Challah Bread | Sabbath Bread

Challah bread is not just any bread. While our family isn’t Jewish or attempts to be, we have great respect for the culture and people. We’ve shared our faith beliefs before and we will typically fix a Challah loaf in preparation for our Shabbat dinner. This special and traditional Jewish bread is enjoyed during holidays and the Sabbath all over the world. 

The braided shape of the challah bread is a distinguishing feature of this culinary delight, and it has taken many forms over the years. Some recipes call for larger loaves while others are smaller and delicately braided. The versatility of the recipe also makes it a popular choice for sandwiches or as the main ingredient in French toast.

There is much more to the challah bread than just its delicious taste and visual appeal. Its braided shape holds great meaning in Jewish culture, symbolizing the connection between people in a community. One cannot forget the significance of the bread itself, representing the Sabbath.

Challah bread therefore, goes beyond just being a bread, as it holds deep cultural and historical significance. Not only is it a treat for the palate, but it is also one that brings together families and communities, making it a staple during Jewish celebrations. Try it out for your own enjoyment, and to share with your loved ones the depth of excitement that lies within this meaningful delight!

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Challah Bread

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Author Wolterman Homestead

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour + Extra flour for kneading
  • 2 tsp Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Sugar You could substitute & use honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Milk Warmed to at least 110°F/43.33°C
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil Whichever oil you prefer.
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, warm milk to 110°F/44.33°C
  • Add your yeast to your small bowl of warmed milk & let it sit for 5 minutes to develop.
  • In a large bowl, combine 2.5 cups of flour, sugar, salt, oil and egg.
  • Once your milk/yeast mixture has developed (bubbles & smells alive) pour it into your large bowl and turn on your mixer.
  • Allow you stand-mixer to begin incorporating your ingredients. Add in another 1/2 cup of flour slowly as it combines creating a dough.
  • Let your mixer run for 2 minutes after your dough ball has formed.
  • Dump your dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin kneading your dough.
  • Once your dough feels solid and bounces back slightly when pushed on, place your dough in a lightly greased bowl.
  • Cover bowl and allow the dough to rise till it's doubled in size.
  • Drop your risen dough on the counter and cut into 3 equal parts. If you want more strands to your braid, then cut the number of dough pieces you need.
  • Roll out your 3 dough strains and braid using the standard braid technique.
  • Cover your braided loaf and allow it to rest while the stove pre-heats.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°F/190.5°C
  • Bake your loaf for 20 minutes at 375°F/190.5°C
  • Pull out of the oven and plate. You can cut it warm or serve it cool.

“I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”
Ezekiel 20:19-20

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