In this challah bread recipe we will see how to make six strand braided challah bread in a simple and easy method.
What is challah bread
Challah is a type of yeast bread very similar to a brioche, but with no dairy on it.
Challah bread is a kosher loaf of braided bread.
The simple challah dough is made with eggs, water, flour, oil, yeast ,honey and salt. The bread is typically pale yellow in color because so many eggs are used, and it has a rich flavor too.
Challah is eaten on Friday night and Saturday. It’s a Jewish plaited bread or sabbath bread that is eaten with the first course on the sabbath eve. It’s also eaten the next day at breakfast and lunch.
On Sunday, any leftover challah can be turned into French toast or bread and butter pudding.
Challah bread ingredients
- Flour :550g or 4 and 1/4 cups (loosely packed)
- Warm Water :210 ml or 3/4 cup +2 tbsp
- Honey or sugar :50 g (1/4 cup sugar or 1/6 cup honey)
- Salt : 1 and 1/2 tsp or 9g
- Yeast :2 tsp or 6g
- Vegetable oil :3 tbsp or 40 g
- Eggs :2
How to make challah bread
Challah braided bread can be made in six simple steps
How to make challah
1.Prepare the dough
2.Proof the dough
3.Divide and let the dough rest
4.Shape the Challah rolls
6.Bake the bread
1.Prepare the challah bread dough
It’s so easy to prepare this bread dough.
Into a bowl pour in the water, salt,sugar,oil,eggs,yeast and combine all together.
Now add in the flour and mix it together to form a shaggy mass of dough.
Transfer the dough on to a clean work surface and knead the dough for 9-10 minutes.
After kneading ,our dough will be soft and smooth.
Place it into a bowl.
Cover it with a damp cloth or with a plastic film.
2.Proof the dough
Keep the covered bowl in a warm place for 45 minutes, so that the dough can ferment and rise ;which is the first proofing.
3.Divide and let the dough rest
After the first proofing, punch down the risen dough.
And then divide the dough into equal parts.I divided the dough into 2 equal parts and then each into six equal parts.
Roll each portion into a round ball.
Keep the dough balls, covered for around 8 minutes.
4.Shape the Challah braided bread
Roll out each dough ball and then shape it into an elongated cylindrical dough strip (around 20 cm ) by rolling.
Place each of them on the counter until we finish the rest of the rolls.And then take the first one, that we shaped.
Elongate the dough strand by pulling the dough and then rolling.
When it gain a length of around 30 cm, Keep it aside until we finish all the six.
Please watch the video to see how to braid a six strand challah bread.
Place the six strips parallel to each other and then pinch the top of strips together.
Before taking them for the final rising, we can give egg wash.
In this simple challah recipe we are doing double egg wash to get that beautiful shine and golden color to our simple challah bread.
If you don’t want to give egg wash, you can skip this step.
Cover the tray with a plastic film and let it rest and proof for 90-120 minutes.
After the final rising let’s give one more egg wash and then sprinkle the top with some sesame seeds.
This will give a nice shine and golden brown color to our easy challah bread.
Now they look great and are ready to go in to the oven.
6.Bake the challah bread
Bake the challah bread in a 350F or 180 C preheated oven for 28-30 minutes or until it is golden brown in color .
After baking we will get soft and fluffy challah bread that are golden brown in color.
This challah breads are one of the best challah breads that we can make at home.
We can make wonderful challah buns or challah rolls with this same challah bread recipe.
Is challah a sweet bread
Yes,Challah is a slightly sweet bread.Challah bread is one of the best breads for making french toast.
If you want to reduce the sweetness for your challah bread, you can decrease the amount of honey or sugar added in this easy challah recipe to 1 or 2 tablespoons.
What makes challah bread different
Challah bread is made from a basic yeast dough that has been enriched with eggs and oil, and some sugar.
Is challah a brioche
Challah is very similar to brioche but it’s not a brioche bread
Both breads are rich, eggy yeast breads, but brioche is definitely richer.
What is the difference between challah and brioche
Challah is a yeast bread that is enriched with eggs, similar to brioche.
The biggest difference between the a challah bread dough and brioche dough is that brioche contains lot of butter while challah contains oil.
How to Pronounce Challah
The correct pronunciation of the word challah in Hebrew is hahll-ah.
When pronouncing the “ch” in challah the “c” is silent.
Why does my challah bread split
The bread dough get split while baking is one of the common problems while making challah.
This usually happens when the shaped and braided challah was not allowed to rise to its absolute maximum.
Another probable reason is if the challah bread dough is not kneaded well.
How do you know when your challah is ready to bake?
The challah will appear puffed up, with a puckered appearance to the surface. It should get doubled in size from when you braided it, and should have a slight wobble to it.
Why is my challah dense
- The most probable reason for dense bread is, dough that hasn’t risen enough.
If the rising time is too short (second rising), the yeast won’t have a chance to create bubbles and Carbon dioxide to make the bubbles expand.
- Probably the yeast is not active. This may happen if the yeast is not within the expiry date.In this case ,try different yeast.Another reason is when the yeast cells are not alive or dead. Make sure the water added while preparing the dough is not hot and is only warm.Hot water can kill the yeast buds.
Why Challah is burnt on the outside and raw and doughy on the inside
In this case, the challah has been baked in an oven that is too hot, allowing the outside to darken before the inside is fully cooked. Reduce the temperature to the next lower point (around 10 C) and bake.
How do I make my challah Fluffy
- To make challah fluffier, try not to add extra flour while kneading the dough.We want our bread dough to be soft and well hydrated to get a fluffy challah bread.
- Knead properly for 8-10 minutes or until we get a soft ,smooth elastic dough.
- Properly proof the shaped challah bread.Wait for until the shaped challah bread rise and get doubled in size before taking it into the oven.
