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The Secret of Challah

The Secret of Challah

A taste of heaven.

by

Sweet Shabbat Challah

Our families love this challah. The sweet glaze lends the challahs a special shine and festive appearance.

14 cups white flour (2 Kg)
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons dry yeast
1 1/2–2 cups sugar (to taste)
4 cups warm water
2 eggs
2/3 cup oil

Topping:
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds

Glaze:
3/4 cup boiling water
5 tablespoons sugar

Yields: 6 challahs

Place the flour in a large bowl and combine with salt.

Add yeast, sugar, and water and then the eggs and oil. Knead the mixture well for about 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour and knead with greased hands. The dough should be smooth and very soft, but workable.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume.

Separate challah. See The Mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah.

Knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface and form the challahs. It’s best to work with greased hands, since the dough is very soft.

Place challahs in a pan. Cover and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).

Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until challahs turn dark brown.

When the challahs appear to be almost done, prepare the glaze: Dissolve the sugar in boiling water. Remove the challahs from the oven and immediately spoon the boiling glaze over them. Remove the challahs from the pan so that the bottom of the challahs doesn’t get wet from the glaze, and cool on a wire rack.

Heavenly Challah

The magic of simple pleasures. This challah is made with the most basic ingredients - it doesn’t even contain any eggs - but anyone who tastes it admires its softness and delicious taste.

7 cups flour (1Kg)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
5–8 tablespoons sugar (depending on the desired sweetness)
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon salt

Glaze:
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds
Poppy seeds

Yields: 4 medium challahs

Place all ingredients except the salt in a large bowl. Begin kneading. When a ball of dough is formed, add the salt.

Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft, but not sticky.

Brush the dough and bowl with a bit of oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume.

After the dough has risen, knead it for a few minutes. Roll pieces of dough into strands to be braided. To make more airy challahs, roll out each strand into strips, approximately 1/4 inch (about 1/2 centimeter) thick. Roll each strip jellyroll fashion to form a tube and use these to braid the challahs.

Place the challahs in a pan. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Cover and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 40 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the challahs turn golden brown. Remove the challahs from the oven and from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Whole-Wheat Date Challah

The date spread lends the challah a gentle sweetness and a reddish-brown color. Delicious!

7 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup date spread
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil

Glaze:
1 egg, beaten
Sesame or poppy seeds

Yields: 3 large challahs

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add remaining ingredients and begin kneading. Knead for approximately 15 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough is formed.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 1 1/2 hours, until the dough doubles in volume.

After the dough has risen, transfer it to a floured surface and form loaves. Place loaves in a pan, cover, and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 1 hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

Brush challahs with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the loaves turn golden brown. Remove the challahs from the oven and from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Variation: Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts to the dough.

Onion Rolls

Surprise your family with these delicious rolls for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner.

2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 eggs
7 cups flour (1 Kg)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt

Filling:
2 medium onions, chopped
1/3 cup (70 grams) margarine
1 tablespoon water
1 egg

Glaze:
1 egg, beaten
Poppy seeds

Yields: about 20 small rolls

In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir lightly and set aside for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the yeast mixture and knead for about 5 minutes, until a soft and springy dough is formed. Brush the dough with a bit of oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in volume.

In the meantime, prepare the filling: Melt margarine. Add the chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1 egg and mix well.

After the dough has risen, divide it according to the desired number of rolls. Work each part into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Place the balls in a greased and floured pan, or on a sheet of baking paper. Leave sufficient space between the balls.

Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Press both thumbs into the center of each flattened ball to form a depression in the center. Fill the depression with the onion filling.

Brush the rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Cover and let them rise again in a warm place for approximately 45 minutes, until the dough doubles in volume. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C).

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the rolls turn golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipes from The Secret of Challah.

 

Published: December 22, 2007


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Visitor Comments: 2

(2) Batshevah, January 11, 2013 4:51 AM

cool on a wire rack?

most people do not toivel oven racks are you sure you would be allowed to place challa directly on wire racks ?

(1) Miriam, December 23, 2007 4:59 PM

great recipes!

I've made the heavenly challah and sweet Shabbos challah recipes, and both came out perfect & delicious. Thanks for making such a great book!

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