Challah Recipe - How to Make Challah Bread

Challah Recipe - How to Make Challah Bread

This homemade Challah recipe comes to you by special request. Bake it, share it, and you will find that you get continuous demands for the delicious bread, too.

This is a traditional Jewish bread recipe that is often baked for celebrations and holidays. It is light and just a bit sweet because of the honey and eggs. It’s great buttered, with jam, toasted, or even plain, alongside literally any meal of the day. It also makes fantastic French toast and sandwiches.

As a disclaimer, this Challah recipe is not entirely healthy. However, when you compare the ingredients of this homemade recipe to any of the "healthy" loaves that you find at the store, this is a much healthier option. It is free of additives and nasty preservatives, but the honey will act as a natural preservative to keep it fresh for longer. The Challah bread recipe’s worst offenders are butter and flour.

Challah Ingredients
1 lb 14 oz Bread Flour, white
4 oz Honey
1 Tbsp Salt
4 Eggs
14 oz Water, warm
4 oz Unsalted Butter, melted
½ oz Active Dry Yeast

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour with the salt and honey. Blend well. Add the water, eggs, melted butter, and yeast and blend again. Make sure that the melted butter is not too hot so as to not ruin the yeast.

Now begin adding the flour roughly 1/2 cup at a time. There is a lot of variance in this part of the recipe; you may find that your dough has reached the right consistency before adding the amount of flour that is called for, or you may find that your dough is still too sticky and need to add more.

The secret to making really delicious Challah is adding the right amount of flour to get the consistency just right; you want to add as little extra flour as possible but for the dough to not stick to your hands or fingers anymore. This can take a little bit of practice but it's really not too tricky, especially if you are taking care to only add a little bit of the flour at a time.

Once the dough is completely blended and is not sticking to your fingers anymore, cover it with a clean towel and let it rise for roughly 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. It helps to have a warm house or to stick the Challah dough where the warmth of the sun can reach it to help activate the yeast.

Once the Challah dough has doubled in size you can form it into loaves. You can put the dough into a simple bread pan, or you can get fancy and create your own homemade artisan styles. If you're going to use pans, simply grease the entire inside very lightly, and place a portion of the dough into the pan; if you fill roughly half of it with dough it will fill the entire thing after you let it rise a second time (another 60-90 minutes) before you cook it. This recipe makes roughly 4 loaves using pans.

If you want the traditional look of the Jewish recipe, you will need to braid the dough. Depending on whether you want two very large loaves, or four medium-sized loaves, divide your dough into six or 12 sections, respectively. Take the sections of dough and roll them until they each become a long, smooth strip. Each loaf of bread will need three sections. Lie the rolled sections side-by-side and begin to braid them into ropes. Pinch together each end of the braided dough. Carefully move the loaves to a greased cookie sheet and let rise again; roughly 60 to 90 minutes.

Bake the Challah bread at 350° for roughly 35 minutes, depending on the size of the loaves and whether or not you used a pan or cookie sheet (you may need to cook it for longer if you used a bread pan). It should be an attractive golden brown when it comes out of the oven.

Typically we make two large braided loaves and a cookie sheet full of dinner rolls. Once you have tried this recipe a couple of times and get comfortable with it, you'll find that there are lots of different fun and easy combinations you can make out of the dough.

This Challah bread recipe is very versatile and everyone loves it. It freezes well in a Ziploc bag, but you may well never find out because it is eaten up so quickly.