounces/springs right back, then it needs MORE time. If the poke leaves a mark but very slowly and slightly starts to bounce back, then it’s perfectly risen and ready to bake. If the poke leaves a big flabby dent that doesn’t bounce back at ALL, then it may have overproofed 🙁
- Whisk together leftover egg whites + 1 tablespoon of water until a few foamy bubbles form to make the egg wash. Use a pastry brush and paint the egg wash onto your challah loaf everywhere but the bottom. Bake at 340 °F for 25-31 minutes until it’s a deep golden brown on top (mine took exactly 30 minutes). Please NOTE, the HEIGHT and Width of your Braid will determine how long this needs to bake in the oven! Mine, was quite large and baked for exactly 30 minutes. If yours is skinnier (please reference the photo in my post of MY risen challah braid), it may need less time, closer to 25 minutes! If it’s getting SUPER dark brown- then it’s getting over done! Let your Low Carb Challah Loaf cool COMPLETELY BEFORE slicing into (cooling it all the way SETS the crumb & prevents deflation- it’s SUPER important!).
- Store your Loaf at room temperature in an airtight container or ziploc bag to prevent drying out. Your baked Challah loaf also FREEZES fantastically! Just Slice before freezing and place in an airtight bag! To thaw frozen slices, remove them from the freezer bag (to prevent sogginess during defrost) and let them thaw on the counter for 30-45 minutes, OR pop them in a toaster! 🙂 ENJOY!
Note 1: We use a slightly cooler temperature of water here, because the friction caused by a long kneading time in the mixer will be heating the dough up further! You don’t NEED warmer water for instant yeast! Please use thermometer to check your water temperature! Using water that is too warm, will cause your bread to rise quicker – resulting in less flavor & potential overproofing! If you kitchen is REALLY cold (ie. below 70F, you can use slightly warmer water), and if your kitchen is warmer (ie its over 72F in summertime) you can use slightly cooler water (but NO Lower than 70F). See post for more info on WHY! 🙂 In Short, the LONGER it takes your dough to rise, the BETTER it will taste, so cooler water is much much better!
Note 2: If you forget to leave your eggs out to come to room temperature ahead of time, then just submerge them in cup or bowl or warm water for 3 minutes -5 minutes and they’ll be the perfect temperature needed 🙂 (I do this little trick every time, because I am terrible at planning in advance!).
Note 3: FOR A COLD, OVERNIGHT FRIDGE RISE —- Once you have shaped your challah bread, placed it on a lined baking sheet, then you want to cover it with a lightly oiled piece of seran wrap (to keep fridge aromas from settling in!). Before letting your dough rise, put it STRAIGHT into your refrigerator and let it rise SLOWLY overnight (or during the workday if u so wish)! The cool temperatures of the fridge, will still make them rise but at a snails pace. The Cold Temperature will not hurt the yeast, but what it will do is give them amazing flavor!!!! You can also do this if you just want a 3-4 hour (or however long) break in between shaping your buns & baking them. In EITHER case, To Bake,: just take your challah loaf out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature on your counter (this part is important!), for 30-45 minutes. If it has already doubled in size since you initially shaped it, then you can bake immediately. If it hasn’t quite doubled from original size (or a ‘fingerpoke’ test says the dough is still too bouncy and doesn’t leave a market yet), then let them continue rising until they are ready to bake! Don’t forget your egg wash just before going in the oven, and bake as directed! *if you let them rise in the fridge for only a short period time, opposed to overnight, you may need to let them come to room temp for 30-45 minutes and then still continue rising for quite a bit longer. Just watch for over/underproofing signs via the finger poke test listed in the recipe instructions!
Macronutrients on this recipe are calculated based off the brands listed/suggested. Net Carbs are listed, and do NOT include carbs from allulose as they do not affect blood sugar levels. Nor does the net carbs include the sugar that is used to activate yeast, becuase that is JUST food for the yeast! No sugars will be left in the recipe, as the yeast its it ALL up and that’s what makes it RISE! 🙂
- Prep Time: 2 -2.5 hours
- Cook Time: 28-30 minutes
- Category: bread
- Method: Stand Mixer + Baked
- Serving Size: 1 Thick Slice: (1/14th of recipe)
- Calories: 98
- Fat: 3.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.78 g NET carbs
- Protein: 12.6 g