Guatemalan Challah

"From "A Blessing of Bread" by Maggie Glezer, this is another interesting twist on challah! Challah is the braided or twisted loaf of egg bread served on the Sabbath by Jews around the world, and recipes vary by region. This one is interesting for its use of cardamom. I've added the rising time in to the cooking time, so the total time is from start to finish."
photo by Boomette photo by Boomette
photo by Boomette
photo by CraftScout photo by CraftScout
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins




  • In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast and 3/4 cup of the flour, then whisk in the warm water until smooth. Let sit uncovered for 20 minutes, or until it begins to ferment and puff up slightly.
  • Whisk 2 eggs, oil, salt, sugar and cardamom into the puffed yeast slurry until the eggs are well incorporated and the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  • Stir in the remaining flour all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it out onto your work surface and knead it until smooth and soft, no more than 10 minutes. Knead in the raisins just until they are equally distributed.
  • Place the dough in the bowl and cover, set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, up to 2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two 1-pound portions for loaves, or 16 rolls.
  • Braid or shape as desired, position on the prepared sheets and cover again to rise until tripled in size, up to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Thirty minutes before baking, put oven racks in upper and lower third positions and preheat to 350°F.
  • Beat remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing the bread.
  • When the loaves have tripled in size and stay indented when gently pressed with a fingertip, brush with the egg glaze. If desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
  • Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes, loaves for 25-35 minutes, until well-browned. You may tent them with foil if they are browning too quickly.
  • Remove from oven to cool on racks.
  • Freezes well.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I did it in my bread machine. I did 2 braided loaves. And when they were braided I realized I forgot to add the raisins. They are very good. And the cardamom is not overpowering. Thanks Susie. Made for 123 hit wonders
  2. Fantastic bread. I have to admit that I used my bread machine to pull all the ingredients together and knead and rise. Then I pulled it out and kneaded the raisins in, braided, and let rise. I made one in a loaf pan and left one free form, and they both baked in 30 minutes, no tenting necessary. I did sprinkle mine with poppy seeds (yum!). We loved the sweet spice of the cardamom. It's subtle - the family didn't recognize it, which is good, as cardamom can overpower. Definitely a keeper for my bread recipe collection! Thank you for posting, made for ZWT4.


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