Famous Challah

Recipe by Tante B
READY IN: 3hrs 35mins
YIELD: 2 Challahs




  • First measure out all your ingredients.
  • Now from the 1/2 of cup sugar take 1 tablespoon of the sugar & combine it with the yeast& warm water (you know you have the right temperature of warm water when it's the same temperature as the inside of your wrist).
  • I let my mixer bowl which is metal (kitchen aid) sit in a hot water bath while the yeast dissolves, 10 minutes.
  • After the yeast has dissolved (it's nice & foamy) add to it the rest of the sugar, salt & 3 1/2 cups flour.
  • Mix well (I use the bread hook).
  • Add egg (already beaten) & oil.
  • Slowly start mixing in most of the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour.
  • The dough will become quite thick.
  • When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, turn it onto a floured surface& knead for approximately 10 minute.
  • Add only enough additional flour to make dough manageable.
  • Knead until dough has acquired a "life of its own"; it should be smooth & elastic, springing back when pressed lightly with your fingertip.
  • Place dough into a large oiled bowl turning the dough once so its oiled on all sides.
  • Cover with a damp towel & let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, punching down in 4-5 places every 20 minutes.
  • Now, I always write down what time I started so I don't forget when the 2 hours are up & set a timer every 20 minutes. (In the summer I let the dough rise on my balcony & in the winter in front of my oven where something is always baking, turning it every time I punch down the dough).
  • After the 2 hours, turn your dough onto your working surface.
  • Now comes the forming part.
  • For Shabbos I always make a 2 level braided challah which looks great & is really easy.
  • Prepare your baking sheet lining it with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • First, take a large knife & cut the dough in half.
  • Next, from each 1/2 now cut off a third & place the 2 thirds on the side.
  • Now, from the first half (where you've removed a third) divide the remaining dough into approximately equal thirds.
  • Roll each third out till its about 10-12 inches (I'm guessing I never measured it) & braid all 3 roll together pinching the top & bottom half together& turning them slightly under.
  • Place on baking sheet.
  • Repeat the same for other half.
  • Now take the first third you removed earlier& divide in 3, braid just like you did before& place on top of the already braided challah.
  • Repeat same for other third.
  • Now let the challah rise for 1/2 an hour.
  • After the challah has risen glaze with beaten egg & add mohn or sesame if you wish.
  • Almost done!
  • Put in preheated oven & let bake for exactly 25 minutes!
  • Turn off oven & leave Challahs in for exactly another 10 minutes!
  • Remove from oven.
  • Enjoy--you deserve every compliment you get!