There is nothing as comforting as a slice of fresh warm bread. This homemade challah bread recipe walks you through a classic, step by step, and is perfect for a weekend brunch.
And so, the challah starts.
The challah bakes, turning to a smooth golden loaf with perfect seams weaving in through each other.
For the Dough Starter (sponge)
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
For the Flour Mixture
- 4 2/3 cups AP flour
- 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
For the Dough
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 6 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 large egg, for wash
Make the dough starter:
- In a small bowl, whisk together yeast and water. Allow the yeast to bloom in warm water for 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the hook attachment, whisk together the flour, yeast mixture, honey, and eggs until smooth and no clumps remain.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm dry area (I use the inside of my oven).
- Let the starter stand 2 to 12 hours, until ready to make the challah.
For the Flour Mixture:
- In a large clean bowl, whisk together flour and yeast.
- Once combined, add in the salt.
- Gently, sprinkle the flour mixture over the top of the sponge and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow the mixture to stand 1 to 4 hours.
Make the Challah Dough:
- In a the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs, oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar until combined.
- Gently, add the flour mixture, and stir on low with the dough hook until well combined.
- Run the mixer for a few moments until the dough just starts to come together and peel back from the bowl.
- Fold the dough out on to a clean work surface, lightly dusted with flour, and knead until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, about4 to 6 minutes.
- Place a towel over the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Knead the dough again until the dough is very elastic. The dough will spring back a bit when pressed gently with your finger. The dough will be slightly tacky to the touch.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Lightly coat a large with oil.
- Place dough in bowl, and turn it a bit to coat it in oil on all surfaces. Cover and place in a warm spot.
- Allow to rise until doubled, about one to two hours.
- Punch the dough down gently with your hands and reshape in the bowl. Toss it to coat in oil again and cover.
- Allow to double a second time, for about an hour longer.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten gently with your hands.
- With a dough scraper or knife, cut into three equal pieces and allow to rest 8-10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Working one at a time, roll each portion of dough into a long rope, about 15-18”, gently pulling and stretching as you go.
- Arrange the dough laying side by side and start a braid, weaving them in upon one another working from the center out to either side.
- Bring the two ends together, folding and tucking under itself.
- Transfer the the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl, and with a brush the challah, making sure to not allow any puddles to form in the creases.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, until the loaf is golden, or registers 190 degrees in the very center with your wireless thermometer.
This recipe comes from The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Please grab a copy for a tomb of classic bread recipes.