Challah is a Jewish festive bread.
Enriched with eggs and oil it is soft and fluffy, sweet and has a beautiful golden crust. It can be made with extremely elaborate braids. Sometimes even up to 10. This simple version is a three braid, which is the easiest one to make. Great for a beginner as well as a seasoned baker.
It makes the best French toast by the way!
500g (17.6oz) strong white bread flour
40g (1.4oz) sugar
1 egg yolk & 2 whole eggs for a combined weight of 125g (4.4oz).
140g (4.9oz) water at around 24C (75F). The eggs and water should be at a combined weight of 265g (9.4oz).
37g (1.3oz) vegetable oil
10g (3.8oz) salt
7g (0.25oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast
Extra egg yolk for brushing
Seeds for topping. I used poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
- Add the water and yeast together in a bowl and let the yeast hydrate.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the flour and mix well.
- Add flour and mix until no dry flour left.
- Knead for around 5 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25 – 26C (78-80F).
- Cover and proof for 1h.
- De-gas the dough lightly.
- Cover and proof for 1 more hour.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
- Preshape the three dough pieces into rough cylinders.
- Rest for 20 minutes.
- Braid the Challah.
- Final proof 1h. During this time pre-heat your oven to 180C (355F) fan off or 160C (320F) fan on.
- Before baking, brush with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the seeds. Optionally brush, wait 5 minutes and brush again, and only then add seeds.
- Bake for around 45 – 50 minutes. If it starts to brown too much, then cover it with tinfoil and continue baking.
Cool down and enjoy!
Watch the video here