Easy Challah Recipe

Golden brown baked challah bread next to a blue towel

Challah bread is one of my favourite bread recipe to make since it is really easy! I also love it because you can cut the challah into very thick slices and make the BEST french toast with it!! Most people eating challah eat it with their meals, so think like a dinner roll. You can also enjoy it for breakfast or make it into a sandwich for lunch.

WHAT IS CHALLAH? AND HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT?

Challah bread is an egg and yeast leavened bread that was created by the Jews and consumed during Sabbath and holidays. The word challah means “loaf” and comes from the Yiddish language and it is pronounced – hallah.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHALLAH AND BRIOCHE BREAD?

challah bread cut in half showing the texture of inside the bread

A lot of people often wonder what the difference between challah and bricohe bread is. Challah does not contain any dairy in the recipe which is important for it being kosher. In Jewish traditions, to keep kosher, you cannot eat diary with meats together. Since challah is eaten with meals, it has to contain no dairy in the recipe. Brioche, another delicious bread does contain butter making it not kosher.

The recipe is quite easy, the most important part is making sure your yeast is still active. When you mix your yeast with warm water and sugar, within 10 minutes, you should see it foaming and bubbling. If you don’t see this, your yeast is likely not active anymore and you will need to get a new batch of yeast.

Have you tried making bread before? What is your favourite type of bread to make? Comment below, I would love to hear! If you made this challah recipe, tag me on Instagram so I can see your lovely creation @joyceofcooking!

Tools I used for this recipe (Disclaimer: Contains Affiliate links)

Print Recipe
Easy Fail Proof Challah Recipe
challah bread cut in half showing the texture of inside the bread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2.5 hours
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm tap water
  • 2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour (Sifted) (May need more depending on the environmental moisture levels)
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk Save the egg white to brush on top of the challah before baking
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 2.5 hours
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm tap water
  • 2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour (Sifted) (May need more depending on the environmental moisture levels)
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk Save the egg white to brush on top of the challah before baking
challah bread cut in half showing the texture of inside the bread
Instructions
  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. If your yeast mixture doesn't bubble up, your yeast is not active anymore. You will need to get new yeast.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer add flour, sugar, salt to combine (dry ingredients)
  3. In your dry ingredients mixture, add your yeast mixture, vegetable oil, and eggs
  4. Using the dough attachment in your stand mixer, mixed until combine (about 6-10 minutes). Keep some extra flour handy. If your dough seems too wet, add a little bit of flour at a time until it comes together into a dough ball nicely without being too sticky.
  5. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl covered for about 1.5 hours
  6. After 1.5 hours, take the dough out of the bowl and divide into 3 or 6 equal pieces and roll into long logs. (You can braid challah in many different ways. Try with 3 pieces and make a regular braid)
  7. Put the 3 or 6 pieces of dough log parallel to each other on the baking sheet you are baking it on and pinch the top of the 3 or 6 pieces together
  8. Braid the 3 pieces of dough like you would if you were braiding your hair
  9. Once you are done braiding cover gently with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for another hour.
  10. Once the hour is up, preheat your oven to 350F (176C). Whisk your egg white you reserved with a spoonful of water and brush on top of the unbaked challah bread. Bake for about 30 minutes. Turning the pan 180 degrees at about the 15 minutes point (and brushing with more egg white solution when you turn the pan)
  11. Remove the bread from the oven, let cool on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips:
* Every kitchen and environment is a little different in terms of temperature and moisture levels. Keep that in mind whenever you are baking or cooking. For a bread recipe like this, you may have to add a little more flour to get the perfect doughy consistency. Cooking and baking involves a little intuition! Trust your gut and add a little more flour if you need to!

* You can definitely freeze challah like you would any other bread. I like to slice and freeze each piece individually so I don't have to wait for the whole loaf to de-froze before slicing into it.

* To store your challah bread, you can wrap it up with plastic wrap or a beeswax wrap tightly and it will keep for about 5 days in room temperature on the counter. But let's be honest, it probably won't last 5 days!

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