Challah Recipe

Here it is…one of my most frequently-asked-for recipes. Republished just for you!

When I was growing up, we used to buy our challah from the Publix bakery. (Publix is a supermarket in Florida; I don’t know if they’re around the country)Publix makes a GOOD challah. (They also make great sheet cake)

Yes! I made this beautiful looking challah. Freshly ground whole wheat and delicious!
The name of this bread, “challah” is so due to the word “separate.” A challah has a small amount separated and offered to G-d. I never knew this until I moved to Israel; I always thought that challah was just a yummy egg bread.
Here is the Bible reference:
Numbers 15:17-21 The LORD instructed Moses: 18 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: After you enter the land where I am bringing you, 19 you are to offer a contribution to the LORD when you eat from the food of the land. 20 You are to offer a loaf from your first batch of dough as a contribution; offer it just like a contribution from the threshing floor. 21 Throughout your generations, you are to give the LORD a contribution from the first batch of your dough.

When I learned the importance of using freshly ground flour and started making my own bread, I needed a good challah recipe. I tried variations, but this one has been the best so far.
1 3/4 c water
1/3 c oil
2/3 c honey
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, plus another beaten egg set aside for brushing on later (4 eggs total)
7-8 c freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 raisins (optional. But I always use them.)

Combine water, oil, honey and yeast, and 3 eggs. Add half the flour and salt, mix. Add the rest of the flour and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 mins by hand or about 5-6 mins in KitchenAid stand mixer). Let rise till double. Shape, adding raisins if desired. Brush with beaten egg, let rise till double again. Bake at 325F for about 25 mins. Brush again with beaten egg for the last 5 mins of baking.

This recipe makes 2 small loaves (usually a regular 3 braid) or one large (4 or 6 braid).
I have better luck getting it to rise and be big and puffy if I do a large loaf, with a braid using 4 strands. Below is a video showing one way to braid with 6; there are many ways. Do whatever you like and enjoy!
If you want to know more about challah, here is another article and recipe: Challah: The Divine Dough
Shabbat Shalom!

6 Replies to “Challah Recipe”

  1. Hi Nancy,
    I used to try to burn it–I put it in the oven at a high temp till it was quite crispy. But it was very messy and stank up the house, so I abandoned that idea. Now I hold it and pray, thanking God for His gifts and provision and giving me the ability to make the bread. And then I throw it in the garbage can 🙂

  2. Hi Dr Kim,
    I just discovered your website due to a post from your hubby on WellWithU. I love it!!! What kind of wheat grain do you use? Hard Red, Hard White, or Soft White? Also, what kind of oil? I’m having trouble making homemade bread that doesn’t end up in the garbage…the entire loaf so want to make sure of every detail.

  3. Hi Jan- I totally understand your bread frustrations. I share them. Here in Israel, I don’t have a choice of the type of wheat–I just buy whatever comes in a bag at the supermarket. It seems to be something like a hard white, except the gluten content must be low here because I have a tough time getting it to rise. And I can’t find gluten here to add. So I just allow for extra long rising time and lots of kneading. For oil, I used to use olive oil, but have switched to whatever vegetable oil we have; usually sunflower.

  4. I just want to tell you that I’ve used your challah recipe several times since discovering it, and it works beautifully! Thank you for posting it, and the video is helpful as well!

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