Easy Challah Bread

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

I was pretty excited about this month’s challenge. My hubby and I love challah and I love any excuse to make it!

Challah bread is definitely a bread that anyone can make. It’s pretty forgiving and easy to shape. I have no idea just how traditional this particular recipe is (not much challah bread up in North Dakota where I grew up), but it is tasty. This could also be easily made into rolls for those summer time burgers now that grilling season is here with Memorial Day.

Thank you to all who serve on this Memorial Day! Thanks to my grandfather who served 23 years in the Air Force, my father-in-law who served 20 years, and my brother-in-law who also served 20 years. And especially to my wonderful hubby who is still serving – you make me proud every day!

Challah Bread

From Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen

Yield: 2 loaves

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 30 minutes hands on; additional 2 to 3 hours for baking and proofing.

  • 8 oz water (temperature will vary depending on your kitchen – warm kitchen equals cool water)
  • 1 TB + 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 20 oz bread flour
  • 4 oz egg yolk (about 6 to 8 eggs)
  • 1.5 oz sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 oz oil
  • egg wash

1. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl starting with the water. If using a stand mixer, mix on speed 2 for 4 minutes (using your dough hook) or until all the ingredients come together into a ball, or use a wooden spoon to mix until it is ready to knead. At this point I like to finish kneading by hand, but feel free to finish in the mixer on speed 3. Knead until smooth.

2. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until about double, about 1 to 2 hours.

3. Gently deflate and cut six equal strands. Roll each strand to the length of your sheet pan. Place three strands on each sheet pan and braid. Pinch the ends and tuck under. Brush with egg wash and let rest for another hour or until about double again. Preheat oven to 400F.

4. Brush with egg wash again. Bake about 25 minutes, rotating half way through. Loaves should be golden brown. Check temperature if needed – bread should be no less than 180F in the center.

Let cool completely (it will be tough!) before enjoying! This bread makes a fantastic french toast, but it is also great all by itself! Enjoy!

Note: I know there are no pictures of the process and the instructions might be a bit vague for those who haven’t made bread before. Please shoot me an email or comment below if you need further clarification! It really is an easy bread to make!

Check out more bread ideas at Yeast Spotting

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Easy Challah Bread

  1. Thank you to all of your family members today especially – they give so much for all of us.
    Your challah looks beautiful! You did a wonderful job shaping it and I bet it tastes delicious!

  2. Hi. Many thanks for sharing this. I just had this at my Jewish friend’s house. My picture of his Callah bread is here http://extravirginchef.blogspot.com/2012/05/authentic-inspiring-home-cooked-israeli.html

  3. Robin B.

    I make challahs weekly and am always looking for a new recipe. Yours looks great. I usually use AP flour, but will try the bread flour. I’d add to your directions to use bread hook if possible when using mixer. Most people have one if they use their KA. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thanks!!

    • Thanks for the dough hook pointer…I had that in my original draft but Word Press crashed and deleted it! If you use AP flour with this recipe I’d hold back on the water and add more later if the dough seems dry. Either would work fine.

  4. Your challah looks great! I am proud to have been a part of your celebrtion of your amazing family and all they have done for all of us. Your recipe looks yummy, and the braids are beautiful. Thank you so much for baking with me this month!

  5. scribbleofhappygoluckygal

    yumm.. yumm…!!! god im going gaga over your site..!! its’s one of its style..:)

  6. This looks super yummy! Definitely goes on top of my way too long to-do list 🙂

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