A traditional Sweet Vegan Braided Holiday Bread made at Easter time without any eggs! This Egg Free Bread is easy to make at home and bake in the morning to eat fresh and warm for holiday brunches! Serve with jam, nut butters or by itself.
Hello from Barbados guys! How is your Easter weekend going? Any fun plans!? What are you serving for your Easter meal? We are enjoying the sun, beach and everything this wonderful island has to offer for the long weekend. It’s nice to get away and just time some quality time with loved ones to relax. We are staying close to the water and I could definitely get used to waking up and seeing the ocean everyday. Barbados is simply gorgeous – if you haven’t been, I would definitively recommend a visit.
Let’s talk about this Vegan Braided Holiday Bread. Sweet Easter Bread (also known as Challah Bread) is a tradition in my family to make for Sunday morning Easter brunch. When I was living in Belgium, I also saw something similar to this Sweet Egg Bread being sold in the bakeries around the holidays. Traditionally, Braided Holiday Bread is made with a lot of eggs. By fluke, I was experimenting last weekend with making cinnamon buns and I knew the soft and tender dough would be just perfect for a Egg Free Challah Bread!
This Vegan Braided Holiday Bread is simple to make and made with only a few ingredients. You can even make the dough the night before and braid and bake it on Easter morning. Start by first mixing the dough. Once the dough is ready for kneading it will look like this. Notice how the dough is still a little bit sticky and beginning to separate from the sides.
Place the dough in a bowl and leave to rise for an hour in a warm, tuned off oven (or overnight in the fridge). The dough will triple in size once it is ready to be braided!
Roll and stretch the dough with your hands until you have three long pieces of dough. This dough is super tender, soft and easy to work with!
Braid the dough together…
Brush with the sugar “egg” wash…
And bake until golden brown. Sprinkle with some coconut sugar for good measure.
Nothing beats the smell of fresh bread baking on holiday mornings. I mean look at how perfectly fluffy, flaky and soft this Vegan Braided Holiday Bread is without ANY eggs! If you guys do make this Vegan Braided Holiday Bread at home, share your feedback below, snap a photo and tag me #CearasKitchen on Instagram! Have a wonderful Easter holiday everyone!
- 1 tsp coconut or cane sugar
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 pack)
- 1¼ cup non-dairy milk (105F/40C - slightly warm to touch)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp applesauce
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (+ extra for sprinkling)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil OR aquafaba
- Proof the yeast: Warm the milk up in a small bowl in the microwave by 15 second increments (or in a pot on the stove-top) until slightly warm to touch. You do not need to use a thermometer, place you finger in the milk and it is ready once it feels like a similar temperature to bath water. Do not overheat the milk or it will kill the yeast!
- Add the warm milk to your mixer with the dough attachment. Add the yeast and teaspoon of sugar to the milk. Turn the mixer on low and mix the yeast until it is just combined (one or two mixes). Cover mixer with a dish towel and leave for 5 to 10 minutes until the milk begins to foam - this means your yeast is active. If your yeast does not foam, repeat from step 1 with new yeast. Your yeast has to be active for the bread to rise!!
- Combine dough: Add applesauce and sea salt to the foamy milk mixture. Mix on low. Add the first 1½ cups of flour, mixing on low and scraping down the sides when necessary until just combined. By the half cup, add the rest of the flour until combined. You will know the dough is mixed enough because it will separate from the sides (see photos).
- Knead: If you are using a KitchenAid stand mixer, continue to mix on high until you have a soft and pliable dough that forms into a ball. If you are not using a stand mixer, lightly dust a clean counter-top with flour as well as your hands (this will make the dough stick less to your hands as you knead it). Place the dough on top of the counter and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and silky to touch.
- The dough should be soft and pliable when ready. Smack the dough down on the counter a few times to release any air in the dough.
- Rise: Preheat your oven to 200F/95C. Turn the oven off and turn the light of the stove on. This creates the ideal temperature for your dough to rise.
- Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean and slightly damp dish towel. Place the dough in the turned off oven with the door slightly ajar for 1 hour until the dough has tripled in size.
- Take the bowl out of the oven and punch the dough a few times to deflate it.
- Braid the dough: Lightly dust clean counter-top with flour and cut the dough into three equal pieces. Pick up one of the balls of dough. Roll and stretch the dough between your hands until the dough is about 20 inches long (50 cm) and 1½ inches thick (3.8 cm). Repeat this with the other two balls of dough.
- Place the three long pieces of dough beside each other. Press the ends of the dough together to seal them with a pinch of water and braid the dough until you have a one long dough braid. Bring the two ends of the dough together into a circle and press them with a pinch of water to seal the ends together.
- Transfer to the braided dough to a lined baking sheet. Cover with damp dish towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Sugar wash: Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine applesauce, sugar and coconut oil (or aquafaba) together into a small bowl. Microwave for 15-30 seconds until the mixture is warm and melted. Whisk together and lightly brush the dough with sugar wash.
- Bake: Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust of the bread is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and brush the warm bread with the applesauce mixture. Sprinkle with sugar. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm with jam, nut butters or by itself!
2) If you do not have a mixer you can mix the dough using a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon.
3) You can also make this dough the night before. Prepare the dough and instead of leaving it to rise in the warm oven, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in the fridge overnight.