How to Make Challah Bread | Challah Bread Recipe

How to Make Challah Bread | Challah Bread Recipe

2021-08-20
5 Stars (9 Voters)
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Learn how to make the best challah bread at home. This homemade challah bread is soft and light. If you are not familiar with challah bread, it’s a traditional Jewish braided bread that is made without dairy and served for Shabbat (Saturday) dinner. This recipe teaches you how to braid challah from 3 strands and make it look amazing.
DIFFICULTY
Medium
YIELDS
2
PREP TIME
2½ Hours
WORK TIME
20 Minutes
RECIPE CUISINE
European
INGREDIENTS
    • 3½ cups (500g) Flour
    • 1 tablespoon (10g) Instant dry yeast
    • 3½ tablespoons (42g) White sugar
    • 2 eggs, separated 
    • ¼ cup (50g) Canola oil
    • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (200ml) Warm water
    • 1 tsp (6g) salt

    *The measurements are in metric cups

DIRECTIONS
  1. To a large mixing bowl sift all-purpose flour, add yeast, sugar and mix. Add 1 egg, warm water and oil.
  2. With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 2 minutes, then add the salt and knead 5-6 minutes more.
  3. Shape a ball from the dough and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise about an hour (until double in size) in a warm place.
  4. Cut the dough in half and each half cut into 3 (if you want 2 medium challahs) or just cut all the dough into 3 pieces (if you want 1 large challah).
  5. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and start braid the dough as described in the video.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the loaf on top, cover with towel and let rise about an hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  8. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional).
  9. Bake 20-30 minutes until the top browns to a rich golden color (depends on loaf size).
  10. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

* This challah recipe makes 1 big loaf or 2 small loafs.

Notes and frequently asked questions:

WHAT IS CHALLAH BREAD?

Challah is a braided bread that Jews traditionally make and eat on Shabbat (Saturday) and holidays. Although challah is considered a Jewish-European dish, it is also a traditional bread in some countries in Europe, for example in Hungary, in South Africa for example challah is called kitke. Challah usually does not contain dairy products and its texture is soft and airy.

HOW TO BRAID 3 STRAND CHALLAH BREAD?

In this recipe I’m showing to you how to braid and bake 3 strand challah. At the beginning it might look difficult, but if you follow the instructions and watch the video, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make this bread.

HOW TO BRIAD 4 STRAND CHALLAH BREAD?

While the process of braiding a 4 strand is a bit different of braiding a 3 strand challah, the recipe is exactly the same. The ingredients and the method is remains unchanged. The only thing you need to change is dividing the dough into 4 pieces instead of 3 and then braid according to instructs here:  4 strand challah bread.

4 STRAND CHALLAH BREAD

OTHER VARIATIONS OF CHALLAH BREAD:

The recipe above is a classic challah bread recipe, while this traditional version is most popular, it’s always fun to try new versions. Here are 2 recipes that I have created, and I loved them. They are very unique and delicious:

WHAT RECIPES CAN WE MAKE WITH LEFTOVER CHALLAH?

Challah is a perfect bread by itself, you can serve it for your dinner, lunch, holidays or other occasions, but if you have some leftover challah bread, here are some ideas for you:

Bread Pudding

Check out the recipe here

French Toast

Check out the recipe here

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Check out the recipe here

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