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FoodBlog Recipes: How to make Challah Bread from Scratch! 👀

FoodBlog Recipes: How to make Challah Bread from Scratch! 👀

Let’s start with the basics: what is challah? Challah is a beautifully braided type of bread that is popular in Jewish cuisine. When it comes to texture, it is just a bit crunchy on the outside and cloudy soft on the inside. Challah is sweeter than other breads, and in the Jewish culture, it is usually served on special occasions or holidays. ✡️

Challah requires a tad more sugar than usual bread recipes. The one I used, for example, uses 100g of sugar for 1.3kgs of flour. This gives the bread a sweet edge, striking a balance between the sweet and savoury. 🥖

What will you need?

Although I used the recipe from Taste Atlas, I halved the ingredients since I was still testing this recipe out. Half of the ingredients gave me two small to medium loaves, which did not last very long anyway! Here’s what I used:

  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 250ml lukewarm water
  • 50g sugar
  • 3 eggs, 2 beaten eggs and 1 for glazing
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 62.5ml vegetable oil
  • 650g all-purpose flour

Making the mixture

First, you need to prepare the yeast mixture by whisking the yeast, water and sugar in a bowl. For the yeast to activate, you will need to place the bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes. I switched the oven on for a couple of minutes before I made the mixture and then switched it off and placed the bowl in there. Just make sure it’s warm, not hot. 😎

yeast activating in a bowl of warm water

The yeast mixture.

Next, you will need to whisk the four eggs together with the sugar, salt and oil, and then whisk in the yeast mixture. Start adding the flour to the mixture bit by bit while still stirring. Knead the mixture with your hands until a soft dough forms. 😌

Then, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, knead, knead. The recipe says that you need to knead for 15 minutes! The dough needs to be smooth and elastic so that you get the soft, fluffy texture of challah. If the dough starts sticking to your hands or to the surface, just add a bit more flour. 👩‍🍳

greased dough to prevent sticking

The greased up dough.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and grease the dough too. I used olive oil to grease the bowl and then turned the dough in the bowl itself to grease it with the same oil. Place the bowl, covered with a clean cloth, in a warm place and let it double in size (this takes at least 2 to 3 hours). ⏲️

Getting ready to bake

After time is up, take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down, knead and divide into two. Divide each piece into another 3 pieces and roll each piece into a strand. Make the three pieces into a braid (do the same with the other three pieces). Put the braids on a baking tray that is greased or lined with baking paper. The bread will grow, so make sure to leave space! Cover again and place them in a warm place for another hour. 👌

divided dough for easy braiding

Divided one piece of the dough into a further 3 pieces.

long strands to form challah braids

Roll each piece into a long sausage. 😂

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare the glazing mixture by whisking the remaining egg. Glaze the braids and you can also add sesame seeds or poppy seeds if you wish. Bake in the preheated oven for around 40 minutes until golden brown. 🤩

Braided dough ready to go into the oven!

Braided dough ready to go into the oven!

Have you ever made challah?

The result is a beautifully golden loaf that is super soft on the inside and a bit crunchy on the outside. The taste is sweet, yet savoury, and totally addictive. The only problem you’ll have after making challah is trying not to eat the whole thing at one go. 😋

What’s your favourite dish from foreign traditions? Let us know in the comments and maybe we’ll try and recreate that one next!

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