Bread Machine Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, is easy to mix up and knead in a bread machine. This particular version is dairy-free and not overly sweet.
If you don’t have a bread machine, see the notes in the recipe for directions using a large stand mixer or making by hand.
Challah is said to hold rich symbolism in regards to the daily manna God provided for the Israelites in the desert. Personally, I am reminded of how God sent Jesus to be the bread of life that truly satisfies.
Have you ever wondered about the correct pronunciation of the name of this bread? You don’t pronounce the “ch” in the same way you would say church. The way I understand it, the first sound should be more of a gutteral “h.” You can listen to the correct (supposedly) pronunciation online.
One of my readers recently requested a recipe for Challah to make in the bread machine. That’s all the excuse I needed to experiment.
This recipe is loosely adapted from the Bread Machine Challah recipe in the wonderful paperback entitled More Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway.
A closer look at the recipe reveals that it’s quite eggy (recipe calls for 3 eggs) and rich. I replaced the sugar with honey in an amount that wouldn’t be quite so sweet.
How long will this bread stay fresh?
Not very long. This bread will stale quickly. What you don’t eat the first day will make good French toast or even bread pudding on succeeding days. Another option is to freeze what you don’t eat the first day.
How to make a braid with bread dough:
How do I get the beautiful golden shine on my Challah bread?
Don’t leave off the egg wash. It’s important to produce that lovely shiny, golden glaze characteristic of Challah.
By the way, some people make their bread with four ropes and some put an extra braid on top. I wish I knew how to braid four ropes. I plan to try it next time.
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- 3/8 cup (75 grams)water
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (52 grams) honey
- 1 1/4 teaspoon (7 grams) table salt
- 3 cups(360 grams) bread flour
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) bread machine or instant yeast
Egg Wash Glaze
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pinch salt
- Heat water until warm and add to bread machine.
- Add remaining ingredients in order given using the lesser amount of flour.
- Select dough cycle. Check dough after it has been mixing for about 12-15 minutes. The dough should stick to the side and pull away cleanly. If dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. (I usually end up adding 1 tablespoon of flour to this dough.) It too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. See this post about the most important thing you should do when using a bread machine.
- At the end of dough cycle or whenever dough has risen to double its original size (open the lid and check), remove dough to a floured surface.
- Roll into a rectangle 8 x 14 inches. Cut into three strips. Use fingers to pinch long sides of each strip so you now have 3 cylinder-shaped pieces of dough. (See picture above.)
- Loosely braid strips, tucking each end under braid to make a neat loaf. Place onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or you could also spray pan with aerosol oil/flour like Baker's Joy.
- Cover formed Challah with a tea towel and allow to rise until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F about 20 minutes before you are ready to bake.
- Brush entire loaf with egg wash and place your oven rack in the lower middle of your oven. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cover after 10-15 minutes, if necessary, to prevent loaf from over-browning.
- Move loaf from cookie sheet to rack and allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.
- With a whisk or fork, combine egg yolk, water and salt in a small bowl.
Alternate Mixing Instructions:
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. Add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast when using the active dry yeast. According to King Arthur Flour, there is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there. https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2015/09/25/active-dry-yeast
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g