Thursday, February 11, 2010

What to do on a Snowy Day? Make Challah!

For those of you who live in the the tri-state area, I don't have to tell you what went down with the weather yesterday.  In the words of my friend Leann, "it was treacherous." 

Personally, I used the day to "work from home" and to of course cook and bake lots of goodies.  Being that I am my mother's daughter, she unsurprisingly did the same.  The below recipe and these gorgeous pictures showcase her homemade Challah that she made during yesterday's storm.

When my mother first told me she was planning to make Challah, I was puzzled.  "Don't you make enough Challah with Simon? And don't you ALWAYS complain about it?" I asked.  Simon is our great uncle who lives in Slovakia and his favorite thing to do when we visit is a). make homemade Challah and b).  send us home with it to share with the rest of the family.

"Well I make 'Chally' [as my mom calls it] with Simon but I've never made it on my own," she said. My mom was on a mission to make her own, independent Challah.  And judging by this proof, I'd say there was much success!

So without further ado, I give you the recipe for homemade Challah (or Chally - whichever way you were taught to say it).  Enjoy!

1 cup warm water
1 tbs active dry yeast
2 tbs honey
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 eggs +1 for brushing (egg wash)
1 tsp salt
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs and salt.  Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition and kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with clean dish towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled.

Punch down the risen dough and turn onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half to make a smooth ball. Then divide each half into seven parts and roll into long "snakes." Pinch the ends and braid . I make the base, which is braided with four and the top is a braid of three.

Grease baking tray and place braided Challah on it. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat an egg and brush a generous amount over Challah.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when  thumped on the bottom.


  1. I just tasted a piece of it. It is yummy!

  2. This is beautiful! Would be great for french toast!

    Btw, can you sub in half whole wheat flour?

  3. That looks so good. I want to get a jar of Nutella and knife and go to town on it. By the way, we grew up saying kind of a gutteral "holly".

  4. Gar - Not sure if you can substitute with whole wheat flour. I'll ask my mom and get back to you.

    Kablooey - yes! We say it guterally too! :P



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