4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup aquafaba
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I use grape seed but you can use any neutral oil you like)
4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup hot water. I just use hot water from the tap, you don't want it too hot or the yeast will die and it will not activate.
In a large glass bowl mix hot water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar
Let the that sit for 10 minutes to activate, or until the mixture is super foamy at the top.
In a stand mixer add the yeast mixture, aquafaba, sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. (you can mix by hand, just mix the above, and add remaining flour slowly. You will need to knead it for the same amount of time. It's a good workout though!
Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated then add in the remaining flour. I typically will hand mix the first 2 cups of flour in, or use my paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook when I add the remaining flour.
The dough should come together and not be sticky, if it seems sticky you can add 1/4 more flour a little at at time until the dough comes together. Your goal is smooth, and elastic-y dough, not sticky.
Let the dough kneed in the mixer on low/medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth at this point and have a sort of bounce back if you poke it.
Form dough into a nice ball, and place in a lightly greased glass bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel, and place inside your oven turned off, OR on the bread proof setting if your oven has one.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place in the bottom of the oven. The heat and steam from the water will help the dough to rise.
Let dough rise about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Remove dough from oven, and on a clean lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half, and braid each loaf. Tori Avey has a wonderful guide on challah braiding that you can check out, or follow the pictures below for a 4 strand braid.
Place both challah loaves on a cookie sheet, and cover with a damp towel. You may need two cookie sheets. You don't want the loaves touching or they will stick together as they bake. Place challah back in the oven and allow the loaves to rise again for about an hour.
Once loaves have risen, remove from oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
You can either brush the loaves with vegan butter, or you can make an aquafaba wash with 3 tablespoons of the left over aquafaba, and a splash of maple syrup. This will help the loaves to brown. Which ever method you choose, brush the loaves before placing them in the oven, and brush a few more times throughout baking.
Loaves will need to bake around 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the oven. Keep an eye on them and once they begin to brown all over, give them a tap with your finger. If they sound hallow, they are done!
Let Challah cool on a wire cooling rack before serving.
Separate your dough into 4 equal pieces and begin forming "ropes" with them. Let gravity help with this. The dough will stretch out as you work on lengthening the ropes.
Begin on the far right, weaving your rope over, under, over...
Now repeat starting at the far right again, always going over, under, over. ALWAYS start right. ALWAYS over, under, over.
When you are done tuck, the ends of the braid under the loaf.
Just a heads up, this bread will make THE BEST french toast you have ever made! Challah y'all!