“Challah is a Jewish braided bread traditionally made for Friday evening Shabbat dinner and Saturday lunch. I think everyone has their own favorite recipe and I am no exception. This started out as my mother's whole wheat bread recipe but I have adapted it beyond recognition over the last couple of years. The serving number is relative to how much those you are serving like bread.(My husband and I get through most of 1 loaf during dinner) Also climate, altitude, and temperature all matter to your bread. So you will have to make adjustments accordingly. I originally "perfected" this recipe while I was living in the mountains in Israel. When I tried to make it in Florida it came out all wrong and I had to go back to the drawing board. I hope you and your family enjoy this bread as much as me and mine. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. A blessing on your bread, Mazal Tov! Mazal Tov! =D Note: Prep. time includes rising time.”
READY IN:
4hrs 50mins
SERVES:
4-8
YIELD:
2 Loaves
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Place Eggs in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Measure Juice and let it stand at room temperature.
  3. In a Small Bowl: Mix Water, Honey, 2 Tbs. White Flower and Yeast.
  4. Let stand till foamy.
  5. In a Large Bowl: Combine Flour, Salt, and Oil, Eggs, Juice and contents of Small Bowl.
  6. It's a good idea to remove any rings or bracelets before beginning this step for obvious reasons. Start mixing with a spoon and switch to kneading by hand (still in the bowl) when the spoon becomes unmanageable. Knead dough until it's smooth. If all the flour is not working into a smooth ball, sprinkle more water over it a tablespoon at a time until it does. Conversely if it's very sticky, knead in a little more flower. Dough should be lightly moist.
  7. Cover dough (still in the bowl) with a flattened plastic grocery bag and place it on the heating pad. Set heat for Med. and let it rise for about an hour or until it looks like it might overflow the bowl. (If you don't want to use a heating pad just let your dough sit in a warm place like the top of the refrigerator) Go read a good book.
  8. Punch your dough down so it deflates, and let it sit and rise for another hour. Take a leisurely walk and smell some flowers.
  9. Sprinkle a large wooden cutting board or a clean dry counter top with a light layer of White Flour. (Tip: If your Board is likely to slide around try placing 2 moist paper towels under it for better traction).
  10. Grease 1 large baking sheet and set it aside. (If you have to use 2 small baking sheets make sure they fit in your oven together and that there is room for the heat to circulate evenly)
  11. Punch down your dough again and remove it from the bowl.
  12. Place dough on your Floured surface and Knead it until it's smooth as a baby's bottom and starts to fight back. In other words if you poke it, it should bounce back quickly; you'll know it when you see it. Add more Flour to your surface as needed.
  13. Divide dough in half. Set one half aside.
  14. Divide the remaining lump into 3 even pieces. Roll each piece between your hands to form a dough rope an inch or two thick making sure you get out all the air pockets.
  15. Lay ropes out on your kneading surface parallel to each other about an inch apart and braid. (Tip: If you start your braid in the center you will end up with a more even loaf.).
  16. Pinch ends of braid together and tuck them under on each end. (Tip: If your braid ends don't want to stick together dip you finger in water and use it like glue. It doesn't take much.).
  17. Place Finished loaf on baking sheet and cover it with another flattened grocery bag. (Tip: If the bag starts to stick you can grease it lightly with olive oil, butter, pan spray, etc.)
  18. Repeat steps 14-17 with the second lump of dough.
  19. Place baking sheet back on Heating Pad or in a warm place and let rise for 30-40 minute.
  20. Preheat oven to 350.
  21. Place loaves in the oven and wait for that wonderful aroma of fresh bread to fill your house.
  22. Note: You can do an egg wash before you bake the loaves but I prefer to brush them with softened Smart Balance or salted butter right when they come out of the oven. It adds a nice flavor and keeps the crust soft longer. If you want to add dried fruit and/or nuts just fold in the desired amount while you are kneading the second time.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a
SORT BY: