I love challah. Being Jewish, I’ve eaten a lot of challah growing up. Can’t get enough of it. Funny though, I’ve never made it from scratch before. I should have gotten into the bread baking back when everyone else was doing it. Oh well, better late than never to get in on the action.
I actually made this over a video chat with some family – we all made our own challahs – and it was so much fun. It was nice to “hang out” with family during these times of lockdown.
So the original recipe is from my sister, she uses it all the time with great results. I scaled down her recipe to make a smaller batch of dough. I have all the measurements down below.
I think the main reason I haven’t baked much bread is because of how much time I thought it would take. This dough only took about 2 hours to rise which isn’t that much. It also has to rise for another 30 minutes once you have your challahs shaped/rolled, but that’s not bad at all. Maybe I will do this more often!
This dough was super soft and easy to work with, so it took no time to form my challahs. The big one was a 4 strand round challah which I learned from a Youtube video (link here). That turned out beautiful. Then I also made some little buns which are super cute. Those are simply made by tying a strand of dough into a knot. I love the look of the sesame and poppy seeds on those!
These tasted so good and almost looked store-bought! Very impressed with this challah. Can’t wait to use it for sandwiches, french toast or just eat it plain. Yum!
- 4 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
- 3/4 tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 yeast
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp for later
- 1 egg
- Egg wash, for brushing
- Seeds, optional (poppy or sesame)
- In large bowl, combine flour, salt and most of the sugar (reserve about 1 tbsp to use later).
- Make a well in the center and add yeast, water and remaining sugar. Let that rest 10-15 minutes to activate the yeast. You want to see bubbles.
- Add oil and egg and mix well to incorporate all flour. Knead the dough in the bowl for ~5 minutes to make a smooth ball. Brush extra 1 tsp oil all over dough ball to avoid sticking.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise 2-3 hours in a warm place. If you see it is rising too much, you can punch it down halfway through.
- When ready to bake, turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Take a portion of the dough (amount depends on what you want to make) and form into desired challahs. This batch of dough will make 2 big challahs or 24 little buns, but again, it all depends on the size you want.
- Once your challahs/buns are ready, cover again with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes. You can preheat your oven to 350° during this time.
- Brush all challah with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds if desired. Large challahs will take 30-40 minutes and little buns will take 15-20. They are done when the outside is golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it gently.
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Serve immediately or freeze for longterm.