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    You are in: Home / Cookbooks / Challah -- The Queen of Breads
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    Challah -- The Queen of Breads

    Any traditional Jewish meal begins with the breaking of bread. Challah is a special kind of bread used for Shabbat and holidays. It is a very sweet, golden, eggy bread. The taste and texture is incomparable to any other bread except for perhaps brioche. The loaf is usually braided, but on certain holidays it may be made in other shapes. For example, on Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to serve round challah (the circle symbolizing the cycle of life, the cycle of the years). Leftover challah makes the most amazing French toast.
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    I make this challah for my family and family gatherings in Colorado, and it turns out beautifully each time. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does! If you'd like, sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds before baking, but I never do. Videos for instructions on how to braid a six-strand challah can be found by entering "braiding a 6-strand challah" into the Search box at (I originally saw the one by MayaSophia, on her blog). I always braid mine with the six-strand method now (shown in my picture), because it looks so pretty! *NOTE*: Prep time does NOT include time it take for the dough to rise.

    Recipe #325948

    Mildly sweet, utterly delicious. The texture is cake-like. For the high holidays I double the amount of honey, to make it just a bit sweeter, for a sweet new year. Most of the time involved is passive, for dough rising and baking. Edited to add: a note about the yeast. I use instant (rapid rise) yeast, which can be added dry directly to the dough. If you are using active dry yeast, proof it first in a little warm water with sugar.

    Recipe #252369

    I owned a bakery for 9 years and this was a favorite. I had a Rabbi that came every Friday for his challah. He liked it so much that it was the only non kosher food allowed in his house!

    Recipe #217226

    1 Reviews |  By scancan

    You never made challah because it seemed like more trouble than it's worth. This is simply not true and the extra loaves can be frozen in foil and will taste just made. Bakery challah just won't cut it when you can make these. The taste is absolutely uncomparable to anything you ever bought. When you run into trouble making your challah "who ya gonna call, the Challah Lady". Mrs. Heller has a hotline and the best recipes. Here's one that our family has been enjoying so much and only two eggs, yay! Just note that the recipe calls for 5 lbs. but you really need to have some extra flour on hand to add several tablespoons at a time until your dough becomes nice and smooth and not sticky or dry. Note* The secret to bread with a crusty exterior and soft interior is to place an oven-proof dish filled with hot water on the bottom of your oven and for the first 15 minutes bake your challah at 400 degrees, then remove the challahs from their pans and place them on the rack and lower to 350 and continue baking while the hot steam does its work.

    Recipe #283414

    From "Dining In" ... posted in response to someone's search for a water challah recipe. I did use Splenda in place of the sugar and replace half of the oil with applesauce, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly... until it came to the part where I was supposed to braid it into pans. I baked them directly on the cookie sheets, so I probably should have reduced the baking time. They were a bit overdone because of that, but taste-wise, they were just like any bakery water challah I've had.

    Recipe #292601

    I made this for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which celebrates the harvest season. I used my standard challah recipe (Recipe #252369), but replaced the water with various vegetable purees. So the harvest colors of the loaf complemented the theme of the holiday perfectly! I can also picture making just the beet and spinach colors for a festive red and green Christmas wreath bread for my Christian friends! This recipe makes 12 loaves, but could easily be reduced. There are 4 separate batches of bread dough, one for each color. Then you divide each into strips and braid one of each color together in 4-strand braids.

    Recipe #256074

    This is a variation on Bubby Irma's delicious recipe. I make it with 70% whole wheat and it still comes out amazing, thanks to the honey. The amounts are huge because I make challah dough once a month, divide it into 4 freezer bags, and thaw one bag every Friday morning to be baked fresh just before Shabbat comes in.

    Recipe #253726

    1 Reviews |  By fayz

    Without eggs. It is based on the recipe from "A Taste of Challah" by Shira Wiener and Ayelet Yifrach.

    Recipe #251088

    This bread is so good and can easily be made by hand and tastes so much better than anything you'll every buy in a bakery. This is an adaptation from a recipe found in Kosher By Design cookbook.

    Recipe #250608

    I pretty much developed this recipe on my own. I fiddled and tweaked for months until I got it just right. It is just scrumptious.

    Recipe #245638

    Adopted! Original poster's note: This is a healthy whole wheat challah recipe with a light texture.

    Recipe #178203

    This recipe was developed my mom. It is quite sweet, almost cakelike, so it is especially good for Rosh HaShanah. Mostly my mom isn't the greatest cook, but this one is yummy!

    Recipe #184781

    Absolutely amazed my guests during Yom Kippur Break Fast! WONDERFUL combination/adaptation of #148108 with an apple filling from Marcy Goldman's Jewish baking cookbook. Recipe looks long - but with only one rise, it's QUICK and easy!

    Recipe #189152

    My mom always made delicious challah each week, and I was one of the lucky beneficiaries of her talents. Then I became a teenager, and everything she did was inherently suspect. Sometime in those years (thank G-d, we outgrow them), I came across this recipe for challah and announced triumphantly to my poor mother that her challah had been replaced by a superior recipe. Demonstrating her endless patience and wisdom, she smiled and asked me to share the recipe with her. I did, and she showed both her superior mothering skills and her superior baking skills by making the recipe her own, creating more delicious and nurturing challah than I did. I don't know if it was the recipe or if it is the intention, the love, the blessings she put into it. Either way, here it is, from both of us. You can double this recipe if you want to make enough to take challah with a bracha. Enjoy!!

    Recipe #199316

    This recipe came from one of the most impressive souls I have met, the mother of my rabbi, who we all called Bubbie. Since she passed away a few years ago, our entire community still feels the loss of her presence, and miss her terribly. Today I found this recipe that she gave to my friend at her bridal shower about 18 years ago. I can still smell her warm challah in my memory; I can still see her warm smile in my eyes. May the merit of this recipe bring her continued joy in the world of truth....

    Recipe #199320

    4 Reviews |  By chia

    this sweet dairy challah worked perfectly in my bread machine. it turned out so well, that everyone munched on it after dinner, in lieu of desserts, no leftovers for french toast the next morning.

    Recipe #205665

    This was the first bread I made by hand and I fell in love with it. It's pretty versatile--I've been able to make all kinds of alterations without screwing it up. It has a beautiful crust and is so moist and fluffy. You can use this to make one large loaf, or make six ropes and braid two smaller loaves for Shabbos.

    Recipe #206831

    Challah, a braided egg bread, is traditionally served on the Jewish Sabbath, but is enjoyable any time. The olive oil and honey in this recipe add a delightful and unique flavor. After one reviewer's difficulty, I'd like to add the following reminder: As with any bread, variances in time of year, temperature or humidity of your kitchen, freshness of your flour, etc. may cause you to have to add more flour or water. Prep times do not include rising time. This cold rise method of making a challah is a snap once you get a feel for the dough.

    Recipe #212346

    1 Reviews |  By ellie_

    Adapted from a community cookbook

    Recipe #204875

    This is from Kosher by Design by Susie Fishbein. It uses 5 lbs of flour, enough to warrant the making of the special blessing over bread dough. It is very sweet and wonderful. I used natural sugar for it; even more wonderful.

    Recipe #145461

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