Sunday, 20 November 2011

Challah Bread

A really good friend of ours who is Jewish decided to contribute to the celebrations by bringing a typical bread that is eaten on Shabbat. That is the best part of  thanksgiving is can be celebrated by any religion and by anyone. Through the years in the United States with the multitude of immigrants Thanksgiving diners include an array of non traditional American dishes. Everyone for the majority celebrates Thanksgiving as a national holiday, each family adds a tradition from their home land. Like Miami where you wouldn't have Thanksgiving with out the staple black beans and rice... or my mother's lasagne.
Challah bread taste delicious and I will be making some for Christmas. 
Kids loved it because it a sweet bread!!!
photo taken from


1 ½ cups of raisins (plumped) 
1 ¾ cups of warm water
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
1/3 of a cup of sugar
1/3 of a cup of light honey
3 ½ tablespoons of salt
½ of a cup of oil
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
6-8 cups bread flour

Egg Wash Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg
1 yolk

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water.  Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to swell and dissolve (you should notice a difference. Briskly stir in the sugar, honey and salt.  Add oil, eggs, yolks and about 5 cups of flour...stir into a shaggy mess and let stand 10-20 minutes to absorb the flour. 
Knead by hand or with a dough hook, then add the remaining flour as much as it requires to be soft and elastic, and no longer sticks (the bowl should be clean if doing with a dough hook.) 
If adding raisins let the dough rest for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board and then press the raisins in as evenly as possible, and knead the dough over to tuck them in.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel...let it rise in a draft free place until it double in size (45-90 minutes.)

Now punch it down and let it rise again until it doubles again (45-90 minutes.)

Divide the dough in two and braid each half into its own challah.  Spray the sheet pan (you can use two pans, one for each.  Brush the egg wash on, and let it rise until it puffs (20-30 minutes.)
photo taken from

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake the bread for 12 minutes. Then reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and place it back in he oven for another 25 minutes or until the bread is browned (if you want to keep it light put tin foil over the top for the last 20 minutes.)


  1. This looks delicious! I didn't see it, I wish I'd had some.

  2. Looks like what we in germany call a 'hefezopf' a "yeast ponytail."