If you have always wanted to try your hand in making Challah at home, but never got around to it now is the time. Follow my easy to follow instructions and foolproof recipe to make the best ever Challah at home.
6cupsall-purpose flour (850 gr)Plus 1 cup to use during kneading
1tablespoonKosher salt (17 gr)
2packets rapid rise yeast (14 gr)1/2 oz.
1/3cupvegetable oil Plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the bowl
1 3/4cupwater (412 ml) - lukewarm to the touch - somewhere between 80-90 degrees F.
3large eggsat room temperature
For Egg Wash & Topping
1large eggat room temperature
3tablespoonsblack and white sesame seedsoptional
Prepare the dough:
Place 6 cups of flour, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Give it a quick whisk.
Add honey, oil, water, and 3 eggs into the bowl.
Using a spatula (or a wooden spoon), mix until they are incorporated.
Knead the dough:
Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured kitchen counter and knead for 10-15 minutes.
Grease a clean bowl with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Place the dough seam side down into the greased bowl. Turn the dough a few times to make sure it is coated with oil.
Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest in a warmer part of your house for one and a half hours until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough to get all the air bubbles out. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise again for 45-minutes to an hour.
Prepare the strands (for braiding):
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. I used a kitchen scale to weigh the dough and then to cut it into equal pieces. However, you can also eyeball it.
Roll each piece into a small ball and set them aside. Cover with a towel to make sure they won't dry out while you are working on the braiding.
To roll, take each piece, gently push it into a small rectangular (using the heel of your palm) and roll it out by starting in the middle and toward the edges. Gently pinch the seam and continue to roll out. If at any point it becomes difficult to roll out just let it rest for 5 minutes and roll it again. In the end, we want our strands to be around 12 to 13 inches long.
To Six Braid:
Lay the strands lengthwise on the counter, pinch them together at the top.
Start from the strand that is on the very left and bring over to the very right.
Then take the one next to it and bring it to the very left.
Next, bring the one that is at the very right in between the four strands that are at the bottom.
Move the second one from the left to the very right and then bring the on the very left into the between the strands at the bottom.
Continue with repeating the same steps until you are no longer able to move strands.
When you reach the end, bring them in, tie together underneath and pinch to make sure that they won’t come undone.
Transfer the braided Challah onto a parchement lined baking sheet.
Repeat the same process for the second set of strands (for the second Challah loaf)
Egg Wash & Rise & Toppings
Mix an egg with a tablespoon of water to make egg wash.
Brush each loaf with the egg wash and let it rise in the warmer part of your house for an hour.
To Bake Challah
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Right before baking, brush it with the egg wash one last time and sprinkle it with sesame or poppy seeds, if using.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top turns to golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 30-45 minutes before slicing.
Challah with raisins: If you'd like to make Challah with raisin, incorporate raisins into the strands as you roll them. Please check out the photos in the blog post for more information. I would start by 1 cup chopped raisins (2-3 tablespoons for each strand) and use more if needed.
To use granulated sugar instead of honey: Use 5 tablespoons of sugar instead of honey and increase the amount of oil to 1/2 cup. The rest of the ingredients and the process is the same.
To store leftovers: Place leftover bread in an airtight container. It should be fresh for up to two days.
To freeze Challah: Bring your braided loaf to room temperature on a wire rack. You can freeze Challah as a whole loaf or slice before freezing. Place in a freezer bag, get the air out as much as possible and store in the freezer for up to a month.