I’ve had a crush on braided challah for a few weeks now. How can you not fall in love with all the shades of golden brown and the bits of dried herbs peeking out from the center?
There’s also some really cool, deep history behind challah bread as it relates to Jewish traditions and instances in the Bible where challah is translated into the english language as manna from heaven. It’s a special bread and I love what it represents.
Not only does it have a rich history, but it’s also wonderfully soft and delicious and perfect for serving next to your Easter ham! It doesn’t take quite as long as a sourdough or other artisan bread, so you’ll have time to whip it up before tomorrow’s dinner.
I wanted to give you a sneak peek of how not glamorous my shooting area is. For the last 2 months I’ve been shooting the majority of my food on 1 background, but I just got some new “carrera marble” laminate flooring from Home Depot today and am loving it! Total cost: $3.85. Maybe someday I’ll have a fancy set-up for blog happenings, but for now it’s a background board sitting on top of one of my craft totes stuck next to a window that gives me the yummiest sun. I’ll take it 🙂
You’re gonna love this bread, I know it. If you’re looking for more of a sweet take on challah, add some figs or raisins or maybe some chopped apples and brown sugar! It’ll start to turn dessert-y and that idea sounds pretty amazing to me. Do it, then come drop a loaf on my front porch. I’ll love you forever and ever.
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour plus more for kneading
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- In large mixing bowl, combine yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Once yeast has proofed, add remaining water, sugar, flour, salt, honey, oil, eggs, rosemary, and thyme.
- Mix until flour is completely incorporated. Pour soft dough out onto board covered with flour.
- Knead for 8-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until dough is soft and no longer sticky.
- Form dough into ball and place in clean, greased bowl. Cover with clean towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and divide dough into 3 sections. Roll into logs about 12 inches long and then braid strips into loaf. Make sure to tuck the strands in at the end or they’ll pop out when they’re cooking!
- Whisk egg and water and brush on braided bread.
- Sprinkle with poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
- Place on greased baking sheet or baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- You’ll know the loaf is done when it’s golden brown and it makes a hollow sound when you tap on it.
- Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins