Challah!

When I think of Rosh Hashanah, the jewish new year, I think of three foods: apples, honey, and challah.  This year I decided I would make my own challah, my very first.  It was an all-afternoon affair, but the reward was well worth the time and effort.

Challah (2 loaves)

  • 1/2 cup warm water for yeast
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 1/2 cups (about) all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Combine warm water, yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar in small glass bowl and mix. Let yeast mixture stand at room temperature about 10 minutes (mix should be foamy).
  2. In a large bowl, using a heavy duty mixer, beat eggs, oil, salt & remaining sugar until blended and slightly thickened (5 minutes).  Beat in remaining warm water and yeast mixture until blended
  3. Either with a dough hook on a mixer or by hand, mix in flour 1 cup at a time, forming a smooth dough.  Finished dough should not be sticky.  When dough has come together and is smooth, knead by hand for 2 minutes until elastic (if you press your thumb in, the dough shouldn’t hold the thumbprint)
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl, add dough, turning it over to coat it with oil, cover
  5. with a towel, and let rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume (about 1 hour)
  6. Punch down dough, recover, let rise 30 minutes
  7. Grease 2 large baking sheets, place dough onto lightly floured surface
  8. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces, divide each piece into 3 smaller pieces, roll each piece into an 8-10 inch rope and braid, tucking ends in.  For a round dough you just push the ends together and kind of tuck them into each other (see below).
  9. Place each braid on baking sheet. Cover with towel and let rise in until almost doubled, about 30 minutes
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water to make wash, and brush dough with egg wash.  Add sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if you like.
  12. Bake 40-45 minutes or until challah is golden brown & sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of it

This challah was so delicious and surprisingly easy to make, I will definitely be doing it again!

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3 Responses to “Challah!”


  1. 1 Wendy September 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Wow…that bread turned out awesome!!
    Shame you couldn’t even save me one lousy piece to try.
    I hear all about your cooking and baking, but do I ever get to sample? Seriously!!!

  2. 2 capri September 25, 2009 at 9:07 am

    First of all, thank you. Secondly, I will make a challah to bring in on a weekday – problematically, fresh bread doesn’t really hold up too well from a Friday to a Monday. Thirdly – I brought the pasta salad from two posts ago to work AND left leftovers! Its not my fault you were eating chicken for every meal that week.

  3. 3 Wendy September 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    1. You’re very welcome…it looked awesome.
    2. I will count that as a promise.
    3. It was the following week I had nothing but chicken. And it’s not my fault the leftovers disappeared quickly!
    Have a great weekend. See you Monday!


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