1 packet of active dry yeast or just under 1 tbsp (I use: 1 0.75 oz packet of Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use: Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Mini Chips)
For the Cinnamon Sugar topping:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
For the Glaze:
2 tbsp soy milk
2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
In a small bowl, add 3 tbsp warm water, sprinkle the active dry yeast on top & sprinkle with salt. Set it aside & let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
To a large bowl, add 2/3 cup warm water, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp oil & 1/2 tsp salt & whisk to combine & dissolve. Once dissolved, add 1 cup of flour & mix, it is ok to have clumps at this point.
Add another 1/2 cup of flour to the large bowl & add the yeast mixture mixing well. Add the vegan chocolate chips & another 1/2 cup of flour at a time, (there should be a total of 3 cups) continue kneading & mixing well each time you add flour. The dough should only slightly stick to your fingers.
Make sure to add flour to your work surface. Flour is your friend here!!! Don’t be shy. You will be kneading the dough for about 5 minutes in the bowl & 10 more minutes on the work surface. If it is sticky, add more flour.
You can also use a stand-up mixer for about 10 minutes if you want to on a medium setting. Once the dough is kneading well, it will be pretty smooth. Return it to the large bowl, sprinkle it lightly with flour & cover the bowl with a dish towel Let it sit out for about 15 minutes, you can push down the center, recover & let it sit for another 30 minutes or longer if you have it.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Make sure you have a floured work surface again & remove the challah from the bowl after it has had time to rise. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Begin to roll them out as long, thin & smooth as possible. You can use more flour to help & you want to have 4 long strands to braid. You can google lots of videos on how to do this, but I have found that it usually still looks pretty even though I am usually just winging it.
Once you have the challah braided & ready, add it to the parchment paper lined baking tray, cover with a dish towel & let it sit for at least 30 minutes. It should double in size.
Prepare the glaze by mixing 2 tbsp plant milk & 2 tbsp of agave nectar or maple syrup in a small dish. Prepare the cinnamon sugar topping by mixing 1 tbsp sugar & 1 tsp cinnamon together in another small dish.
After the challah has had 30 minutes to rise, bake it for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven, brush it with the glaze, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on it, return it to the oven & bake it for 25-30 more minutes.
Let the challah rest for a few minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!