There is nothing quite like challah bread with its unique eggy texture and hint of sweetness. However, there may be times when you need to find a good substitute, which could be a challenge.
Some of the top substitutes for challah bread consist of brioche, french bread, hawaiian bread, Italian bread, Portuguese sweet bread, and Pullman Loaf. These varieties of breads may not be the exact same as challah bread, but they are pretty close in comparison.
Challah bread is unique in its braided texture, and there is nothing quite like it. Yet, you are looking for a similar consistency or sweetness, there are many other bread varieties that may work as a replacement.
Common Alternatives to Challah Bread
The challah bread replacement you choose will largely depend on what you are planning to make from it. While challah bread can be eaten on its own, it can also be used in other recipes, too. These replacements work well for use as challah bread substitutes in a variety of circumstances.
Brioche is the most comparable type of bread for challah bread. It is light and fluffy in texture with just the right amount of sweetness. Much like challah bread in its taste and feel, brioche can also last for up to one week out on the counter and longer in the fridge.
2. French Bread
Available in an elongated loaf, much like challah bread, french bread is missing the characteristic braid challah bread is notorious for. When cubed, french bread can be used in place of challah bread. Its similar airiness makes it a great substitute in stuffed french toast or bread pudding.
3. Hawaiian Bread
You won’t find much resemblance in the texture and look of Hawaiian bread compared to challah bread, but its sweet taste is what makes it so comparable. Hawaiian bread is one of the sweetest varieties, so it pairs well with dinner items that resemble that sweetness or exude saltiness, like ham. Hawaiian bread is often paired with more savory items than challah bread would be.
4. Italian Bread
Sometimes sprinkled with seasonings or seeds, Italian bread is a far cry from challah bread. Yet, in a time when challah bread is simply unavailable, it may work as a substitute in some cases. You’ll have to use it with the assumption that Italian bread is not going to look, taste, or feel the same as challah bread in most cases, unless you add some sweetness to it.
5. Portuguese Sweet Bread
Made with decadent ingredients, like flour, sugar, milk, lemon, and yeast, Portuguese sweet bread is a decorative bread that resembles challah. It is often served with a hard-boiled egg inside it, depicting the care that challah bread is also made with.
6. Pullman Loaf
As a traditional square loaf, a pullman loaf is really not like the decorative challah bread at all. However, it can be used as a substitute to get the same taste and texture you would expect from a doughy bread, like challah. Pullman loaves are also readily available and easy to find in stores. You can even freeze certain types of pullman loaves, like Ezekial bread.
Ideal Qualities in a Challah Bread Substitute
When you’re searching for a challah bread substitute, you want a bread that is light, fluffy, and airy. Rich and eggy with hints of yeast, challah bread has a flavor that is different from many others. The care that is taken to weave its intricate braid design should also be matched.