Braided Challah Bread is a rich and fluffy bread that is both delicious and beautiful. This streamlined recipe will get your fresh Challah loaf on the table in 1 and 1/2 hours from start to finish. Both ‘stand mixer’ and ‘by hand’ directions included!
- 2 large eggs at room temperature + 1 additional egg, yolk and white separated
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup water plus 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)
- 3 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 envelope rapid-rise yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Set your oven to heat to it’s lowest setting or ‘warm’. Add two whole eggs and one egg yolk to the bowl of a stand mixer (save the egg white for later). Place butter and water in a microwave safe container (I use a glass measuring cup) and microwave until butter is melted and the butter/water mixture reaches 125-130 degrees F. Add mixture into stand mixer bowl with the eggs and whisk all ingredients together.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer. Turn on the lowest speed and slowly add the flour mixture into the liquid mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides and the dough hook with a spoon as needed. The mixture should knead into a wet/sticky dough in about 4-5 minutes. Add in flour, one spoonful at a time while the machine continues to mix, until the dough clears the bowl and doesn’t stick to a clean dry finger pressed against the surface.
- Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes. Turn your oven off. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl. Spray the bowl and top of dough with cooking spray. Gently pull up the dough from the bottom of the bowl and spray the bottom and underside of dough with cooking spray as well, ensuring all the surfaces of the bowl and dough ball are covered. Replace the plastic wrap and place in the warm oven to rise for about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the oven when it has doubled in size. Dump out onto a clean surface. Divide into 5 equal dough balls. Roll Each one into long thin strips about 14-16 inches long. Pinch the ends of the top of each one together. Braid the dough into a five strand braid (see note), pinching the ends together same as the top. Place on a non-stick baking sheet, or a lightly greased cookie sheet. Whisk together the remaining egg white and 1 tablespoon of water and brush over loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place in the warm oven to rise again, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set the oven to heat to 375. Remove plastic wrap and brush again with remaining egg/water glaze. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove and let cool. Serve.
To make by hand:
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate mixing bowls. Mix together with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and proceed with recipe as written.
To braid five strands:
If you can braid with three strands, braiding in five strands is actually pretty easy. You still braid in three’s, just alternating right and left ‘sides’. Starting with the right three strands, braid just as you would a three strand braid, placing the outside right strand in the middle of the three, then the left hand strand (which is in the middle of all five strands) into the middle of ‘the three’. Repeat on the left hand side with the left three strands of dough. Go back to the right side and braid again. Continue this pattern, alternating right and left, weaving a tight braid of dough all the way down.
- Prep Time: 1 hours
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Side
- Cuisine: Jewish
- Serving Size: 1/10
- Calories: 215
- Sugar: 5.2 g
- Sodium: 335 mg
- Fat: 5.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.4 g
- Fiber: 1.3 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 12 mg