Challah Recipe: Solid, Tasteful and Unique

Challah Recipe
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Challah Recipe
A Stunning and Tasty Bread Challah is a type of bread that's as nice to look at as it is to eat. With its beautiful braids and golden shine, it's perfect for all kinds of celebrations, from a Hanukkah dinner to a casual Sunday meal. When you cut into a loaf of challah, you’ll find a soft, slightly sweet interior.

Hey there! I’m Jacob Allen, and I grew up working on my dad’s food truck. Now, I’m a chef who loves crafting new dishes. On my blog, Beyond the Bayou, I share cooking tips, delectable recipes, and unique food ideas. Join me for some culinary adventures and let’s explore the world of flavors together!

I recently discovered a Challah recipe during a cooking workshop I attended. It was fascinating to learn about the traditional techniques and ingredients that make this bread so unique. The rich, golden color and soft, fluffy texture make it perfect for everything from French toast to sandwiches. I can’t wait to experiment with it in my own kitchen.

What is Challah?

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that’s known for its soft, rich texture and beautiful braided shape. It’s typically made with eggs, flour, sugar, oil, and yeast, which give it a slightly sweet taste. Challah is often eaten during Jewish holidays and Shabbat, the weekly day of rest and worship. It’s also common to see a round-shaped challah during Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing the cycle of the year. Despite its religious significance, challah is enjoyed by many for its unique flavor and eye-catching appearance.

Quick Overview: What to Know About Challah Bread?

Challah Recipe

Challah bread is often used in Jewish holidays and celebrations. It’s an easy bread to make without complicated techniques. The dough contains eggs and oil for a rich texture. You can braid it in 3, 4, or 6 strands. Leftover challah makes fantastic French toast, bread pudding, or sandwiches.

Challah Recipe

Challah Recipe

A Stunning and Tasty Bread Challah is a type of bread that’s as nice to look at as it is to eat. With its beautiful braids and golden shine, it’s perfect for all kinds of celebrations, from a Hanukkah dinner to a casual Sunday meal. When you cut into a loaf of challah, you’ll find a soft, slightly sweet interior.
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Course: Breads
Cuisine: Jewish
Calories: 283kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 10

Equipment

  • Stand mixer (optional)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Bench scraper or sharp knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsps active dry or instant yeast
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk reserve the white for the egg wash
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Activate the yeast. Add the yeast to a small bowl with the water and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it forms a frothy layer on top. If it doesn’t, your yeast might be expired, and you’ll need new yeast.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the eggs and oil. Make a well in the flour and add the eggs, yolk, and oil. Mix them together to form a thick, slightly lumpy mixture.
  • Add the yeast and make the dough. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix everything together until it forms a rough dough.
  • Knead the dough. Use the mixer with a dough hook to knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or do it by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. It’s done when it’s smooth and holds its shape.
  • Let the dough rise. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  • Divide and roll into ropes. Split the dough into 3 or 6 pieces, depending on the braid you want. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 16 inches long. If they keep shrinking, let them rest for a few minutes and try again.
  • Braid the dough. For a 3-strand braid, weave the ropes together like you would braid hair, and pinch the ends when you finish. For a 6-strand braid, the pattern is “over two, under one, over two.”
  • Let the challah rise again. Put the braided loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let it rise until it becomes puffy, about 1 hour.
  • Brush with egg white and bake. Preheat your oven to 350°F about 20 minutes before baking. Brush the loaf with the egg white and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown and reads 190°F inside. Cool on a rack, then slice and enjoy!

Notes

Proof the Yeast with Warm Water: Make sure the water is lukewarm, not hot, to activate the yeast. If it doesn’t get frothy within 10 minutes, you might need new yeast.
Knead Until Smooth and Elastic: Knead the dough thoroughly, either with a stand mixer or by hand, to ensure it’s smooth and elastic before letting it rise.
Braid Tightly and Evenly: When braiding, ensure the strands are even and braid tightly to maintain a consistent shape during baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 7.3g | Fat: 7.4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 231.9mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 5.2g

Is Brioche the Same as Challah?

Challah and brioche are both rich, sweet breads, but they have some key differences. Challah uses more eggs and less fat than brioche, and its fat comes from oil, not butter.

What Does Challah Taste Like?

Challah has a rich, slightly sweet flavor, similar to brioche. It’s made with eggs and a bit of sugar, giving it a unique taste.

Why Do Jewish People Make Challah?

Challah Recipe

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that’s braided and often made for Shabbat, the weekly Sabbath. It’s also used in Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah, where it’s shaped into a round loaf to mark the beginning of a new year.

What’s the Best Flour for Challah?

You don’t need special bread flour to make challah. All-purpose flour works just fine and is often used in many challah recipes.

What Makes Challah Different from Other Bread?

Challah is an enriched bread, which means it has added fat from oil and eggs. This makes it richer than regular white sandwich bread or French bread. It’s similar to brioche, but with oil instead of butter.

Tips for Braiding

Challah Recipe

For a 6-strand braid, remember the pattern “over two, under one, over two.” Keep repeating this until you reach the end. If your braid starts to lean to one side, you can adjust it. If you want to make a round challah, stretch the braid and connect the ends to form a circle. You can either squeeze them together or braid them into a continuous loop.

Storage and Substitutions

If you don’t need to keep a kosher table, you can use melted butter instead of oil for a richer taste. To store, wrap the cooled challah in plastic wrap, and it will last at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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