Learn how to make and braid challah bread! I’ve included a step by step video for you so you can master this bread at home!
Baking bread. Does the thought of that immediately have you quivering in your boots and running for the hills?
I know I get it. It’s yeast and you are working with a live creature here. Ok I mean we aren’t talking tigers and bears oh my but still. Live and sometimes finicky and dear goodness time consuming yes? But oh the rewards. The amazing best smell ever rewards.
So if you are here to learn how to make challah bread then good for you! I can’t wait to show you how easy it really is. Making bread I don’t believe has to be hard at all! I actually got a chance to take a bread making class at the Cambridge Culinary School a few weeks ago- an intensive 4- hour class where we learned about the different kinds of yeast, proofing bread, how to shape bread (and yes specifically the challah bread I am going to share with you today!) and of course how to bake bread so it’s perfect every time. No more guessing on that last one.
It’s amazing! Now granted they are in beta mode right now for Boston, so I got to try it out- but beta mode or not I was able to find any and all baking and cooking classes in my area and on which days I want. Yea major timesaver!
So if you are interested in taking a class or learning a new skill check them out. From jewerly to photography to cooking to even finding kids classes they will help you find what you are looking for. And they are offering $10 off your first class if you sign up through them!
Ok so I took a class called “All You Knead”. Love the pun. And I learned how to make challah bread and I want to share with you what I learned so you can master this bread at home.
Yes this is me hard at work making challah bread during the class….concentration face ON.
First what the heck is challah bread. If you are unfamiliar bread this is a rich bread made with eggs that is braided into a beautiful loaf and baked. This bread is the perfect bread to make a french toast casserole or bread pudding perhaps. It holds up so well in those kind of dishes.
So I figured what better way to show you how to make challah bread then with a video? It’s a step by step process of how to make the bread and how to braid it. This is the very first time I am on camera as well. Um, major yikes nervous moment. So please be kind 🙂 as I know you would be…I don’t know how TV stars do it!
To make the overhead video in case you’re curious, I just bought and so excited to use all the time to make more videos with you is this Arkon Smartphone Holder. It’s the first thing I’ve used that gives me the ease of making overhead videos. So you better believe there will be more tutorial videos down the road!
I hope this video gives you the confidence to make our own challah bread!
- 1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- all of the starter
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs + 1 yolk (save 1 egg white for the glaze, below)
- 1 egg white, saved from above
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- poppy seeds or sesame seeds, optional
- 1. Mix the 1 cup flour, 1 cup water and yeast together in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for about 45 minutes.
- 2. Add the dough ingredients to the starter and mix and knead together — by hand, mixer or bread machine — until a smooth, supple dough is formed. Add a few tablespoons more of flour if you find your dough is very sticky still after a few minutes of kneading. I used a couple more tablespoons and kneaded the dough in my mixer for about 10-15 minutes.
- 3.Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it over once to coat it lightly with oil. Cover it and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until it's not quite doubled in size.
- 4.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over once or twice, to expel the carbon dioxide. Divide the dough into four pieces, and roll each into a snake about 18" long.
- 5. On the lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, braid a four-strand braid (see instructions in our blog,) or fashion a simpler three-strand braid.
- 6.In a small bowl, make the glaze by mixing together the reserved egg white, sugar, and water. Brush the loaf, reserving some for a second application.
- 7.Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it's almost doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- 8. Brush the loaf with the remaining glaze (this will give the finished loaf a beautiful, shiny crust, as well as provide "glue" for the seeds), sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the challah is golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and the internal temperature is 195°F.
- 9.Remove the bread from the oven, and cool completely before slicing. Store completely cool bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.
- If you would like less of a crispy top and more of a golden color use an egg white only. You could also shape this into a 3-strand braid, or into a circle shape after braided as well for an impressive loaf of bread! This bread freezes very well- just simply wrap in plastic wrap first then place in a plastic freezer bag or wrap again in tinfoil. To use leftover challah bread- turn it into the most amazing french toast, or bread pudding, or just use as the best vehicle for the best sandwich ever. I liked it with literally just a slather of butter on top.