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Braided Challah

Braided Challah
Great for sharing with family and friends, this braided celebration bread turns a stunning golden-brown color when baked, making it an ideal centerpiece for any table—and it tastes even better than it looks. Watch video tutorial below.
Yield 2 (1-pound) loaves
1

Reviews

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) lukewarm water (88°F/31°C)
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups (540g) bread flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (14g) kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, divided (150g, room temperature)
  • 3 large egg yolks (56g, room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1/4 cup (56g) vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) water, divided

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together 6 tablespoons (90 grams) lukewarm water and yeast by hand until dissolved. Add 1 cup (127g) flour, and beat at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and remaining 3 1/4 cups (413g) flour. Switch to the dough hook attachment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs (100g), egg yolks, honey, oil, and 3 tablespoons (45g) water. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and beat at very low speed until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase mixer speed to low, and beat until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Check for proper gluten development using the windowpane test. (See Note.)
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape dough into a smooth ball, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours. (See Note).
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide dough in half. Divide each half into 4 equal portions (about 122g each). On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a rope about 16 inches long, tapering ends. Place 2 strands end to end horizontally, and place 2 strands end to end vertically, perpendicular to the first so that they meet in the middle to form a plus sign. Pinch ends together in the middle to seal. Start braid by lifting top strand and placing to the left of bottom strand. Move original bottom strand to the top. Then, move left strand to surface above right strand. Move original right strand to the left side. Repeat this pattern until you’ve reached end of strands. Pinch ends together to seal, and tuck under. Place on one prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50g) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15g) water. Generously brush loaves with egg wash.
  • Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 25 to 30 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

To check for proper gluten development, use the windowpane test: Pinch off a small piece of dough, and carefully stretch to a thin sheet. If dough stretches into a translucent sheet without tearing, it is ready. If dough tears, it requires more kneading.
To test for doubling, quickly press the tips of two fingers ½ inch into dough. If dents remain, the dough has doubled in size.

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Braided Challah | Great for sharing with family and friends, this braided celebration bread turns a stunning golden-brown color when baked, making it an ideal centerpiece for any table—and it tastes even better than it looks. Find recipe at redstaryeast.com.

Review & Comments

Lynne B | Reply

5 stars
I put the dough (simple braid) into loaf pans, let rise till dough came level with the top of the pan and baked. I didn’t get any oven spring at all (learned that term as I was researching why my bread didn’t rise in the oven). Am I over proofing in either the first or second rise? What am I doing wrong? It tasted great and otherwise looked fine.

My second question is whether I can replace the oil with butter and when would I add the butter.

Many thanks!

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Lynne – Did the bread collapse in the oven? It’s possible it was over-proofed. Our customer support would be happy to help you troubleshoot – contact us here: https://redstaryeast.com/contact-us/

Yes – use 1/4 cup butter (1/2 of a stick), then melt and let cool to around 90 degrees F.

I hope you will find this information helpful.

Apurvi Aakash Sharma | Reply

What can I replace the eggs with? Being vegetarian, we do not consume eggs. Thank you so much

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Apurvi,
Challah is traditionally an enriched bread with eggs. I would recommend trying this recipe instead: https://redstaryeast.com/recipes/braided-italian-bread/. Just leave off the egg wash, and brush loaf with water.

Happy baking!

Cynthia Merzer | Reply

Any reason why I couldn’t let this rise overnight in the refrigerator?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Cynthia,
You can do the first rise in the refrigerator overnight (step 3). Let dough come to room temperature and then proceed with the recipe.
Happy baking!
Carol

christine yackle | Reply

could i get the nutrition info for this

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Christine,
We do not have nutritional information on this recipe. I would suggest the following website, which allows you to calculate based on ingredients: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp, or google nutritional calculator.
Kind regards,
Carol

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