What is Challah bread?
Challah is a special braided bread eaten by the Jews on special occasions such as shabbat and major Jewish holidays. It is made of dough from which a small portion has been set aside as an “offering”.
Challah bread is easy to make. The dough is mixed with eggs and oil, and a few tablespoons of sugar to add some sweetness. It doesn’t take much time to make and can be done in a few hours.
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoons of yeast
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup of flavored vegetable oil
Large mixing bowl
scraper or sharp knife
1. Dissolve the yeast
Put water in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and some sugar in the bowl and stir it. Let it stand until you see a thin layer across the top after 5 – 10 minutes.
2. Mix the dry ingredients
Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl and mix . Add the egg, yolk and oil as well. After adding all ingredients, pour the yeast mixture in the bowl and stir till it forms a thick dough. When the dough has formed, knead the dough with your hands for 6-8 minutes.
3. Let the dough rise
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it. Put it in a warm place and leave it to rise for at least 2 hours.
4. Divide the dough and form the ropes
Depending on the type of braid you want to do, divide the dough into 3 or 6 equal pieces and roll them into ropes of about 16 inches long.
5. Braid the dough
Gather the ropes and squeeze them together. At the top. Braid them together just like your are braiding hair and squeeze them together at the end.
6. Brush the challah with egg white
When you are about to bake, whisk the egg white with on tablespoon of water and brush it all over the loaf. Make sure it gets to every angle of the loaf including the sides.
7. Bake the challah for 30 to 35 minutes
Let it bake properly in the oven till it is brown. This should take about 30 – 35 minutes.
8. Bring it out of the oven and let it cool a bit.
That’s it. Your special challah bread is ready. You can slice and eat. You can share with family and friends to let them know how good you are at baking.