American,  Bread,  Recipes

Happy “Challah” Day

Bread… We love bread! I could say that again and again! We especially love fresh homemade bread – sourdough, challah, whole wheat, focaccia, pan de queso, baguettes, brioche – there are so many choices!

All I can say is the taste of fresh baked bread must be one of the most delicious things we can experience. No matter what, just the idea of warm fresh bread right out of the oven brings excitement to my heart.

For quite a few years now our family has made homemade fresh bread as one of the center pieces at all our holiday meals. Some of our relatives have a family tradition of making what they call all-bran rolls – a tradition we gladly indulge. All they have to say is, “The rolls are ready” and everyone comes running. They’re seriously that good!

A couple years ago my brother decided to make a copycat recipe of Texas Roadhouse restaurant rolls and honey butter from scratch. They were a huge hit. They were so warm, yeasty, and delicious with just a touch of sweetness from the honey butter. I think they were pretty accurate to the restaurant experience. 

As long as I can remember and especially since we’ve been married, Kodi has made the most amazing loaf of fresh challah bread every Thanksgiving holiday. Why challah bread? Honestly, I’m still not too sure how it became our tradition but it has. 

Challah is a bread traditionally eaten at different Jewish holidays and braided a variety of ways. We’re not Jewish; we just enjoy the comfort of a good loaf of bread! Challah traditionally contains no dairy products, however, recipes were altered as they were passed down generation-to-generation and adopted in several eastern European cuisines.

Our Simply Sells challah bread recipe is an egg version that Kodi decided to make one day. We both tried it and thought it would be amazing at Thanksgiving dinner with warm turkey, gravy, and green beans. Honestly, making a turkey sandwich with Thanksgiving leftovers and all the fixings in between the freshly sliced Challah is divine! 

Challah has a grand look. A double batched, triple braided loaf with poppy seeds adorning the top as it comes out of the oven can make you drool. Not only does the appearance make you want to hang around the kitchen the smell is incredible! It takes a lot of patience to make the bread, and then wait for it to come out of the oven but it’s worth it.

The challah is almost an appetizer for us because it’s the first thing we want to try. It always seems to get swarmed over and devoured in no time, even before the Thanksgiving meal. Pats of butter melting on the warm bread is so delicious with hints of both sweet and salty. The bread’s texture is perfectly fluffy and moist. 

Try it out. You won’t be disappointed. Simply Sells challah recipe will make a great addition to your everyday family table and a wonderful addition to your holiday meal plans. Go ahead and double-batch the dough; the crowd will be more than pleased! Yum, I can smell it cooking now, as we are just days away from our Thanksgiving day celebration. 

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Challah Bread

  • Author: Simply Sells Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (104℉ to 115℉)
  • 4 eggs (1 beaten)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (King Arthur Flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
  • 12 tablespoons poppy seeds (or black sesame seeds)

Instructions

Using a stand mixer:

1. In the bowl dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of your sugar into the warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy and frothy.
2. Using the whisk attachment add in the rest of the sugar and 3 eggs, then mix on low speed. Stop mixer and switch to the dough hook attachment. 
3. Add in the half of the flour, all salt, and all butter. Knead with the dough hook on low speed until combined. Add in the other half of the flour and knead on low until the dough is elastic and smooth (about 5-10min). Add in a tablespoon of flour at a time if the dough seems so be too sticky.
Note: Don’t add in too much extra flour! The dough will become less sticky with kneading time.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl

Using a mixing bowl:

1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of your sugar into the warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy and frothy.
2. Using a whisk add in the rest of the sugar and 3 eggs, then mix to combine. 
3. Add in the half of the flour, all salt, and all butter. Using a wooden spoon mix the dough until combined. Should be a wet dough mass.
4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface using the remaining flour. Knead with your hands until the dough is elastic and smooth (about 5-10min). Add in a tablespoon of flour at a time if the dough seems so be too sticky.
Note: Don’t add in too much extra flour! The dough will become less sticky with kneading time.

For both methods, Continued:

5. Remove the dough from the bowl

6. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a light oiled bowl (I use olive oil). Cover with plastic wrap or a damp bowl and place in a very warm area. (We live in Florida, and use our garage).

7. Let the dough rise for 2 hours until it doubles in size.

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.

9. Punch down the dough and put the dough onto a clean countertop or work surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces with a knife or metal bench scraper. Using your hands roll out each piece into a long rope. You’ll have three equal pieces of dough in a rope shape.

10. Line up the three strands parallel to one another. Lightly pinch one end of all three dough ropes together. Cross the strands in a braid fashion (right over middle, left over middle, right over middle, left over middle) until the entire loaf has been braided. Lightly pinch the other end together and fold the ends slightly underneath the loaf to make a clean appearance.

11. Cover with a dry towel and let the dough rise again for 1 hour more.

12. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350℉.

13. Beat the remaining egg and brush the loaf gently with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the seeds. 

14. Bake for 28-35 minutes. The bread should be beautifully browned on the top. Transfer to a rack or cool surface to let cool completely. (Or enjoy it hot out of the oven with tons of butter!)

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Sodium: 116 mg
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Fiber: 0.50 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
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