challah

CINNAMON RAISIN CHALLAH

This challah is the BEST. I usually make it plain (here), but the kids requested a sweet one the last couple weeks, so this has been our new routine. It’s almost like chewy cinnamon roll bread! So good. For a tutorial video, see my instagram post HERE.
 
RECIPE:
CINNAMON RAISIN CHALLAH
DOUGH
2 tsp honey
1 pkg yeast
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c bread flour
1 egg yolk
FILLING
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/2 c white sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 c raisins
* note: if you like it less sweet, don’t add the brown sugar and use a little less white sugar. It’ll just have that hint of sweetness.
  1. Dissolve 1 tsp honey in 1/2 c. warm water in large mixing bowl which has been rinsed with hot water.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, let stand 10 min.
  3. While you wait for the yeast, get the other ingredients ready. In a large measuring cup, measure oil, add 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, 1 tsp honey, salt, eggs, and 2 c. flour.
  4. Add into the yeast mixture and mix well.
  5. Stir in remaining 2 c. flour. Dough will be sticky.
  6. Knead 2-3 minutes with a bread hook attachment or turn onto a floured board and knead.
  7. Round up in greased bowl (I just use the same dough bowl and put vegetable oil all around it), cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. It should have doubled in size. Gently put finger in top; if dough stays indented, it’s finished. If it bounces back, continue to rise.
  8. Punch down, cover, let rise again 45 min.
  9. Prep the counter with cooking spray.
  10. In a small bowl, make the filling: 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp brown sugar. Melt the butter in a separate small bowl.
  11. Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll each ball out into a thick rectangle, spread with butter, sprinkle about 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar mix, then add raisins on the top.
  12. Roll dough lengthwise and pinch the seam.
  13. Braid strands of dough and tuck the ends under.
  14. Cover, rise 20-30 minutes.
  15. Brush with beaten egg yolk and 1 tsp water. I used the melted butter bowl.
  16. Sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mix.
  17. Bake 400 degrees 20 min. Cover the top with foil, put it back into the oven for 5-8 minutes until a toothpick in the center of a braid comes out clean.
  18. Immediately remove from the tray and place on a wire rack so the bottom doesn’t continue to bake.
* Traditional challahs are braided in one row. On holidays or special occasions, it’s made into a circle.
* Round challah braiding tutorial  CLICK HERE
* Four strand challah:
  1. Divide dough into 4 equal sections
  2. Leave the ends loose if you’re making this into a circle- you’ll weave these ends in at the end when you connect your circle
  3. Take the strand at the left and weave it over-under-over the other three strands
  4. Take the next strand at the left and do the same- weave it over-under-over the other three strands
  5. Repeat until you can’t anymore and tuck the ends in underneath the loaf (or if you’re making it into a circle, sort of weave the ends together.

 

xo, Leah

RECIPE: CHALLAH

This challah is the BEST. The recipe is actually by our close family friend, Carol. She made this challah for everyone at my wedding. Like every single table got one. Seriously. Not only do I love eating it, but I love the memories we have surrounding it. Friday nights with family and friends, eating this soft, chewy bread, spread with butter or dipped in honey. Every time my mom would make challah, the whole house was filled with the smell of baking bread! That’s probably my favorite smell in the whole world. That and my newborn babies. Equally delicious.
Full recipe below.
RECIPE:
Mom’s Famous Challah
INGREDIENTS
2 tsp honey
1 pkg yeast
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 c bread flour
1 egg yolk
  1. Dissolve 1 tsp honey in 1/2 c. warm water in large mixing bowl which has been rinsed with hot water.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top, mix, let stand 10 min.
    Stir in oil, 1/2 c. warm water, sugar, 1 tsp honey, salt, eggs, and 2 c. flour. Beat well.
  3. Stir in remaining 2 c. flour. Dough will be sticky.
  4. Knead 2-3 minutes with a bread hook attachment or turn onto a floured board and knead.
  5. Round up in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hrs. It should have doubled in size. Gently put finger in top; if dough stays indented, it’s finished. If it bounces back, continue to rise.
  6. Punch down, cover, let rise again 45 min.
  7. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Divide into three or four sections and loosely braid* (instructions below), tucking in the ends.
  8. Cover, rise 20-30 minutes.
  9. Brush with beaten egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Optional: sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  10. Bake 400 degrees 15-25 min. The last 5 minutes or so, you can cover the top with foil so it doesn’t get too brown. Put a toothpick in the center of a braid and check for doneness. My mom and I like to under bake it just a tad so it doesn’t dry out- we like it a tiny bit gooey but it’s all to your preference.
  11. Eat! Delicious with butter and/or honey. Perfect the next morning for french toast.
* Traditional challahs are braided in one row. On holidays or special occasions, it’s made into a circle.
* This video tutorial is super helpful! I usually do a 4 strand with a circle challah, but I LOVE the 5 strand technique for a straight loaf: CLICK HERE.
* Round challah braiding tutorial (above) CLICK HERE
* Four strand challah:
Divide dough into 4 equal sections
Leave the ends loose if you’re making this into a circle- you’ll weave these ends in at the end when you connect your circle
Take the strand at the left and weave it over-under-over the other three strands
Take the next strand at the left and do the same- weave it over-under-over the other three strands
Repeat until you can’t anymore, form it into a circle and connect the ends on each side- just sort of weave them together…as long as they stay together it’s fine! Just keep tucking the ends in.
xo, Leah