Traditional Challah

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I  posted 2 previous challah recipes ; whole wheat and water.  Unlike those 2 recipes, this challah recipe contains more eggs,oil, and sugar. This challah is not as health oriented but its still delicious,fluffy, and aromatic. I did,however, reduce the sugar and oil amount. Most challah recipes require 7-8 eggs whereas mine calls for 5+1 for the egg wash. I don’t make this challah that often but sometimes I need to avert from different ingredients and add a little more excitement to the baking process. If you want to be creative, you can throw in chocolate chips,roasted garlic/chopped onion,or flax seeds.  Challah leftovers make wonderful bread puddings as well. If you made challah before, then this recipe should be a cinch to you.   If you are pressed for time, you don’t have to complete the baking process in one day. Just simply refrigerate the  dough overnight and pick up where you left off the next day 🙂

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 2 ounce active dry yeast + 3 tablespoons sugar
  2. 4 1/2  cups warm water, divided
  3. 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
  4.  1 (6-pound) bag of bread flour
  5. 3/4 cup of sugar
  6.  5 eggs + 1 for egg-wash
  7.  1  cup of canola vegetable oil divided
  8.  Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping (optional)


In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of warm water, cover loosely with a towel and set aside. Place salt in a huge plastic bowl. Add flour to bowl.  Add sugar and  5 eggs. Yeast should now have bubbled/foamed and doubled in size, if yeast has not bubbled or does not seem active repeat the process again. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and slowly pour yeast and sugar water mixture into the well. Then add the remaining 4 cups of warm water into the well. Make sure the water is not too hot. Start kneading ingredients together and add a ½ cup of oil. For the next 10 minutes, knead, adding another ½ cup of oil slowly during that time as needed to create a workable dough. Dough shouldn’t be too sticky and also should not be dry. It should become one cohesive mass. Rub a little oil over the top and around the dough. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Place covered bowl in a medium plastic garbage bag and place open ends of the bag loosely underneath the bowl, trapping in air. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch dough down and knead (lightly oil your hands if necessary), flipping it and releasing any air bubbles. Cover again, using the towel and the bag, and let rise 1 more hour.  Lightly oil your hands, and punch down again. With a sharp knife divide dough into equal parts.  Shape dough to your desire. Liberally spray 4 (9-inch) round baking pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Place dough in the pans. Brush them with beaten egg.  Bake challas for 35-40 minutes or until the challas are golden brown. Allow then to come to room temperature before serving.

Yields 6 large challas or 8 medium challahs


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