Homemade Challah

This post may contain affiliate links, please visit our privacy policy for details.

Sharing the most delicious Homemade Challah for your Wednesday baking! Such a simple loaf, made with minimal ingredients, and the perfect bake to make today or for any special occasion. Every bite of this loaf is soft, chewy, and so darn delicious! It’s a perfect loaf to serve on it’s own, but it’s also wonderfully versatile. From french toast, to casseroles, or even just as a bread for sandwiches. So simple, but oh so good!

overhead shot of challah on parchment paper with plates, old pastry brushed, old book pages, a knife, and flowers

About The Recipe

With March coming to an end and April right around the corner, we couldn’t wait to start sharing some of our favorite recipes! The first one up? Challah! It has always been something we’ve wanted to make and this year is finally the year we got to try.

Though, I will tell you right off the bat. This loaf is HUGE! About 18-20 inches long after baking. When my mom and I were test baking, it made us laugh! We had to carry it like a baby to get it from the counter to the pan or even just to pick up the loaf.

Though, the bigger the loaf, the better it is, right?

That’s been our thinking, anyways. But when it came down to the day of taking photos of this recipe, my mom sprained a muscle! She’s okay now, but the entire day, she couldn’t walk. We had already started on the challah, so I had to finish it..which was nerve-racking for sure! My mom is 100% the bread baker in the family. I can bake anything, but to be honest, bread make me nervous.

Though, even through my worries, it was was SUPER simple! I was constantly afraid of messing it up, but it turned out beautifully.

close up overhead shot of to slices of challah in front of loaf

My favorite part, though? Braiding! This recipe is for a super simple 3 strand braid and, when it’s something this simple, it can’t help but make you smile and feel proud! Because it LOOKS complicated, but it really is so easy.

Even the baking of this loaf wasn’t difficult. After the second proof, you brush it down with an egg wash, bake it for 15 minutes, brush it again in the middles where it’s not browning as much (this is totally optimal), and bake for 30 minutes!

This recipe yields in a tender, soft, moist, and fluffy loaf that always has you coming back for more!

Reasons You Will Love This Challah

  • Super simple to make.
  • Only a 3 strand braid.
  • Requires 6-7 ingredients.
  • This recipe is naturally dairy-free!
  • Proofing time and all, this loaf is ready in about 4 hours!
  • The perfect addition to so many recipes.
front shot of challah on parchment paper with plates, bowls, and glasses behind

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Bread:

  • Bread Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Instant Yeast
  • Large Eggs
  • Whole Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
flour, oil eggs, water, egg yolks, yeast, salt, and sugar on marble surface

For The Egg Wash:

  • Large Egg
  • Water
egg and water in two bowls on marble surface

How To Make Challah

Step 1: Make the dough

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir together.

Add eggs, egg yolks, vegetable oil, and water. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 2: Proof and shape

Turn dough out into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and proof at warm room temperature for 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto an unfloured surface. Degas by patting down gently.

Divide into thirds (about 1lb 3oz each). Form each third into a rectangle. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.

dough divided into three logs on marble surface

Step 3: Braid and proof

Roll each rectangle into a log and pinch ends together. Beginning with the far right strand, place over the middle strand as seen in the 3rd photo. From there, lift the far left strand and place your first strand under it as seen in the 4th photo. Continue this patter, always starting with the strand that is on the right, until the loaf is fully braided. Tuck ends underneath.

Place loaf on a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until noticeably risen.

Step 4: Make egg wash

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water until completely combined.

Step 5: Brush loaf and bake

Once the loaf has risen, about double in size, brush top and sides with egg wash.

Bake for 15 minutes and brush the lighter/not browning parts of the challah again with egg wash. Continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until done (190 degrees), covering the last ten minutes of baking if necessary to prevent over browning.

baked challah on lined sheet pan

What To Make With Challah

After baking, you might be wondering what you can really make with this wonderful bread. The truth is, a little bit of everything! Though, here’s a quick list of things we like to make with this bread.

