Best Challah Recipe to Make Bubbie Proud – Shabbat Jewish Braided Sweet Bread
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This is a refreshed post on How To Make The Best Challah At Home – Jewish Challah Recipe.Jump to Recipe
As a kid I remember making challah in my grandma’s kitchen. Before last week, I think that was the last time I actually made challah from scratch. It always seemed intimidating.
I have tasted some really good challah and some not so good challah over my 30+ years. I decided to attempt to make challah at home, and wow! After reading some different recipes and doing some of my own things, I created the best challah recipe that would make your bubbee proud.
The important thing to remember about challah making is to take your time. Do not rush it. This Jewish sweet bread requires 2 different rising periods.
Table of Contents
Here is the Best Challah Recipe to Make Bubbe Proud
Ingredients For Homemade Challah:
- 2 cups + 1 teaspoon water
- about 1 1/2 cups of sugar (depends on how sweet you want it)
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- about 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
Yeast Mix – in a medium size bowl dissolve 1 tablespoon of dry yeast into 2 cups of warm water and 1/3 cup of sugar. Mix and let it sit until it gets a little frothy on top. This takes about 5 minutes. Then, mix in 3 cups of all-purpose flour.
Large Bowl – In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup – 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 4 eggs. Beat until well mixed.
Add the yeast mix to the large bowl and stir until well mixed up.
Next, slowly mix in a little bit of flour to your mixture. Start by adding about a cup of flour at a time. You want the dough to be just a little sticky. I ended up adding about 5 cups of flour to my mixture.
Then, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a oiled bowl and flip it around a few times to make sure some of the oil gets on the outside of the dough. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about an hour until it doubles in size.
After the challah dough has risen
After that, punch down dough. If you like raisins in your challah then you can add some at this point. Knead dough for another 5 minutes. Break it into 3 equal parts.
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These 3 parts will be your 3 challah. If you only want to bake one loaf, you can freeze the other 2 dough balls at this point. For each loaf you are making separate the dough into 3 equal pieces.
On a floured surface roll the 3 small pieces into long worm-like pieces. Pinch the 3 top ends together, braid, and pinch the 3 bottom ends together. Place the loaf on a greased baking sheet or baking sheet with parchment paper and let rise another hour.
Again, it should double in size. If you want to make fancy looking braided challah, then you can read The Shiksa in the Kitchen Challah Part 2: How to Braid Challah.
Glaze topping – In a small bowl whisk 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of water, and 1 – 2 teaspoons of sugar (depending how sweet you like it).
This is enough glaze for all 3 loafs. For each loaf, use about 1/4 of the glaze. Lightly brush the glaze on top of the braided dough. Make sure a little bit of glaze remains in the bowl. You’ll need it for later. If using seeds sprinkle them on now.
Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. Remove the challah and brush on another light coat of glaze. Return the bread to the oven and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. The top of the challah should be lightly brown and shiny.
Notes On Homemade Challah
* Note – I like my challah sweet and not too salty, so when I make this recipe I use the higher amount of sugar and the lower amount of salt. If you like your bread soft and not crusty, you may want to bake it for a little less time. Individual ovens may vary.
Use it the next for delicious challah french toast.
Make sure to check out more recipes on Cha Ching Queen.
Easy Homemade Challah Bread
- 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Stand Mix dough hook attachment is idea
- 1 baking sheet
- 2 C +1 Tbsp Warm Water 1Tbsp is for glaze top
- 1 ½ C Sugar amount may vary depending on how sweet you like your challah
- 1 Tbsp Dry Yeast
- ~8 C All Purpose Flour
- 5 Eggs
- ½ C +1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Salt amount may vary depending on your preference
- In Stand Mixer combine: Dry Yeast, ⅓ C Sugar and Water in Stand MixerLet stand for 5 minutes until the top is frothy ~5 minutes
- Mix in 3 C All Purpose Flour (add raisins here if you'd like)
- In a Large Mixing Bowl combine: ½-1 C Sugar (amount will vary depending on how sweet you like your Challah.)2 tsp Salt½ C Vegetable Oil4 EggsBeat until well mixed
- Add the yeast/flour mixture to the large mixing bowl and mix wellSlowly add flour to mixture- start with ~1 C at a time. You will want the dough to be a bit sticky.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for ~5 minutesPlace dough in a well oiled mixing bowl to rise (flip the dough around in the bowl to coat all sides with oil)Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrapAllow dough to rise for 1 hour until it doubles in size
- Punch dough down and place on a floured surfaceSeparate dough into 3 equal parts- each part will make 1 loaf of Challah. If you only want to make 1 loaf at a time- these freeze well to use later. Separate each part into 3 pieces. On a floured surface roll 3 small pieces into long worm-like strands. Pinch the tops of each strand togetherBraid the strands together and pinch the 3 bottoms togetherPlace loaf (or loaves if you're making all 3) on a greased baking sheet (or baking sheet with parchment paper,) and rise for 1 hour
- In a small bowl whisk together:1 egg1 tsp vegetable oil1 tsp water1-2 Tbsp Sugar*This is enough glaze for all 3 loavesLightly brush the glaze on to of the braided loaves (make sure there is a bit of glaze left to use later)Sprinkle seeds now if using
- Bake in a preheated Oven at 350° for 18 minutesRemove Challah loaf/loaves) and brush on another light coating of glazeReturn bread to oven. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until tops of Challah is lightly brown and shiny
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.