Make the Challah

easy challah recipe

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Due to a series of unforeseen events, including a global Pandemic, all 3 of my children go to Jewish Day school. Which we LOVE but was never our plan. As a reform Jew from Alabama, needless to say – we are ALL getting a Jewish education now. I have too much ADHD to have a ton of weekly rituals, but making challah on Friday for Shabbat is one I am on board with because I love the Shabbat meal and prayers and you know… carbs.

Make the Challah: Easy Challah Recipe

I don’t need to tell you that store-bought challah is delicious. Some more so than others. (Love you forever, Publix bakery.) But I am here to tell you that is 100% worth it to make your challah at home if you have time. It’s easy and such a treat. Plus, most challah recipes make two loaves, so if you don’t eat them both, you can freeze one for the next time you need it, or you have ingredients for an AMAZING French Toast in the morning.

Long story longer (omfg this is turning into one of those looong annoying recipe blogs. I’m getting to the challah recipe asap) don’t forget you can skip all this pomp and circumstance by clicking “jump to recipe” above… in the world of bake it or buy it… I think Challah belongs squarely in the “make it” category. (Of course it goes without saying that if I forget something or if I run out of time, everything is buy it.)

Anyway. In the beginning of my challah journey, I started by making Ina Garten or Smitten Kitchen’s challah recipes (which are, DELICIOUS, just like everything else they make) by hand, then in my stand mixer with the dough hook, which was such a fun and soothing thing to do unless you don’t have time to do it, then it’s just stressful AF as you hurry through and if you’re like me- bound to make a mistake.

So I got a bread maker, and while challah is pretty much the only thing I make in there – it was SO WORTH IT. It’s quick, it’s brainless, and the results are so truly worth it. Fresh challah is the best ever.

If you haven’t used a bread machine before, it’s like the crock pot of the baked goods world. You just yeet a bunch of stuff into the thing, press a few buttons, and come back in a few hours to warm bread, or perfectly made dough for braiding or forming before baking. I did a time lapse video of Graham and me making challah last week – he gets dough from school (which we lovingly refer to as the “booger challah” since the two year olds all handle it) so he works with his dough as I work with mine and never the two shall meet.

The easy challah recipe I use in this video is good, I think – my execution was a little sloppy, but it turned out just fine. Here it is – and if you want to share yours in the comments I would be THRILLED.

Super Easy and Delish Bread Machine Challah

Print Recipe

7 ingredients, less than 5 minutes to start your bread maker, easy peasy.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water not hot.
  • 1/3 cup oil I like canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 big pinch salt
  • 2 tsp yeast or one packet

Instructions

  • layer ingredients into the bread maker in the order listed above
  • choose "dough" setting on your bread maker
  • once it has cycled through, divide into two equal parts for two challahs (chalot? somebody help me out here) and subdivide for desired braid (I do 6 strands, Graham much prefers 3)
  • Place on baking sheet on a silpat covered with a kitchen towel and leave to rise another 30 min-1 hour
  • whisk egg yolk and paint onto challahs with a natural hair (not silicone) brush
  • add any toppings (if applicable)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 20 minutes. Thermometer should read 180 degrees in the center when done

Notes

I like to top mine with the following – let me know your fave! 

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Everything But the Bagel seasoning
  • Sprinkles (it HAS to be jimmies and not any other shape sprinkle.  They will melt and get really weird on you. Trust me on this one.) 
  • Everything but the Elote seasoning
  • Cinnamon Sugar 
  • Zaatar 

Baking Tools

Here are some things that I think make your life easier while making bread:

Stand mixer (if you aren’t using a bread maker)

Bread Maker – I have this one, which sells out a lot – this one is also popular if you don’t want to wait for a restock.

Natural Hair Pastry Brush for painting the egg yolk. The Challah Prince told me not to use a silicone brush, and I think the man knows what he is doing.

Silpats

Food thermometer – this really is key to not under- or over-baking your challah.

Obviously you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy challah and it doesn’t have to be Shabbat. In fact, I think in terms of cultural sharing, this is a decent offering for us – I probably love white lights and caroling as much as I love carbs. And that is A LOT. Let me know how it goes!

xo, LC

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