There are so many more things you can do with this bread, so be sure to let us know in comments what you came up with!

challah with two slices laying in front, flowers, plates, bowls, and empty glasses behind

– Challah FAQ’s –

I don’t have a mixer. Can I make this by hand?
While you can make this bread by hand, it’s always best to use a stand mixer!

Can I make more than one loaf?
Actually, you can! You can follow the recipe as stated below in the recipe card, but instead of dividing the dough into 3rds, divide it into 6ths! Follow the same directions, but doing everything twice. Bake time may vary.

How can I tell when my dough is kneaded properly?
A properly kneaded dough should be smooth and shiny. The bowl of the mixer should also be VERY clean and the dough should lift out of the mixer in one piece, rather than ripping into two pieces.

Why is my dough taking so long to rise?
This is an enriched dough, which tends to take longer to rise than a traditional bread. Though, you may need to check to see if your yeast is still in date!

My dough isn’t rising in the times stated in the recipe card!
The recipe card/post states the times it took our dough to rise. We live in Central Texas. So, it tends to be a bit warmer here and doughs generally take less time to rise. I promise there’s nothing wrong with the dough! Just let it do its thing.

My Challah is already browned, but it’s not done yet!
If this happens, don’t worry! Cover with aluminum foil and finish baking. You can also use an instant read thermometer to see if the bread is properly baked. A properly baked Challah should read 190 degrees F.

How To Store

Once this bread is cooled, it can be stored in a zip top bag at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. You can also refrigerate it for 7-9 days. Though, in our opinion, the best way to keep this bread is by freezing it! Wrap it in aluminum foil and freeze for 1-2 months.

overhead shot of challah with two slices cit in front

Expert Tips

  • The dough will pull away from the sides and bottom of the bowl when it is done kneading.
  • Do not flour the surface when turning out the dough.
  • Remember to pinch the ends of the dough together before beginning the braid!
  • Make sure that you’re using an instant yeast.
  • You may need to cover this bread the last 10 minutes or so of baking.
  • To tell if you bread is fully baked, poke a thermometer in the center of the loaf. It should read 190 degrees.
  • This recipe makes quite a large loaf. You can make two smaller loaves, if you would like!

When you make this Homemade Brioche, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of challah on parchment paper with plates, old pastry brushed, old book pages, a knife, and flowers

Homemade Challah

Traci
Soft, fluffy, gorgeous, easy to make, and so delicious! Homemade Challah is the perfect bread for so many dishes or just on its own with a smear of jam. SO. GOOD.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proofing Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Breads
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 16
Calories 261 kcal

Ingredients
 

Bread

  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups water

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

Bread

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  • Stir together.
  • Add eggs, egg yolks, vegetable oil, and water.
  • Mix on low speed for 3 minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium.
  • Knead for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Turn dough out into a large bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. If using a proofing box with a water tray, there is no need to cover with plastic wrap.
  • Proof at warm room temperature (78-80 degrees) for 2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto an unfloured surface.
  • Degas by patting down gently.
  • Divide into thirds.
  • Form each third into a rectangle.
  • Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll each rectangle into a log.
  • Place on a large sheet of parchment paper.
  • Braid, making sure to seal and tuck ends under.
  • Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until noticeably risen.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Brush bread with egg wash.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Brush middles and sides that are not browning again with egg wash.
  • Continue baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until done (190 degrees), covering the last ten minutes of baking if necessary to prevent over browning.

Egg Wash

  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water until completely mixed.

Notes

  • Do not flour the surface when turning out the dough.
  • Remember to pinch the ends of the dough together before beginning the braid!
  • Make sure that you’re using an instant yeast.
  • You may need to cover this bread the last 10 minutes or so of baking.
  • To tell if you bread is fully baked, poke a thermometer in the center of the loaf. It should read 190 degrees.
  • This recipe makes quite a large loaf. You can make two smaller loaves, if you would like!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 458mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

Here are a few recipes may like!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One Comment

  1. *****! Five stars for easy, and delicious!! I would only say, it is huge!! I would recommend halving the recipe, or make two and gift someone with the second loaf. Seriously, this is a perfect recipe for easy and delicious!