Challah Bread Recipe – Gorgeous Challah bread that’s perfect for the holidays to share with your family and friends. Perfect for French toast or bread pudding the next day.
Challah is a special Jewish braided bread and it’s similar to the easter bread as in they both have eggs. Traditionally they are braided in 6 pieces, so I struggled to figure out how to braid in 6 pieces, I had to watch many videos on youtube before I got the hang of it. You can braid them in 3 pieces as well, or 5 pieces, it’s totally up to you. Personally I think the 6 pieces braided one looks gorgeous.
- 1/4 cup water lukewarm
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg for brushing over the loaves
- In a small bowl, add the warm water, 1/4 cup of the flour and the yeast, whisk all together well and let it sit and proof for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts growing and bubbling.
- In the mixing bowl of a mixer, add the yeast mixture, the eggs, vegetable oil, salt and honey. Mix well together then using the dough attachment gradually add the remaining 3 1/4 cup of flour, adding 1 cup at a time.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and place it onto a floured surface and knead it for a couple more minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.
- After the dough doubled in size, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. In turn divide each piece into 3 equal portions and each of these into 2, so you'll end up with 6 pieces for each loaf. Braid it in 6. Place the breads onto a baking sheet, and let the bread double in size again. Once doubled, brush the breads with the egg wash. At this point you can sprinkle either poppy seeds or sesame seeds on it.
- Bake the loaves in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 25 to 35 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn't expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date. To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using. Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container. One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.