Challah is an interesting and unique type of bread. I first noticed Challah bread back when I was in the baking lab studying culinary art. The braided look of Challah gives the bread a unique and ornamental look. The loaf of bread is smooth and great for sandwiches. I like Challah bread because it gives the creativity of making different numbers of braids, from standard three braids or even a more complex six braided.
Although, I wish I could have successfully made a six-braided loaf and taken a perfect picture. I was happier with the result of my three-braided bread. Challah is definitely a great challenge to take upon yourself and test your skill in the kitchen. I recommend it for anyone interested in trying break-making.
I used this recipe, as it’s inspired by my Challah baking back in the lab. I made some adjustments for alternatives and editing to the recipe. I use the hand mixing method for this recipe, but this would work for the mixer as well. Just be aware of the speed setting.
Please join me for the first time baking Challah at home!
Honey Challah Bread
- 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup(113g) Room temp (warm) water
- 3 oz(74g) Oil
- ¼ Cup(85g) Honey
- 2 Each Eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon(9g) Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
- 1 Each Egg Brushing For The Loaf
- Measure flour and gather all necessary ingredients.
- Combine the dry ingredients first (flour, salt, yeast), then followed by liquid ingredients ( water, oil, eggs, and honey). Mix the ingredients and knead by hand to form a smooth dough.
- Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and place in a bowl covered for around 2-3 hours or until you see the dough is puffy. Sometimes it might take a longer time for the dough to rise, and that’s okay.
- Lightly let the air out from the dough and can start on a clean surface.
Divide The Dough and Braids
- Depending on how many braids you decide to make, this will determine the number of pieces that you will separate the dough into. I would recommend making sure each small dough piece has the same weight. I first weighed the dough, then divided the dough into halves. For each half, I weigh each dough with the same weight. For example：If the total weight is 150g, I separated it into two 75g dough pieces. Then, if I am making a three-braid loaf, I separate the 75g dough into three 25g dough pieces. This is for reference.
- The three-braid loaf is easier to start with, so I would recommend it for beginners.A six-braid loaf is a bit more complicated, but it will result in a fancier finish product for the loaf.
Direction For The Three Braided Challah Bread:
- Roll each small dough piece into long strips.
- Lay them out next to each other, then take the end farthest from you and pin them together.
- In front of you, there are 3 strips, left (1), center (2), and right (3).
- Take the one on the left (1) and put it over the center (2) one. It will then look like 1 strip on the left and 2 on the right.
- Now cross the furthest right one over the center and place it next to the left farthest strip. You should now have 2 on left and 1 on the right.
- By repeating steps #4 & 5 you should have a complete braided.
- Pin the end together and tuck under.
- You can also braid it from the middle if it makes it easier to work with a half loaf to start, then turn around to finish braiding the other half.
Direction For The Six Braids Challah Bread:
- Roll each small dough piece into long strips with a total of 6 strips.
- Divide into 2 sections, which consists of 3 strips as one section.
- Each section should be pinned at the top furthest away from you. This means 3 strips pinned together and you should have 2 sections pinned.
- Bring the two sections and pinned together.
- Separate the strips into the following: 1 far left, 2 left, 2 right, 1 far right. Creating a 1:2:2:1 pattern.
- Cross the two outer strips and swap their locations.
- Take the farthest left strip and bring it to the center.
- Take the second strip from the right and place it to the farthest left.
- Take the farthest right strip and bring it to the center.
- Take the second strip from the left and place it in the farthest right position.
- Repeat steps #7-10 until the braid is complete.
- Pin the end and tuck under.
Brushing and Baking Direction:
- Preheat the oven to 375f (190c).
- After braiding, put the loaves on a greased baking tray or line with parchment paper.
- Brush the egg mixture on the loaf. You can sprinkle sesame seeds or any seasoning if you would like.
- Bake the loaves for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- You can add on toppings for the loaves after brushing. For example sesame seeds or herbs.
- If the bread has not risen enough, you can choose to wait for it to rise a bit more before applying an egg wash brushing.
- If you are using a large oven for baking the bread, you can bake at 375f for 20minutes then lower the temp to continue baking for additional 10 minutes or so.
- Keeping the bread far from the heat sources is very helpful in preventing any charring on the top.