Gluten-Free Hallah

One of my popular recipes is gluten-free “hallah”, which I make for Sarah regularly. It freezes well, and is pretty tasty. If you’re used to regular bread recipes, the only surprise will be that the bread tends to fall apart during kneading etc – gluten is the protein which provides the strength to most breads, so that is to be expected. I put “hallah” in quotes because this has no ingredient which qualifies as mezonot, and so to anyone who is not koveah seudah on it, it would just be shehakol, and there is no quantity where one would need to take hallah from it (per the opinion of RDBF, although that’s normative halakhah.

I used to use Namaste Perfect Four blend, which is a mix of tapioca, rice, arrowroot and xanthan gum, but then learned that the hashgaha (kosher supervision) which it has (square-K) is not considered reliable in my community, so I changed over to Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-purpose Baking Flour. There isn’t a huge difference in the use of the products, but the BRM comes in smaller packages – about one bag makes 9 rolls.

First proof yeast: heat some water to a bit over yad soledet bo (but not boiling or extremely hot). Put one packet of yeast in a good-size bowl with 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, mix a bit, and then add about 3/4 cup water. Stir a bit, and wait for about 10 minutes – the yeast should get good & foamy.

While waiting, beat three eggs (eggs need to be checked for blood spots individually), and add about 1t salt to the eggs. Once the yeast has proofed, add the eggs, about 3 cups of flour, 2t white vinegar, 1/4 c oil, and some honey (maybe 8 squeezes or thereabouts). Mix very well with a paddle or spoon. The dough should be relatively stiff.

Take a piece of plastic wrap, and put a bit of oil in it. Put this plastic wrap over the dough in the bowl (the oil is just to keep it from sticking), and cover the bowl with a towel or apron. Let rise for about an hour.

Beat another egg.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Take the dough out, and knead on a breadboard. You’ll need to add a bunch more flour to keep it from sticking – that’s normal. After kneading, slice off a 1″ thick piece, and roll a snake of it. Tie this piece into a simple overhand knot, and place on an oiled baking sheet. Do this with all of the loaf, brush the knots with egg, and bake for about 20 minutes (until deep golden).

If you want to add seeds, do that after brushing with egg. If you want to add cinnamon and/or raisins, do that during the kneading. If you want to add cardamom, add that during the initial mixing.

About thegameiam
I'm a network engineer, musician, and Orthodox Jew who opines on things which cross my path.

One Response to Gluten-Free Hallah

  1. Elise Jacobs says:

    David,
    Before you give up on the Namasthe flour, make sure you ask someone who is involved in national kashrus. If the ingredients are that simple, it may be ok because they are all ingredients that usually don’t require hashgacha. I would suggest that you call Rabbi Smolensky (my go-to for big Kashrus questions Rabbi). He might say no anyway, but it is worth a try if you really prefer the product. We also don’t use Square-K but, for example, I would purchase frozen green beans with it because it doesn’t need a hechsher anyway. Email me for his phone number if you want it. – ejacobs129@gmail.com

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