There is nothing better than a delicious, fresh, home-made challah! Join Cathy Cohen, with her sous chef Rabbi Cohen, as they walk you through the entire process of baking challah!
Click here to watch the 35 minute video.
- 3 cups of bread flour (plus a little more)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of warm water (just hot to the touch)
- 1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 2 eggs room temperature and 1 egg for eggwash
- ⅓ cup of oil (safflower is what I use. It is light and tasteless)
Blend flour, sugar, and salt.
Add honey to warm water. Stir until blended. Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, and let dissolve. (5-8 minutes for rapid rise yeast or 10 minutes for active dry yeast.)
Once yeast is ready, add to dry ingredients. If mixing by hand, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the middle. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Once most of the ingredients are incorporated, you can dump on to a counter and begin to mix/knead by hand.
Knead until the dough feels smooth and (elastic) bounces back into shape. Adding more flour if dough is too wet and adding water 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry.
If using a food processor, use the dough blade and put dry ingredients in the work bowl and pulse for 30 seconds. When the yeast mixture is ready, pour into the work bowl, add the oil and eggs and mix for 3 minutes. If the dough is too wet add a little flour and if the dough is too dry and a little water.
Lightly grease a bowl, place the dough inside and roll it around so the dough ball is fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. This can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two plus hours.
After dough has risen, create a large clean space to roll out dough. If the dough is a little sticky you may need to sprinkle a little flour on the work surface. There are several ways to braid a challah, watch the video for a few examples.
Have a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet with parchment paper ready for your braided challah. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rest while you preheat the oven.
Oven temperature should be set at 375 degrees with a bake time of 30 to 35 minutes.
Before putting the challah in the oven, make the eggwash. Take 1 egg, add a little water, and mix well. Brush the wash on the dough and then bake. The eggwash gives the challah a shiny appearance.
When finished baking (if you have a cooking thermometer, the interior of the bread should register 165 degrees) take the challah off the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.