Until 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.
Challah 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.
Making 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.
Here are a few more bread recipes from Simply Sophisticated Cooking: