Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (2024)

Last updated on March 4th, 2021 at 05:01 pm

Challah recipe with step-by-step Video. A soft, and pillowy bread you’d want to eat every day. Rich egg yolk enriched dough which doesn’t even require much kneading making it a super easy bread to make.

Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (1)

Hey there!

We had a small party for my daughter’s birthday last Thursday. She was too little to understand what was going on during her last birthday. Cocomelon channel’s Birthday song has become her favorite song these past few months and watching her playgroup friends celebrate birthdays she kinda couldn’t wait for her birthday.

She wasn’t asking directly and not incessantly, which I’m sure will happen next year. She was super excited but when the time came for cutting the cake, she was all too focused on who gets their hands on the Peppa fondant figurine. Also, she refused to eat cake!

Friends and their kids came over and lil A had a blast,in fact, all the children did. Wemanaged to accommodate around 30 plus people in our small apartment, which sure seems like a big accomplishment. Especially when it wasn’t a moving crowd. The kids went to A’s playroom as usual and brought the whole room down.

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Grownups settled down wherever they found space. Most importantly, all the guests helped themselves to the food. It was such a relief and the party went by smoothly. And then came the after-party scenes, cleaning! Luckily we had some help and most of it was cleared the same day.

We lazed around the next morning and I cooked a simple breakfast and lunch. In the afternoon, A went to her grandparents’ place and didn’t return until after dinner. I had enough time to make this Challah.

Challah vs Brioche:

The major difference between a Challah and a Brioche is: Challah is a Jewish bread whereas Brioche is French, because you know, origins matter. Both challah and brioche are very soft bread and very similar to each other. However, challah makes use of oil and eggs and completely skips milk and butter. Whereas Brioche, being a French bread, is made with butter and milk.

Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (2)

Both types of bread can be used interchangeably. They can be a quick pick me up with just a bit of jam spread on it. Although I haven’t tried making Bread Pudding yet with this challah yet, it makes one hell of a Challah French Toast. It soaks and absorbs a good amount of the French toast mix making it a delicious Breakfast.

As with all the bread, Yeast is the most important factor for getting the perfect loaf. I have bought and tried many types and brands of Yeast. But I’m comfortable with Instant Yeast. I found this Prime Instant yeast by accident in Kodaikanal during one of our trips. The store owner said it is used in restaurants and bakeries, it was an Aha moment.

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I came home and I tried baking with it, I haven’t looked for another brand of Yeast since. Although it was a bit difficult to find this but these days it is available in Amazon. Another brand I hear is good id Gloripan. (Note: Not a sponsored review).

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How to make this bread:

The dough:

Let’s go to how to do it. In a big bowl preferably one that comes with a lid, add 205ml of lukewarm water and 7g of Instant Yeast and give it a quick mix.

Separate 6 medium eggs into whites and yolks. Cover and reserve the egg whites in the refrigerator.

Add the yolks, 75g sugar, 35 ml oil at one go to the yeast. Using a wire whisk, whisk until you break down the yolks. Use any vegetable oil that you like, I used a mix of Coconut Oil, Groundnut Oil, and Olive Oil, talk about flavor!

Add 1/2 tbsp of pure vanilla extract and give it a quick whisk.

In another bowl, whisk together 9g of salt and 460g of all-purpose flour. Thoroughly mix it together.

Transfer the flour to the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, mix it together by gently folding it until it comes together. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and rest for 5 minutes. This resting time allows the flour to relax and encourage gluten development.

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After 5 minutes, open the bowl and mix using the same spatula. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle some flour from the 20g extra flour onto a working surface such as a wooden plank or your kitchen counter. Ensure the surface is clean and dry, we’re gonna be doing a lot of kneading on it.

Transfer the dough on this surface. Sprinkle flour as needed and gently knead until the dough is very soft, it takes about 5 minutes. At this point, the dough will not be sticky as compared to before. Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer, using the dough hook mix for 2 minutes.

Oil the bowl you used earlier or another clean bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a lid or cling film. Let it rise until it doubles in volume, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours in cool tropical weather. It takes even less when placed near an oven or a stove. So, take care to check on your dough to see if it has doubled.

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Kneading:

Once the dough has doubled, open the lid and punch it down gently with your hands.

Flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Divided the dough into two portions; each portion makes one loaf of bread. Set one portion back in the bowl and keep it covered.

Braiding:

With one portion on the counter, divide it further down into 4 parts or 3 PARTS. Use can use a pastry cutter or a simple knife for this. Shape each part of dough into long strands.

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If going with 3 strands, join the strands at the top and go ahead with braiding it just like you braid hair. Once done, press together the ends at the bottom and tuck it underneath.

If going with 4 strands, I’ve shown this in this VIDEO. Once braided, carefully transfer it to a baking pan. Repeat the process with the other portion of the dough.

You can place both the loaves in one pan if you pan is big enough. Otherwise, bake one first and let the other braided Challah dough rest meanwhile.

Egg Wash:

For the egg wash mix together 2 tbsp of Egg Whites and 4 tbsp of water. Beat it together. This would be enough for two loaves.

Baking:

Before putting it into the oven, brush the braided Challah dough with egg wash. Then, top it with a mix of sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

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Preheat oven at 170 C for 10 minutes. Place the Challah dough in the middle rack and bake it for 20-30 minutes until the bottom is golden brown and a quick tap on it sounds hollow. During the last 5 minutes, turn the oven setting to broil mode to brown the top of the Challah. If you have a kitchen thermometer, the internal temperature should be 190 C. (I use an infrared thermometer in “House” setting, it seems to give me an approximate reading, LOL)

Remove from the oven and IMMEDIATELY cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it completely cool down.

Enjoy it with a bit of jam or make a French toast from the Challah Bread, you’ll fall in love!

Video recipe:

Recipe Source: Adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day book.

Notes:

  • Make use of the reserved Egg whites by making an omelet or something else.
  • Storing: This bread stays good for 2-3 days at room temperature. Keep it in a covered air-tight box
  • Rising Time: it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to rise in tropical weather on a cool day. It takes even less when placed near an oven or a stove. So, take care to check on your dough to see if it has doubled.
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Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (7)
Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (8)

Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (9)

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Traditional Challah Recipe

Challah – a soft, and pillowy bread you'd want to eat every day. Rich egg yolk enriched dough which doesn't even require much kneading making it a super easy bread to make.

Prep Time3 hours hrs

Cook Time30 minutes mins

Resting Time30 minutes mins

Total Time4 hours hrs

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Jewish

Keyword: Bread, Challah, Homemade, Soft Bread

Servings: 2 medium loaves

Author: Niveditha

Rate/ Comment on this Recipe

Equipment

  • An oven

  • Mixing Bowl

  • Wooden Spatula

Ingredients

Topping:

Egg Wash:

  • 2 tbsp Egg Whites
  • 4 tbsp Water

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the water and the instant yeast. Give a quick stir.

  • Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and the sugar. Using a wire whisk, whisk to break up the yolks and stir.

  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and the salt. Add this to the wet ingredients.

  • Gently fold and mix it until it comes together. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes.

  • Mix the dough agian with the spatula for 2 more minutes. Then, transfer the dough tto a floured counter. Knead for 5 minutes, dust as and when required, until the dough is soft and supple.

  • Place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for approximately 2 hours or less or until the dough has doubled in volume.

  • After it has risen. punch it down and knead it once on a counter.

  • Divide the dough into two portions. Make individual strands and shape into two braided loaves. *(See video for a 4 strand braid)

  • Preheat the oven at 170 C for 10 minutes.

  • Move the braided loaves onto a pan with enough space between the two loaves. Brush the entire top parts of the loaves with the egg wash. Sprinkle the seeds on it.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Switch to broil mode for the last 5 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it cool down. Slice usign a bread knife and serve!

Notes

  • The video shows how to braid a 4 strand loaf.
  • Make use of the reserved Egg whites by making an omelet or something else.
  • Storing: This bread stays good for 2-3 days in room temperature. Keep it in a covered air-tight box
  • Rising Time: it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to rise in tropical weather on a cool day. It takes even less when placed near an oven or a stove. So, take care to check on your dough to see if it has doubled.

Tried this recipe?Please rate it above! Also comment below to let me know your thoughts! 🙂

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Traditional Challah Bread | Easy recipe for Challah Bread (2024)
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