Challah Bread

Tomorrow begins the seven day celebration of Passover.  Although we do  not celebrate Passover at our house I do enjoying making Challah Bread.  Challah bread is a traditional Jewish style bread that is often served on the Jewish Sabbath and special holidays.

According to Wikipedia:

….”Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals and two holiday meals each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf”  commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The manna did not fall on the Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or sabbath.] It is these hunks of bread, recognizable by their traditional braided style (although some more modern recipes are not braided that are commonly referred to as challah.”

Besides being a soft, delicious bread, one of the best things is that it does make two loaves so with our “reduced size” family that means there is always plenty to share.

Challah Bread

This is one of those posts where I wish you could really smell the recipe too.  Nothing smells better than a fresh baked loaf of bread.

After mixing up the ingredients you allow the dough to rise  – you want it to look like this after an hour or so.  The trick to yeast bread is really all in the water temperature.  You want your water to be between 105-115 degrees so you don’t kill the yeast and so it is warm enough for the yeast to grow.  I often use a candy thermometer to test the temperature just to make sure.

Challah Bread

The next step is to divide the dough in half.  One for us – one for someone else.

Challah Bread

Then each of those pieces of dough are divided into three pieces each – so you will have 6 balls of dough.  (although only 3 are pictured)

Challah Bread

Roll each of these smaller pieces of dough into a rope (about 12 inches long or the length of your cookie sheet)  Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly shaped and smooth – obviously mine aren’t.

Challah Bread

Place them on a greased cookie sheet and then you are going to braid them together.  If you don’t know how to braid, ask one of your kids.

Challah Bread

Be sure your ends are tucked in on both ends of the loaf.

Challah Bread

Repeat with the rest of your dough and place both loaves on the cookie sheet, side by side.

Challah Bread

Let the dough rise one more time – about 30-60 minutes depending on how and sunny your room is.  After they have risen give them a nice little bath of beaten egg white so that they shine really pretty.  You can also sprinkle them with sesame seeds.  I did one with and one without.  I like choices.

Challah Bread

They are now ready to pop into the oven and for you to begin drooling as those amazing smells of baking bread hit the air.

Challah Bread

Aren’t they pretty!?

Challah Bread

The perfect addition to any Easter brunch or dinner.

Challah Bread

We are a little unsophisticated at our house sometimes.  We like to eat this bread as soon as it comes out of the oven.  It is so warm and soft, too soft to cut with a knife so we just use our hands and tear away!

Challah Bread

If there are any leftovers Challah bread makes amazing french toast covered with Buttermilk Syrup.

Challah Bread

 

Challah Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 packages dry active yeast (about 4 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 1/2 C warm water
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 eggs plus white of one additional egg for glaze
  • 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 C flour (add until dough is slightly sticky)
  • Glaze: 1 egg white mixed with 1 tsp cold water.

Instructions

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and allow yeast to proof (bubble)
  • Add sugar, salt, oil eggs and flour in with yeast mixture and mix until slightly sticky. I do this in my Kitchen Aid.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Divide dough in half. Take each half and divide into 3 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a rope and brain 3 ropes together on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Place both braids on cookie sheet and allow to rise a second time for 30-60 minutes.
  • Brush loaves with glaze.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds if desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bread is golden brown.

Comments

  1. 1
    Lynne says:

    This sounds and looks so yummy! I’m just a smidgen confused. For the glaze do you use the egg yolk or the egg white? I saw egg white in the body of the recipe and saw egg yolk in the for the glaze. Have I read this wrong? Sorry!

  2. 2
    lisa says:

    Looks pretty. The dough makes great cinnamon rolls too!

  3. 3
    lisa says:

    Do you know if your recipe can be put on the fridge over night?

  4. 4
    Brittany says:

    Yum! This bread makes me hungry just looking at it! I love homemade bread! Thanks for sharing this! :)
    Brittany recently posted..Summer Book List

  5. 5
    bridee says:

    I made this too!! The kids enjoyed the french toast this morning!

  6. 6
    Julie says:

    I am making this right now. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 7
    Avril says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous Challah bread Leigh Anne!
    Avril recently posted..Chewy M and M Cookies with a surprise ingredient

  8. 8
    Kristi says:

    Made it for our Easter dinner and it turned out perfect. Thanks for posting!

  9. 9

    This is a great blog. I will look forward to following your posts! The Challah is lovely! Thanks for sharing the recipe. By the way… Challah would never be served during Passover (Pesach)… because it is the Feast of Unleavened Bread :) I have a great recipe for the kind of bread my family eats during Passover at http://www.aviewfromthecottage.blogspot.com/2012_05_26_archive.html if your interested, come check it out!

  10. 10
    Daphne says:

    I made this the other night and it was so easy and delicious! Thank you!

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