Simply Sophisticated Cooking | Challah BreadUntil recently I had never made homemade Challah Bread. But after being on the farm in Michigan with so many delicious farm fresh eggs, I finally couldn’t resist giving it a try. Plus, I’ve been in the bread making mood and testing out new recipes that are similar to the bread we ate in Europe.

For those less than familiar with Challah Bread, it’s a braided Jewish bread usually made for the sabbath or Jewish holidays such as Passover. In modern times, Easter has also become a time to eat Challah probably because it was so readily available in the markets for Passover.

Simply Sophisticated Cooking | Challah BreadChallah Bread is very similar to brioche. In fact, they are almost identical in the recipes with using both eggs and more sweeteners than regular bread. Where the two differ is that traditionally Challah uses some type of vegetable oil and brioche uses butter.

I adapted my recipe from Joan Nathan’s Chosen Challah recipe on Food 52. Starting with a good recipe is always the way to go when you’re learning.

Simply Sophisticated Cooking | Challah BreadMaking Challah was a little different than the regular yeast breads I’ve made. I had to be careful that I didn’t overmix the dough or the bread would come out tough. My first batch was a little on the tough side. Completely edible but slightly tough. It still was delicious to eat and made a beautiful French toast. A little less kneading equals a soft beautiful dough.

Overall, the Challah bread experiment was a fun time of learning to make a new bread. It’s a beautiful yellow eggy bread. Perfect for the holidays or those special occasions when you want something special. So give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Challah Bread Yum
A delicious tender yellow eggy Challah bread recipe made with farm fresh eggs and local raw honey, adapted from Joan Nathan's Chosen Challah recipe.
Simply Sophisticated Cooking | Challah Bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 - 30 minutes
Passive Time 1.5 - 2 hours
2 loaves
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 - 30 minutes
Passive Time 1.5 - 2 hours
2 loaves
Simply Sophisticated Cooking | Challah Bread
  1. Combine water, honey and yeast in the bowl of a large stand mixer.
  2. Using the paddle, mix in the three eggs and oil.
  3. Switching to the dough hook, add the flour and salt, mixing until dough has pulled together into a nice soft ball.
  4. Remove dough from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for a couple more minutes, forming a smooth ball. Lightly coat a large bowl with oil and put the dough in to rise, covered, until doubled, approximately one hour.
  5. Punch dough down and lightly knead into a smooth ball again. Using a knife, cut dough in half, then cut each half into six even pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope.
  6. Line the ropes up together and pinch one end together. Braid the ropes, weaving over and under, until the whole loaf is braided together. Pinch the ends together and then tuck under for a long loaf or twist for a round loaf. Repeat with six remaining ropes for a second loaf.
  7. Place the loaves on a large parchment paper covered baking sheet. Gently brush the tops with the egg yolk. Sprinkle with seeds if desired.
  8. Allow loaved to rise for around 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F about 15 minutes before rising is done. Bake loaves for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaf rings hollow when gently tapped on top.
  9. Allow loaf to cool completely before cutting.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Joan Nathan's Chosen Challah recipe on Food 52.

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Here are a few more bread recipes from Simply Sophisticated Cooking:

Tomato and Herb Bread

Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Authentic Irish Brown Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

Homemade Wheat Bread Sticks

4 thoughts on “Learning to Make Challah Bread While on the Farm in Michigan”

  1. Excellent, Heidi. So many uses for Challah, it’s hard to choose. French toast, bread pudding, toasted cheese, open-faced fried bologna sandwiches. And, I’d nearly forgotten that Michigan hens can lay blue eggs … but only when they’re sad. 🙂

    1. Haha. I thought the Michigan chickens lay blue eggs when they’re happy, since it’s “Go Blue!”

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