Challah bread is a special bread in Jewish cuisine, usually braided and typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Sabbath and major Jewish holidays (other than Passover). We served this in December when we had a special meal at church celebrating the birth of Jesus. Even though we recognize that orthodox Jews do not celebrate Christmas, we wanted to serve authentic Jewish food, so Challah bread was included in the menu.
You’ll mix your dough and then allow it to rest and rise. The eggs and honey give the dough a little heavier feel, but the texture of the bread is soft and chewy.
This recipe makes two loaves, and for each loaf, you will need two braids. Divide the dough into two portions, then divide each portion into three pieces. The three pieces give you the braids for each challah loaf.
I found this recipe in Daughters of Promise magazine.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3½ cups flour (more if you are kneading by hand)
- 1 egg yolk OR 2 tsp. melted butter for brushing on top before baking
- Dissolve yeast in water and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Stir in honey and salt and allow it to dissolve
- Add beaten eggs
- Mix in the flour a little at a time until sticky, then continue to knead more flour into the dough until smooth
- Place dough into a greased bowl and allow it to rise to double in size (about one hour)
- Divide the dough into two pieces.
- With each piece, divide it into three "braids".
- Make braids by rolling each piece into a long "rope"
- Beginning at one end, braid the "ropes" together.
- Tuck the edges underneath
- Place each loaf on a greased cookie sheet and brush with egg yolk OR melted butter
- Allow bread to rise again
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped
- Allow bread to cool, then serve.
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