Savor the delicious, golden perfection among loved ones.

Enriched with centuries of tradition, the classic challah bread often decorates the tables at Jewish holidays, during the Sabbath and at weddings. Each step and detail of this 35,000-year-old recipe embodies a symbolic ritual of preserving the moments, ideas, and values in Jewish history. The intertwined strands of the braided bread symbolize love, truth, peace, creation, harmony, unity, and family. For the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, challah is customarily molded into a circular loaf to symbolize the circle of life or continuity.

The beautifully golden crust encompasses a pillow-soft interior with a rich and slightly sweet flavor. Often it is baked with poppy seeds or sesame seeds sprinkled on top or, to make it a little more festive, golden raisins are baked into the bread to enhance its sweet flavor. This delicious bread is traditionally torn into pieces and then dipped into honey to signify a sweet new year.

Whether you’re celebrating the holiday or simply wish to “break bread” among family and friends, we encourage you to try the delicious challah recipe used by our chefs on board below!

Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
9 1/4 cups (1 1/3 kg) flour
4 eggs, beaten, plus 2 yolks or 1 whole egg for glazing
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 1/4 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable oil

Preparation Method

Dissolve yeast in water with 1 tsp of sugar. Beat well and leave 10 mins until frothy. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add salt, sugar, oil and beat again. Add the yeast mixture and beat well. Gradually add flour to make a soft dough that holds together. Mix well using a large spoon. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (add flour if it’s too sticky). Pour a little oil in the bowl to grease the entire dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, put in a warm place to rise for 2 3 hrs., or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into four pieces to make 4 loaves.

To make round challah: Take 1 piece of dough, roll it between palms, and stretch into a long fat rope about 18” long and 2” thick – a little fatter at one end. Take the fatter end and put it in the middle of an oiled baking sheet, then coil the rest of the rope around like a snail. Continue with remaining pieces.

To make braided challah with 3 strands: Divide 1 piece of the dough into 3. Roll each piece between palms and pull into long thin ropes about 18” long and 1 ¼” wide. Pinch 1 end of all the strands together and plait them: bring the right rope over the middle one, then bring the left rope over it and continue. Pinch the ends together and tuck under the loaf. Continue with the remaining 3 pieces.

Baking Instructions

Place the loaves on well oiled baking sheets, leave room for them to expand, then leave to rise for 1 hr., or until doubled in bulk. Gently brush with beaten egg yolks then sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 40 mins or until the loaves are golden-brown.

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