Why does my challah smells yeasty
- Over-risen challah bread dough. Stop the rising when the dough has almost doubled in size.
- Incomplete baking. If the challah bread is not baked properly in the middle ,the bread will smell “yeasty”
How to store challah bread
The challah bread can be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place for up to 2-3 days.Wrap it with plastic film or keep it in paper bag.
Heat and humidity causes bread to mold. So if you want to store it for longer, wrap it well and keep it in refrigerator.The bread will stay good for up to seven days in refrigerator.But the chance of bread getting dry is more if we keep it in refrigerator.
Can I freeze this challah bread ?
Yes you can freeze challah bread.Simply wrap the bread in plastic or aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn and keep frozen for up to one month.
Take it out whenever you need and just put it in a toaster or in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, and you’ll get fresh bread ready to eat.
How can I make this challah bread ahead of time ?
You can store the bread dough in refrigerator after the second step.
After the first proofing, you can keep the well covered, risen dough in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Whenever you want to bake bread, take the dough out the fridge, leave it on the counter to bring it to room temperature (it may take around 20 minutes).
Divide and shape the challah bread.
Place it on a baking tray and let it rise and become doubled in size.(this may take a little longer than expected as the dough is not very warm).
After about 1 and hours they will rise really well .Now place the tray into the preheated oven.
Bake @ 350 F or 180 C for 28-30 minutes.
How do you eat challah and do you add toppings
Challah can be eaten with plain butter or jam or with savory fillings as sandwich rolls.
Some typical toppings include egg dip, vegetable dip ( like eggplant / beetroot / sweet potato dips) or avocado dip. Or with soup. Or with olives / pickles / salad.
How can I substitute eggs in this easy challah bread recipe
For 1 egg we can use equal volume of water (around 45 ml ) for making this easy challah bread.
Instead of 2 eggs ,you can add 80 ml _/+10 ml warm water to make this challah bread dough.
You don’t need to make any other adjustments in the recipe.
Addition of eggs, enrich the flavor and taste of yeast rolls and it gives an yellowish tint to the dough.
Though eggs place an important role in this jewish bread recipe, we can make delicious challah bread even without adding eggs.
You will be surprised to see how soft and fluffy this simple white bread loaf turned out even without adding eggs in the recipe.
What can I use instead of egg wash
Egg wash is that which gives a shine and golden color to the challah bread when baked.
If we use milk wash instead of egg wash,we cannot get that shine but it can bring a golden brown color with a kind of mat finish.
So if you don’t want to use egg wash, you can either skip adding egg wash or use milk wash instead of egg wash.
If we knead the dough really well, the dinner rolls will turn out beautiful with subtle shine and golden brown color even without egg wash.Here in this hamburger buns recipe you can see how beautiful they turned out without any egg wash.
Why Challah bread need longer proofing time
Enriched doughs like challah can take an extraordinarily long time to rise, especially in cold weather, due to the large amount of sugar, eggs, and oil, which cause the yeast to work much harder than in simpler doughs that do not contain these ingredients.
Challah is already looking dark brown on the outside, but is only part way through the baking process:
In this case, cover the top of the challah with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent the challah from further browning, while allowing the inside to finish cooking. If this occurs early on in the baking process, your oven’s temperature may need to be lowered.
How to make french toast with challah bread
It is so easy to make French toast with this challah bread.
You will need to beat an egg, a tsp vanilla and half tsp of cinnamon powder in shallow dish.
Stir in 1/4 cup of milk.
Dip bread in egg mixture, turning to coat both sides evenly.
Cook bread slices on lightly greased nonstick griddle or skillet on medium heat until browned on both sides.
This mixture can make 4 slices of french toast.
How to make challah bread video
How to make Challah Bread
- 550 g Flour 4 and 1/4 cups (loosely packed)
- 210 ml Warm Water 3/4 cup +2 tbsp
- 50 g Honey or Sugar (1/4 cup sugar or 1/6 cup honey)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp Salt 9 g
- 2 tsp Yeast 6 g
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil 40 g
- 2 Eggs
Prepare the dough
- Into a bowl pour in the warm water, salt, sugar, oil, eggs, yeast and combine all together.Now add in the flour and mix it together to form a shaggy mass of dough.Transfer the dough on to a clean work surface and knead the dough for 9-10 minutes.After kneading for 8-10 minutes ,our dough will be soft and smooth.Place it into a bowl.Cover it with a damp cloth or with a plastic film.
Proof the dough
- Keep the covered bowl in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, so that the dough can ferment and rise ;which is the first proofing.
Divide and let the dough rest
- After the first proofing, punch down the risen dough.And then divide the dough into equal parts.I divided the dough into 2 equal parts and then each into six equal parts.Roll each portion into a round ball.Keep the divided dough, covered for 5-8 minutes.
Shape the challah buns
- Roll out each dough ball and then shape it into an elongated cylindrical dough strip (around 20 cm )by rolling.Place each of them on the counter until we finish the rest of the rolls.And then take the first one, that we shaped.Elongate the dough strand by pulling the dough and then rolling.When it gain a length of around 30 cm,we can shape them into challah bread.Please watch the video to see how to braid a six strand challah bread.
- Before taking them for the final rising, we can give egg wash.In this challah bread recipe we are doing double egg wash to get that beautiful shine and golden color to our challah bread.If you don’t want to give egg wash, you can skip this step.Cover the tray with a plastic film and let the challah bread rest and proof for 90-120 minutes.After the final rising let's give one more egg wash and then sprinkle the top with some sesame seeds.
Bake the challah bread
- Bake the challah bread in a 350F or 180 C preheated oven for 28-30 minutes or until the challah bread is golden brown in color .