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Best Challah Bread Recipe

Challah is a wonderful, rich bread with its roots in the Jewish religion. It is usually enjoyed on the Sabbath, or on Jewish religious holidays.

It has a flavor somewhat reminiscent of brioche, being slightly sweet and moist.  

Challah Photo

The richness in Challah Bread comes from the large number of eggs it contains – 3 whole eggs plus 3 yolks in this recipe!

Tips for making Challah Bread 

You’ll note that in this recipe you’re told to knead the dough, adding more flour if necessary.

Challah Picture

A good rule of thumb here is to flour the heel of your hand, instead of the dough. Otherwise, you risk putting too much flour into the dough, which will alter both its texture and its taste. By simply flouring your hands, you’ll only be adding a very little bit of flour at a time. 

Variations on the basic challah bread recipe

This Challah Bread recipe is perfect just as it is – but you can change things up a little if you prefer.

The most common variation is to add a cup of raisins or golden raisins to the dough before shaping it. Other ideas include topping the Challah Bread with:

  • Poppy seeds or sesame seeds
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • A drizzle of olive oil and rosemary
  • Chopped roasted garlic
  • Toasted almond slices and powdered sugar
Challah Image

You can store any leftover Challah Bread at room temperature in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 days. If you are running out of time to eat it, then use the leftovers to make French toast – it tastes amazing!

You can also use leftover Challah Bread to make bread crumbs – just bake it for 15 minutes in a low oven to dry it out, then pulse it in a food processor.

Challah Pic

Or make croutons for soups and salads by cutting the bread into cubes, drizzling with olive oil and salt, and baking them in a low oven until hard and golden.

Challah Photo

Best Challah Bread Recipe

Cyd Converse
If you’re looking for the best challah bread recipe around, you’ll love this one from Martha Stewart!
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Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
proofing and cooling 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings 1 1 loaf
Calories 2619.42 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Unsalted Butter softened, plus more for bowl, plus 2 tbsp (melted) for brushing
  • 3.5 Unbleached Bread Flour plus more for dusting
  • 0.5 Water warmed to 100 degrees
  • 0.33 Granulated Sugar
  • 0.25 Whole Milk warmed to 100 degrees
  • 3 Egg lightly beaten
  • 3 Egg Yolk lightly beaten
  • 2 Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 Active Dry Yeast

Instructions
 

  • Grease a large bowl with butter and set aside. 
  • Stir the rest of the ingredients, except for one beaten egg and the butter for brushing, in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for about 15 minutes until smooth, adding a little extra flour if needed.
  • Put the dough into the greased bowl and brush the top of it with melted butter.
  • Leave it to rise in a warm place – loosely covered with plastic wrap – for around 1 1/2 hours, until almost doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes, then put it back into the bowl. Brush the rest of the melted butter over the top, then loosely cover it with plastic wrap. 
  • Leave the dough rise to again for around another hour, until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Divide dough into three equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover each ball loosely with greased plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Roll each ball into a 12-inch-long log, a bit thicker in the middle than at the ends. 
  • Lay the logs beside each other lengthwise and pinch together the ends furthest away from you.
  • Tightly braid the strands, pulling them as you go, then tuck the ends of the braid underneath. 
  • Transfer the dough to a greased baking sheet, then loosely cover with greased plastic wrap. 
  • Leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes until almost doubled in size.
  • Brush the dough lightly with egg wash, then bake the bread for around 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and firm. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the bread should register 180 degrees and come out clean. 
  • If the bread browns too quickly, loosely tent it with foil. 
  • Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave to cool for at least 45 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 2619.42kcalCarbohydrates: 415.25gProtein: 81.75gFat: 54.75gSaturated Fat: 21gSodium: 4433mgFiber: 10.5gSugar: 68.34g
Keyword Bread, Easter
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