Vegan chocolate-orange challah

This fruit-forward bread is more like a dessert.

Chocolate and orange is a classic combination, which Brooklyn-based recipe developer Beth Lipton applied to this vegan challah. The yeasted loaf is infused with orange zest and studded with vegan chocolate chips, making for a sweet, fruity flavor. Turmeric, in lieu of egg yolks, provides the bread’s golden hue.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 3 hours for dough to rise
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Makes 1 loaf

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Photography by Robert Bredvad


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 ¼-ounce packet quick-rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup warm water
½ cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
5 tablespoons maple syrup
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
½ teaspoon turmeric, optional
Grated zest of 1 large orange (2 teaspoons)
½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips


Grease a large bowl with olive oil. In a separate large bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Add warm water and let stand until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Stir almond milk, maple syrup, and 5 tablespoons olive oil into bowl with yeast. Add flour, salt, turmeric, if using, and orange zest, and stir until a dough forms. Knead dough in bowl, adding more flour a little at a time as needed, until dough is smooth and soft but not sticky, 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer dough to the greased bowl, turn to coat in oil, and cover loosely with lightly-greased plastic wrap. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn risen dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and pat into a large rectangle. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, roll into a cylinder, and cut into 3 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope, braid them together, and place on baking sheet. Cover loaf with lightly-greased plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let rise for 1 hour, until puffed up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush challah with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and bake about 10 to 15 minutes longer, until exterior is golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center reads 190 degrees F. Let challah cool on a rack before serving.

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