Challah holds a nearly unmatched level of significance, ubiquity, and adoration when it comes to Jewish cooking. Every Jewish community from around the world has some sort of special twists and additions for it, but this is the classic, just-like-grandma-made challah recipe for your Shabbat enjoyment.
Insider-tip: if you have any left over, make challah French toast on Sunday morning!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 2 eggs (plus 1 additional egg for egg wash)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Make a well in the center and add the vegetable oil, warm water, and 2 eggs. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into three equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope.
- Place the three ropes side by side and pinch them together at one end.
- Braid the ropes together, crossing the outer ropes over the center one, repeating until the loaf is fully braided.
- Tuck the ends of the braid under the loaf to give it a neat appearance.
- Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the loaf with a damp cloth and let it rise for another 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Beat the additional egg and brush it over the challah for an egg wash. You can also add whatever herbs and spices you enjoy.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the challah is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow the challah to cool before slicing and serving.
Challah holds great significance in Jewish culture and is an integral part of Shabbat and holiday meals, and we hope this can add to the significance of yours. Bon Appetit, or as they say in Hebrew, B’teyavon!