Prep:  40 minutes
Cook:  45 minutes
Makes:  2 medium Challah loafs
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
"Baking your own challah on a Friday is a special mitzvah (spiritual good deed) for Jewish women. I double the recipe and, before plaiting, remove a small piece of the dough and say the blessing which is symbolic of the days of the temple and brings blessing to the home and family." Chanie Wolff
Credit: Monday Morning Cooking Club

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Play Video: Challah
Challah From Heaven
  1. Put 500g of the flour in a large bowl. Make a large well in the flour and add the warm water. Add the yeast and 115g (1/2 cup) of the sugar, stirring the yeast and water in the well until combined. Set aside for 15 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy
  2. Add the salt and remaining sugar to the well and mix. Wait another 5-10 minutes for the mixture to foam again, then add the eggs and oil and mix with a wooden spoon. Gradually incorporate the flour in the bowl into the egg mixture in the well
  3. Once combined, add enough of the remaining 500g of flour to form a dough, tip it onto a floured surface, and knead in the remainder. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add the extra flour. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough
  4. Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in bulk (this will take 2-3 hours). When the dough has risen, divide it into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a plaited loaf (see note)
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the loaves on a lightly greased baking tray and allow them to rise for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seeds. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden in colour. Remove from the tray and allow to cool
Tips & Hints:
  • Note: The simplest way to plait a challah is to divide the dough into three long sausages. Pinch them together at the end and plait as you would plait hair. Pinch together the other end to join and tuck under slightly. For a more decorative challah, make a four or six-strand plait.
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