BEST Challah Bread recipe out there. Anyone can make this satisfying braided loaf enriched with eggs and topped with sesame seeds! And the leftovers make the best French toast.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 large egg yolks (you will use some of the egg whites later)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 2–3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Note: You need to allow about 2 hours of inactive time
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the warm water. Add a large pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes or so, until the yeast is activated forming a foamy layer.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, egg yolks, sugar, salt, and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon.
- Add the yeast mixture, and mix with the wooden spoon until the dough is too hard to mix. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead by hand for 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky as you knead, add a very little bit of flour and continue kneading until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Now place the dough in a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen cloth and keep it in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the dough rises. The dough is ready when it has doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and turn it back onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces, then roll each piece into a rope that’s about 16-18 inches long. Braid the three ropes together like you would hair; squeeze both ends together to complete the braid.
- Place the braided loaf on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and return to a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes allowing it to rise again. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the loaf generously with about 2-3 tbsp of the egg whites you reserved earlier. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the challah bread cool before slicing.
- There is 2 hours of inactive time reflected in prep time
- To use a stand mixer: Instead of kneading by hand (step # 4), you can use a stand mixer a dough hook attachment; knead the dough on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes.
- You can use this same recipe to make two small loaves. After the second rising (step #7), you can split the loaf into two smaller loaves, if you like. If you do, be sure to squeeze the ends on each of the loafs.
- Recommended for this recipe Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil or Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives)
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- Recipe adapted from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking
- Category: Breads
- Cuisine: Israeli
Keywords: Best Challah Bread Recipe, Homemade Challah Bread, Easy Challah Bread Recipe