Challah bread was first mentioned in the 15th century in Austria and became ritual bread to the Jewish people in Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia, and Eastern Europe.
This bread is braided with three, four, and six strands. They all symbolize different things such as love, truth, justice, and peace. However, it is also found in round loaves.
People consume this bread for Sabbath and holidays. It is usually made with eggs, white flour, sugar, water, yeast, salt, and oil brushed with egg yolk before baking and sprinkled with poppy seeds on top. It has a pale yellow color with a slightly sweet and rich flavor.
However, nowadays there are other varieties of challah bread with honey, olive oil, raisins, spelt flour, oat flour, molasses, saffron, sesame or anise seeds, and many other ingredients.
You can buy Challah bread in your local bakery and use it to make French toast, sandwiches, or bread pudding. But if you can’t find any Challah bread there are some other types of bread with similar flavor and texture you can use as its substitute.
Common substitutes include Brioche, French baguette, Hawaiian bread, Portuguese sweet bread, Italian bread, Pullman loaf, vegan challah, and whole wheat challah.
Substitutes for Challah Bread
Challah bread was called berches before it got its new name. However, it is still known under the old name among the Jewish people in some countries.
This traditional Sunday bread was prepared in various shapes and sizes by the housewives who kneaded the dough on Thursday and bake it on Friday.
It is an important bread used to celebrate important events in Jewish culture. But there are also some other types of bread you can use instead of challah bread. The best substitutes for challah bread are the following types of bread.
Brioche is French bread with a light, tender texture and slightly sweet flavor. It includes eggs just like challah bread. It also contains butter, milk or water, salt, yeast, cream, and flour.
Brioche works well for hamburgers, puddings, French toasts. However, you can also serve it with sweet and savory fillings. It is one of the best substitutes for challah bread.
2. French baguette
French baguette is long bread with a crispy crust and soft texture made with flour, salt, water, and yeast. You can use it to make sandwiches, or spread cream cheese, butter, margarine, and jam and eat it as a cookie, cracker, or biscuit.
3. Hawaiian bread
Hawaiian bread includes flour, honey, milk, eggs, yeast, pineapple juice, water, shortening, butter, and salt. You should bake this bread in a square pan. It has a sweet flavor and soft and fluffy texture. It is sweeter than challah bread and has a slight pineapple flavor but you can try to use it as its substitute.
4. Portuguese sweet bread
Portuguese sweet bread consists of flour, milk, sugar, yeast, eggs, and lemon peel. People prepare this bread traditionally for Easter and Christmas. However, you can consider it as regular everyday bread too. You can serve it with butter, rice pudding, or make a sandwich with it.
5. Italian bread
Italian bread has a soft texture and thin crispy crust. It consists of sugar, milk, salt, flour, water, butter, olive oil, and yeast. You can use it with any dish like soup or fruit compote, as a base for pizza or topped with cheese, honey, or jam.
6. French bread
People often confuse french bread with a baguette but it is different than the baguette. This bread is longer, wider, and with rounded ends.
It usually consists of flour, salt, sugar, milk, yeast, olive oil, and water, and pairs well with soups, stews, salads, and various cheeses. It has a crispy crust and performs well for preparing croutons, crostini, and bruschetta.
7. Pullman loaf
Pullman loaf, also known as a sandwich loaf, has a soft and thin crust. You should bake it in a Pullman pan which helps the loaf to get square form and light, soft texture. It has a sweet taste and works well for toasting, making sandwiches, croutons, canapes, and bread crumbs.
8. Vegan challah
Vegan challah, also known as water challah doesn’t contain eggs, but still has a soft and fluffy texture. And it is just as tasteful as the one that contains eggs.
You can even make it at home with just a few ingredients like flour, salt, sugar, oil, water, yeast, poppy or sesame seeds, and maple syrup for glaze. You can consume it with butter and jam, toasted, dipped in soup, or on its own.
9. Whole wheat challah
Unlike the standard challah, this challah doesn’t include white flour. The ingredients are a mixture of the same amount of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.
Other ingredients include eggs, salt, oil, water, sugar, dry yeast, and vital wheat gluten to improve the rise and elasticity of the dough. You can eat this challah with jam, butter, honey, or you can use it to make sandwiches and toast.
Challah Bread Substitute for French Toast
Challah bread is one of the most used bread for French toast. However, you can also use Brioche, Pullman loaf baguette, and French bread. Or you can try some other types of bread mentioned in this article to make flavorful French toast for breakfast.
What can I use instead of challah bread?
Instead of challah bread, you can use brioche, French baguette, Hawaiian bread, Portuguese sweet bread, Italian bread, or some of the bread mentioned in this article.
Can you use any bread for challah?
You can use any bread for challah which includes wheat, spelt, barley, rye, or rice flour with the amount of 1/8 of all the ingredients in the dough.
Is Challah bread similar to brioche?
Challah bread is braided kosher bread without any dairy products in its content. While brioche is made with some of the same ingredients as challah bread.
However, it also contains milk, cream, and butter. Therefore, brioche has rich butter, cream, and milk flavor and challah bread has a soft texture and slightly sweet flavor.
What makes challah bread different?
Challah bread is a traditional bread that people consume on Sabbath and for the holidays. This Jewish tradition is old for centuries. That is what makes challah bread different than other types of bread.
Challah bread is used for centuries and has many variations and different flavors. It is tasteful bread and you can use it for making toast and sandwiches, or just top it with jam or honey.
However, you can also use some of these types of bread as a substitute for challah bread and enjoy their flavor.