Friday, July 10, 2009

Challa Bread

Challa bread (pronounced as "hallah") is a specially braided bread eaten by many Ashkenazi and by most Sephardic Jews on the Sabbath and holidays. It was our first experience with this tasty, yummy bread and it was a big hit! We shared it with my sister-in-law's fam and they loved it, too. It is so simple to make. It's a perfect bread for Sunday dinners. I always try to make something special and fantastic for Sunday dinners. A lot of people fear that they are not really good at making yeast bread. But the key is the water temperature for the yeast to dissolve. Also, kneading... Be patient with the kneading process. I usually knead with my hands. I've used kitchen aid for kneading dough and it works pretty good. But I just like hand-kneaded bread better. The dough is more fluffy and soft that way, I think.

Challa Bread
Adapted from The Sister's Cafe

Ingredients: (Makes 3 loaves)

3 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110-130 degrees F)
1/2 cup sugar
scant tablespoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
7-8 cups flour
4 or 5 large eggs


Add water to mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water. Then sprinkle sugar, then salt. Let stand about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy and frothy.

Add oil and 3 cups of flour. Mix together with a rubber spatula. Add eggs. Mix well. Then add 4 cups of flour. Mix. Add more flour as needed – usually 1 ½ to 2 cups more.

Hand knead the dough about 3-5 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic. Let rise at least 1 hour.

Separate into 3 large pieces or 36 small rolls. Divide each piece into three more pieces. Roll into snakes and braid together. Let rise for about 1-2 hours or until almost double in size. Then brush with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 Tb water) over bread. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.

Bake at 350° until done (16-18 minutes)


  1. this bread looks amazing what a nice blog you have Rebecca

  2. Your challah bread looks outstanding. It is one of the things that on my must-make list.

  3. Rebecca and Cynthia -

    The bread is seriously so, so yummy! I can't wait to make it again.

  4. Hey, that was fun to come across one of our recipes on here. :) Seriously, I can't stop looking at these wonderful recipes you've made, and I love all your comments about them too.

  5. Oh Erin,

    This bread is already one of our family's favorites! My husband always asks me when I'm making this bread again. :)