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.
This challah turned out like a masterpiece. It is art and nothing less. It looks so beautiful, I could not stop taking pictures of it. Trust me, it may seem like a lot of work, but when you see that beauty come out of the oven, it is all worth it. It’s so beautiful you won’t even want to eat it.
As I said after many youtube videos, a lot of sweating, and basically after some magic I finally managed to braid this bread. I managed to braid one with 5 strings and one with 6 strings. In case you’re wondering why the dough is so yellow it’s because I added a bit of saffron in the dough just to give it this beautiful yellow color. Of course this is totally optional.
You have to brush these babies with egg wash then sprinkle with some sesame seeds and honestly, it’s probably the most beautiful bread ever.
After I baked them for about 35 minutes, look what happened:
Can I get a holler for some challah…
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
- ¼ cup water lukewarm
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¼ 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.
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.
This recipe yields 2 loaves. Recipe assumes 8 slices per loaf.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.