This is an old post from when I first started baking Challah. I named this recipe Rich Challah since it has 1/3 cup of oil and is flakier than some others. These days Fuzz does most of the Challah making, and she almost always uses the Challah for Bread Pudding recipe. But this one’s good too! We’ll have to bake them side-by-side to see if one is better.
Old Post About Challah
One of my favorite types of bread is Challah. It’s pretty, has an interesting texture and tastes really good. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find good Challah around here, so I have to bake it myself.
The last batch I made was a disaster due to an error in how much flour was needed. After the disaster, I took a break from Challah making and focused on other things. I re-visited Challah yesterday and do believe I’ve found a great recipe.
This Challah is from Recipezaar (now Food.com). It is very easy to make if you have a stand mixer, though you can definitely make it without one.
Before you make this recipe, take a look at the original version and read what others have to say. A few people had issues with the amount of flour. I used bread flour and 4 cups (18 oz or 1 pound 2 oz) was fine. The dough seemed a bit dry at first, but it rose perfectly. My other issue with that recipe is it says preheat the oven to 400 degrees in the first step. You don’t bake the Challah for another 2 ½ to 3 hours after assembling, so you shouldn’t even turn on the oven until bake time (recipe pet peeve).
Update: I feel like 400 degrees makes the Challah to dark, so I’ve decreased the temperature to 375 degrees. I’ve also increased the salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
Update 2: Rich Challah is a great recipe, however if you want an easy Challah recipe with slightly less oil, I recommend the Easy Challah (linked to in the first paragraph) which I make frequently for the family and for making Challah Bread Pudding. The recipe in the link is made with quick rising yeast, while the one below uses 3 teaspoons (which is a little over one packet) of regular active dry yeast.
Also, since posting this recipe I’ve learned to make Challah with six strands of dough rather than three. The six strand method is pretty fun once you get the hang of it. If it’s your first time, I recommend using this braiding tutorial.
Rich Challah (Braided Egg Bread)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 4 cups bread flour 1 pound, 2 oz
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (You can reduce to 1 teaspoon)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 egg yolk — beaten with
- 1 teaspoon water
- sesame seeds or poppy seeds
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Sprinkle yeast over water and mix, let stand 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add the next 6 ingredients to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook for 6 minutes.
- Dough should be a little sticky. Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (1 hour). Punch down dough. Let rise until doubled in bulk again (1 hour)
- Punch down again. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll dough into three long strands and lay strands out on a cookie sheet. Braid them, tucking ends under. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 40 minutes or until doubled,
- Brush with beaten egg yolk, sprinkle with seeds if desired, then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 35 minutes or until golden brown. Check after 20 minutes, and if the Challah is a deep golden brown after 20 minutes, then shield it loosely with foil.
- The challah is done when it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Here’s the best explanation I found.
Bread flour is unbleached, high-gluten flour that typically contains 99.9 % hard wheat flour with malted barley added to increase the yeast activity, making it ideal for bread making. The high gluten content is necessary in order for bread to rise effectively. The use of bread flour results in larger bread loaves with a lighter and less crumbly texture. Bread flour is most often used in the commercial baking industry and is often confused with gluten flour, which has a higher gluten content than bread flour. Bread flour is also referred to as unbleached flour.
Any clue how bread flour is different from all purpose??
Gorgeous challah, Anna.
I love baking challah bread, too, but haven’t in a few years. Now you’ve given me a craving. If you don’t use it all for the bread pudding, it makes awesome french toast.
When I do mine, I do one braid, like yours. In the stores around here, it’s two braids, a smaller one on top of a larger one. Funny.
Is this the Todd English book?
Next time tey adding a tablespoon of honey to your dough. A little hint from my late grandma.
I forgot to mention that I have an ulterior motive for making the egg bread. I’ve been cooking a lot of “real” food (ie, non-cookies) out of a book called “The Figs Table”. There is an incredible sounding recipe for White Chocolate Bread Pudding which calls for egg bread. So if you make this bread, you can eat a few pieces and use the rest in the bread pudding. I’ll probably bake it tomorrow. Here’s a link to the recipe on Global Gourmet.
Amy, you should try making challah. Or maybe you have already…..
M, the egg yolk helps make it shiny. The only problem I had was it came out kind of dark and the darkness of the bread makes it hard to see the poppyseeds. Next time I’ll use sesame seeds.
Randi, the the bread tastes fabulous. It’s hard to believe that something with no butter could have that much flavor. Guess it’s the eggs.
omg, great minds think alike. I’m going to bake a challah today. Yours looks great, though I think I’m going to use the one in Baking w Julia. How did yours taste?
Beautiful shine! Looks juse like the loaves I see in the bakery. 🙂
Gorgeous! I have been on a real bread binge in the past year or so.