challah

★★★★★ 1
By Francine Lizotte
from Surrey South, BC

Soft, moist and absolutely delicious, this is a great recipe to make! It's beautiful and pairs very well with many dishes.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Oh yum! This challah bread recipe is everything it should be. It's rich, soft, and slightly sweet with a nice crust. There are many ways this bread can be eaten. Add a bit of butter to a slice or use it to make challah french toast. This bread does take a little time to prepare and the braiding technique takes practice but the result is worth it. Ours isn't perfect ... but it was very tasty.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 1
serves 1 loaf
prep time 30 Min
cook time 40 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For challah

  • 2 1/4 tsp
    active dry yeast
  • 1 c
    lukewarm water (between 105º to 110ºf)
  • 5 Tbsp
    honey, divided
  • 4 c
    unbleached all-purpose four, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tsp
    ground Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 lg
    free-run eggs
  • 1 lg
    egg yolk, white reserved
  • 1/4 c
    canola oil, plus more to grease the bowl
  • 1
    egg wash (reserved white whisked with 1 tbsp. water)
  • 1 tsp
    poppy seeds (substitute sesame seeds or kosher salt), or as needed

How To Make challah

  • Yeast, water, and honey in a mixing bowl.
    1
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, water, and 1 Tbsp honey; stir and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Whisking together flour and salt.
    2
    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour and salt; whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Eggs, yolk, oil, and the remaining honey whisked together.
    3
    In a small bowl, combine eggs, yolk, oil, and the remaining 4 Tbsp honey; beat until well blended and set aside.
  • Pouring egg mixture into flour.
    4
    Add egg mixture and flour mixture to yeast (reserve ½ cup).
  • Flour added to form a dough.
    5
    With the dough hook attachment, process on speed 1 until mostly blended then increase to speed 3. Add 1 Tbsp of flour at a time until the dough clings to the hook, cleaning the sides of the bowl until slightly tacky and springy.
  • Ball of dough in a greased bowl.
    6
    Remove the dough from the bowl and with greased hands, form a ball by pulling it under. Place it in a large oiled bowl and move it around to coat with oil.
  • Bowl covered in a tea towel in the oven.
    7
    Cover with a clean dish towel and move to a draft-free area such as the oven with the temperature off. Let it rise for 1 ½ hours.
  • Punching down the dough.
    8
    Remove from its spot and knock the air out. Cover and return to its draft-free spot. Let it rise again for another hour.
  • Kneading the dough.
    9
    When the time is up, transfer to a lightly floured surface and punch it again. Sprinkle on more flour and knead for 2 minutes, adding flour if it’s too greasy.
  • Weighing pieces of dough.
    10
    Form a ball by pulling under, weight the dough and then cut equally in half. Cut each half in 3 equal pieces (weigh each of them on kitchen scale) and form a ball by pulling under.
  • Rolling logs of dough.
    11
    Flour a large surface such as a counter or table and, working one at a time, form an oblong shape. Roll each piece with even pressure until it reaches 18 inches. If ends retract, let the gluten rest a few minutes before working on it again.
  • Pinching the ends of the dough together.
    12
    When the 6 braids are done, gather the ends at the top, pinch and squeeze them together so they stay in place.
  • Beginning to braid the dough.
    13
    Take the right braid and fold it over the top to the left. Take the left braid and fold it over the top on the opposite side. Separate the 4 remaining braids in groups of two, leaving a space in the middle. Take the left braid and place it down the center. To replace it, take the 2nd braid on the right and fold it across the top again. Creating a space in the middle, bring the top right braid to the center. To replace it, take the 2nd braid from the left and place it across the top. Then take the top left braid and place it down the middle; replace it with the 2nd braid on the right, crossing over the others. Create a space in the middle and bring the top right braid down the center; replace it with the 2nd one on the left. Continue with the same pattern until the end is reached.
  • Folding under the ends of the dough.
    14
    When you run out of braids, gather the remaining ends. Squeeze them together and fold them under nice and neat. Do the same with the other end where you started.
  • Braided dough on a baking sheet.
    15
    Carefully transfer the braided dough to a large baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Cover and move it back to the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Poppy seeds sprinkled over the bread.
    16
    Later on, brush on the egg wash making sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle on some poppy seeds. If there are any spots where the seeds don’t stick, brush on a little bit more egg wash and sprinkle on some more seeds.
  • Challah baking in the oven.
    17
    Transfer to a 350ºF preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes. Halfway through baking, rotate the pan. Remove from the heat and place it on a wire rack to cool off.
  • 18
    To view this recipe on YouTube, click on this link >>>> https://youtu.be/aCmNNzs8pcM
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