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Easy Challah Bread Recipe

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Recently, I came across a discussion on Facebook about Challah Bread.  I’d never heard of it before so I did some digging and then Hannah and I experimented with baking it.  This easy Challah Bread recipe was so delicious that I wanted to share the recipe with our readers!

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

What Makes Challah Bread Different?

Challah is a Kosher loaf of braided bread. The simple dough is made with eggs, water, flour, yeast and salt. The bread is typically pale yellow in color because of the eggs used, and it has a rich flavor, too.

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

What Does The Challah Loaf Symbolize?

‘Challah’ actually refers to the tiny portion that we separate from bread dough as a reminder of the Temple service, not the loaves themselves. … The loaves are typically covered with a fancy cloth—one reason is that it is symbolic of the dew that fell on the manna in the desert.

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

Why Is Challah Bread Braided?

Challah is a rich, eggy bread that’s baked every week for the Jewish sabbath, or Shabbat.  The braiding of the challah may symbolize several possible things: A symbol of the intertwining of the holy days with the secular days of the week, as Friday passes into the Sabbath.  Also, the symbol of the connectedness the Sabbath brings, with its purpose of allowing time for family, friends, and relationship strengthening.  The reason that some people do the round challah, versus the braids, for Rosh Hashana, is because the year is round and it represents that idea. This makes the bread look like a crown, for crowning God as king on Rosh Hashana.  

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast (active dry or instant will work)
4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk & egg white separated (save the white for the egg wash)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast: Place the water in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast along with a large pinch of sugar into the water. Stir to combine. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until you see a thin frothy layer across the top.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together: In a large stand mixer bowl, add four, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. (If using a regular bowl, knead by hand.)
  4. Add the eggs, yolk, and oil to the dry ingredients: Whisk to form a slurry, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour.
  5. Mix to form a shaggy dough: Pour yeast mixture over egg slurry. Mix yeast, eggs, and flour with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a dough is formed.
  6. Knead: Using a dough hook, knead dough for 6-8 minutes in a stand mixer. (Alternatively, you may turn the dough on a floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.)
  7. Perfect Dough Consistency: If the dough is sticky, add flour one teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky but not sticky. The dough is finished kneading once soft, smooth, and holding a ball shape.
  8. Let dough rise till doubled: Place the dough in an oiled boil and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise some place warm till doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  9. Divide and make ropes: Divide the dough into 3 (or 6) equal pieces. Roll into ropes, about 16 inches long each.
  10. Braid the dough: by gathering the ropes and squeezing them together into a braid formation. (Just like when braiding hair.)
  11. Let Challah rise: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place braided loaf in the center and cover with a clean towel. Let the Challah rise again for about 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven: to 350 degrees.
  13. Brush Challah bread loaf with egg wash: Mix the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush the Challah loaf with the wash.
  14. Bake the Challah loaf: for 30-35 minutes, until the top is deeply browned.
  15. Cool: the Challah on a cooling rack until just barely warm.
  16. Enjoy! Challah Bread is absolutely delicious!

 

Yield: 12 servings

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

This Challah Bread recipe is delicious and so easy to fix! We make it frequently and the whole familly loves it!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast (active dry or instant will work)
  • 4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk & egg white separated (save the white for the egg wash)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast: Place the water in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast along with a large pinch of sugar into the water. Stir to combine. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until you see a thin frothy layer across the top.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together: In a large stand mixer bowl, add four, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. (If using a regular bowl, knead by hand.)
  4. Add the eggs, yolk, and oil to the dry ingredients: Whisk to form a slurry, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour.
  5. Mix to form a shaggy dough: Pour yeast mixture over egg slurry. Mix yeast, eggs, and flour with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a dough is formed.
  6. Knead: Using a dough hook, knead dough for 6-8 minutes in a stand mixer. (Alternatively, you may turn the dough on a floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.)
  7. Perfect Dough Consistency: If the dough is sticky, add flour one teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky but not sticky. The dough is finished kneading once soft, smooth, and holding a ball shape.
  8. Let dough rise till doubled: Place the dough in an oiled boil and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise some place warm till doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  9. Divide and make ropes: Divide the dough into 3 (or 6) equal pieces. Roll into ropes, about 16 inches long each.
  10. Braid the dough: by gathering the ropes and squeezing them together into a braid formation. (Just like when braiding hair.)
  11. Let Challah rise: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place braided loaf in the center and cover with a clean towel. Let the Challah rise again for about 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven: to 350 degrees.
  13. Brush Challah with egg wash: Mix the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush the Challah loaf with the wash.
  14. Bake the Challah loaf: for 30-35 minutes, until the top is deeply browned.
  15. Cool: the Challah on a cooling rack until just barely warm.
  16. Enjoy! Challah Bread is absolutely delicious!

Notes

If you don't need to keep a kosher table, you can substitute the oil for melted butter.

To store leftover Challah, cool completely and place in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 759Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 374mgCarbohydrates: 148gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g

Please note that these nutritional facts are an estimate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

How To Eat Challah Bread

This bread is so tasty you can eat it plain – just tear off the piece of challah and munch away!  We also love to drizzle honey on top.  Slicing Challah Bread for sandwiches can be a little tricky because of two things: the braiding and the small challah size.  But it’s definitely doable!  We have carefully sliced with a large bread knife and made it work.

Easy Challah Bread Recipe

Our family makes this easy Challah Bread recipe quite often because it is so delicious.  If you love the taste of fresh-baked bread, you will definitely want to give it a try!  I love pairing it with soup, including this Flavorful Easy Chicken Fajita Soup Recipe.

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Frances Carty

Sunday 14th of June 2020

This recipe looks easy and not labor intensive. I am going to make this challah for the next Shabbat dinner.

Frances Carty

Sunday 14th of June 2020

I am going to make this challah for the next Shabbat dinner. This recipe looks easy peasy. I won't have to buy a challah.

gloria patterson

Friday 12th of June 2020

my ex sister in law made one for easter and posted a picture of it not real pretty I shared this with her she made another using this recipe and it turned out beautiful. She said they ever bite of it

Jeanine Bevacqua

Monday 1st of June 2020

I used to make Challah bread but I haven't for some time now. I should make it again. This recipe looks really easy!

Peggy Nunn

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

It is time for me to make some more of this bread. I have enough time on my hands to do it. thanks for the idea.

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