Challah bread is typically a Jewish holiday bread. The braided bread is made with eggs and is surrounded by much tradition, symbolism and folklore. This easy challah bread recipe is not too difficult to make at home.
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 1/2 cups flour (approximately)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Put the yeast into a stand mixer bowl with the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes. After it gets foamy, add the oil, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add the eggs.
- Start adding the flour 1 cup at a time until a dough forms. The dough should be a little sticky.
- Flour the dough and remove to a floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for about 1 hour.
- Put the dough back onto a floured surface. Cut it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 12 inches long. Using six pieces of the dough for each loaf, braid the bread and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining six ropes. (Here’s a video on how to braid challah bread.)
- Cover the braided loaves and allow them to rise again for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake in a preheated 375-degree F oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Makes two loaves.