(Recipe adapted by Carol Rubin from recipe in The New Yiddish Kitchen, by Miller and Robins)
2 1/2 tsp. (7g) active dry yeast
1/4 c. (60 ml) warm water (about 110 degrees)
3 tbsp. (45 ml) honey, divided
75 g almond flour (scant 3/4 c.)
100 g arrowroot powder (heaping 3/4 c.)
100 g potato starch (scant 3/4 c.)
3 1/2 tsp. guar gum (available in gluten-free section at Dierberg’s)
3/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled
Egg Wash: 1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp. water, for brushing challah
1 tbsp. sugar whisked with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, for sprinkling (optional)
1-2 tbsp. poppy seeds, for sprinkling (optional)
Stir together warm water and 1 tbsp. honey in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture, stir, and let sit at room temperature until it begins to foam. Reserve.
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, arrowroot powder, potato starch, guar gum, and salt; reserve.
In a large bowl, beat the 4 large eggs with a mixer until they lighten in color, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the reserved flour mixture, coconut oil, and remaining 2 tbsp. of honey until incorporated. Add the reserved yeast mixture and beat or stir with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly combined. (This dough more closely resembles cake batter than it does traditional bread dough.)
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rise at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil or spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray.
Remove plastic wrap and stir down risen dough with a wooden spoon. Using a standard size ice cream scoop, scoop out 7 portions of dough, placing them one next to the other along the perimeter of the pan. Place a final scoop in the center. Gently brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly first with cinnamon/sugar mixture and finally with poppy seeds, if using. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let challah rise at room temperature again for 15 minutes, or until the batter fills up 2/3 of the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let bread cool in pan for 25-30minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the challah to loosen it from the sides. Unlock the pan and lift the challah out of pan onto a cooling rack.
Makes 1 challah.