Sponge Started Challah Bread - Kosher

Total Time
6hrs 30mins
Prep 6 hrs
Cook 30 mins

Simple & straight forward. I like the brioche style starter sponge to make sure everything is moving right along.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. SPONGE:
  2. 1. In the bottom of an electric mixing bowl, mix first 4 ingredients together in order of appearance.
  3. 2. Add only 1 cup of flour to yeast liquid, lightly mixing with a rubber spatula.
  4. 3. Sprinkle Remaining 1 cup of flour over mixture and set aside.
  5. 4. Let rise (in cool oven or other dry room temperature place) for 30min.
  6. When cracks form in flour, your yeast is doing it's job!
  7. DOUGH:
  8. 1. On top of the sponge, layer next 4 ingredients in bowl. Make sure salt does not touch yeast mixture.
  9. 2. STIR in mixer until everything is incorporated (1min) and then MIX on medium until dough begins to ball up.
  10. This takes 6-8min. If you have to add the 1/4 water, do it a table room at a time (I use a spray bottle) and mix for 1 min, then let it rest of 1 min to let the water soak up.
  11. The dough should pull away from sides of bowl, not be too tacky, and be elastic.
  12. 3. Turn out dough (you may not need ANY flour for this) and kned by hand into a round ball (only 4-6 strokes).
  13. 4. Spray mixing bowl with PAM (or butter) and place dough ball in bowl.
  14. 5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until ABOUT double (1 1/2 - 2 hours).
  15. 6. Gently deflate and repeat rise a second time.
  16. 7. Deflate again and tun out onto counter, again, you probably won't need flour, it's a really tight dough!
  17. 8. Divide dough in 1/2 and work each half into desired shape.
  18. 9. Cover and let rise a THIRD time (double, 1.5-2 hours).
  19. Topping:.
  20. 1. Mix egg yolk and water.
  21. 2. Brush GENTLY on top of loaf (do not deflate).
  22. 3. Sprinkle seeds (if desired).
  23. BAKE: place in PREHEATED 400 degree oven, then immediately turn heat down to 350 (325 convection) and bake for about 30min. Bread will sound hollow and thermometer will read 190- 200 (it will coast up to 205).
  24. REMOVE from oven and let cool before taking out of pan -- ENJOY!
  25. You can FREEZE dough (up to one month) after 2nd rise by wrapping air tight. Let it thaw out overnight in the fridge and them shape, rise, bake - a GREAT way to get the prep work done ahead of time and always have fresh baked bread!