Holla for Challah

One of my favorite brunches growing up was the challah French toast that my mom would whip up on Saturday mornings following Friday night Shabbat dinners.

To make this delicious meal (and I swear that challah really does take an average French toast and give it a HUGE boost), you’re going to need some leftover challah.

And what could be more fun that making your own?

Last night, Dan and I hosted a small Rosh Hashanah dinner–and homemade challah was menu. Challah is actually very simple to make, but it just takes some time and patience while you wait for the dough to rise (a total of 2.5 hours).

Typically, a challah is formed into a braid shape. For Rosh Hashanah, though, you make a round braided challah to signify the cyclical nature of the New Year.

The final product? A light, airy egg bread that is delicious with a simple spread of butter–or even better doused in egg/milk/vanilla/cinnamon as French toast.

One plain challah and one raisin challah

Ingredients (recipe via AllRecipes.com)

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour

1. Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top

2. Stir in honey, salt, oil, and two eggs

3. Beat in flour one cup at a time

4. As you get to the seventh and eighth cups, you may need to stop using an electric mixer and start kneading it with your hands. In the end, I used approximately 9.5 cups of flour to make sure that the dough wasnt sticky.

5. Cover your dough with a clean damp towel, and let it rise for an hour and a half.

6. Split your dough into half and knead each piece for five minutes. Cover the piece you are not using with the damp towel so it doesn’t dry out.

7. Depending on whether you are doing a circle or a traditional braid, you will split each half into three or four separate sections. Follow these directions for a round challah.

8. For your braid, roll out each section with a rolling pin, and then roll the flat pieces into logs–rolling away from you. Once you have all of your sections in the “logs,” then use your hands to roll the “log” into a longer snake. The Chabad site does a great demonstration of this.

NOTE: If you want to put raisins in your challah, you’ll want to sprinkle the raisins on when you have a flat piece of dough before you roll it into the log. I did one plain and one raisin.

9. Spray a baking sheets with Pam and set the braided challah aside, covered by a clean towel–let sit for one hour.

10. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375F.

11. Beat your third egg and brush the top of your challah with the egg.

12. Pop your challah in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The bottom should sound hollow when you tap on it.


About Rachel

Life is an adventure. Live it.
This entry was posted in Best Brunches, Global, Occasions, Recipes, To Eat and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Holla for Challah

  1. Ruth says:

    Your grandmother would “kvell”

  2. Nikki says:

    They turned out beautiful! I need to man up and try to make bread one of these days. Happy new year!

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