Challah bread isn’t a recipe that’s foreign to me. I’ve made it in the past quite a few times already, but I always run into the problems like adding too much flour than is necessary or overtaking. This time, I made sure to add flour extremely slowly and conservatively so as to avoid any tough or raw bread. This attempt was extremely successful! I do have to say that if you’re kneading the dough while adding flour slowly by hand, you will need to flour your hands and surface extremely well or you’ll be extremely frustrated by the overly sticky dough!
The first time I made challah, I added plump raisins into the dough and dusted with my trusty spice mix. The second time, I made several different versions of filled challah. Those include chocolate nut, taro green tea, and scallion black pepper. This time, I was less ambitious and only used a homemade red bean paste. I love the fact that all these breads of so easily changeable based on your cravings and what you have in hand. Regardless of whether or not you want to dress the challah up or down, this trusty recipe will yield soft, buttery loaves of heaven! I couldn’t help eating a slice (or two!) right out of the oven.
This recipe isn’t as simple as many recipes that just involve measuring, mixing, and pouring. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, the end result is definitely worth it!
Adopted from the Williams-Sonoma recipe
Note*** This version of the recipe is soley mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.
Copyright august 2015 ©
A fresh and fragrant traditional yeast bread in your own kitchen!
>>> Yields 2 loaves
-Prep: 40 min
-Bake: 35 min
– 5 tsp active dry yeast
– 1 c warm water
– 1/2 c granulated sugar (You may add more sugar for a sweeter bread)
– 3 eggs + 1 egg beaten for glaze
– 2 tsp salt
– 8 tbsp or 1/2 c butter (1 stick)
– 5 c all-purpose flour
– sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
– ingredients for filling (optional)
1) Dissolve the yeast in warm water and yet it stand for ~5 minutes until frothy.
2) Add 3 eggs, sugar, salt, and butter to the yeast mix.
3) Add 4 c flour to the mix and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
4) Knead the bread in a stand mixer on low for 4-5 minutes. Alternatively, knead on a well-floured surface for 7-10 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and elastic but springs back when poked. You may add up to 1 c of flour during this process but avoid adding to much flour which will make the bread hard and chewy.
5) Form the kneaded tough into a ball and put it in a well-oiled bowl and let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours or until it doubles.
6) On a clean surface, remove the dough and divide into two portions. Place one ball back into the bowl.
–If you are making a filled challah, now is the perfect time to make it
7) Divide the first portion into as many portions as you would like. I usually form 6-strand challahs, but the decision is yours to make. Braid the dough by weaving one strand between the other strands and repeating the process. Alternatively, using three strands, braid as you would any normal rope. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube that can explain the process much better than my typing can.
8) Repeat for the second ball of dough.
9) Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional). Leave about 1/3 of the egg for the second wash.
10) Let the loaves rise for 30-35 minutes.
11) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
12) Brush the doughs with any additional egg and put it into the oven.
13) Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes until the insides are cooked and the outside is nicely browned. Note that filled loaves will take longer to bake. Use a toothpick to check if they are cooked (they should come out completely clean).
14) Let the loaves cool after removing from the oven.
15) Slice and enjoy! (You may also freeze the loaves if you will not finish immediately)