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Challah Bread

The smell and taste of fresh baked challah bread is amazing. It is such a nice way to end a busy week and start a weekend.  I had an incredible opportunity 2 years a go to take a challah baking class with a group of friends. The recipe I learned in this class is the best recipe I have ever tried.  It yields 8 medium challah which may sound like a ton of bread, but I always freeze 6 of the unbaked challah for future use.  Simply seal the unbaked challah in a plastic bag and store in the freezer.  Just remember you need to defrost it 5 to 6 hours before you want to bake it. 

 For The Yeast Mixture

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar

For The Dough

  • 4 1/2 Cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
  • 6 lbs. bread flour


  • 1 egg beaten
  • Sesame Seeds

How to:

  1. In a large bowl, place yeast, warm water and sugar.
  2. Stir and then set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture bubbles.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and knead for 10 to 15 minutes. (you can also use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead for about 8 minutes)
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Separate dough into eight pieces and set aside.
  6. To form each of the challah take 1 of the 8 pieces and create 3 balls of dough.
  7. Roll each of the balls of dough in to a snake and braid the three pieces together.
  8. Place in a greased pan.
  9. Repeat with the other 7 pieces of dough.
  10. Cover the pans, and let them rise again in a warm place for 1/2  hour.
  11. Preheat oven to 450.
  12. Brush the loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds (I ran out of these this time)
  13. Bake the challah for 15 minutes and then lower the oven to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes until golden brown.
  14. Remove from oven and pan and cool on wire rack.