There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread, and for many, the smell of warm homemade challah is the ultimate comfort food. For centuries, homemade challah has been a staple of Shabbat and holidays in Jewish households around the world.
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that is most often served on Shabbat and holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It is made with white flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and oil. The traditional shape is a braid although other shapes are commonly used, such as round or twisted. It is frequently braided with either three or four strands, but can be braided with more than four strands.
Making homemade challah is a traditional activity that many generations of Jews have shared. Not only is it an activity that brings the family together, but it is also one that teaches children about their faith, history, and culture. And, it is a great way for people of all ages to gain a greater appreciation for the fragility of life and the importance of family and faith.
The process of making homemade challah is relatively simple, but be warned – it is an art that requires patience and a gentle touch. For a beginner, it can often be intimidating but with practice and perseverance you can master the skill in no time.
To get started, mix up your ingredients in a bowl and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Next, shape the dough into a braided loaf and let it rise until doubled in size. Finally, brush it with an egg wash and bake it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees until it is golden brown.
Homemade challah is perfect when served warm, with a pat of butter, a generous helping of honey, or your favorite topping. Enjoy! Homemade Challah is one of the most beloved and iconic Jewish breads, made with a rich combination of egg, sugar, softened butter, and traditional spices. Challah is the bread we eat on Shabbat, Holidays, other special occasions, and of course, the Jewish New Year.
Making homemade Challah is a special treat and a meaningful tradition. It is a connection to a long line of women, who kneaded the bread dough with their own hands and created experiences of joy and togetherness around the family table.
When making your own Challah from scratch, several steps are involved. First, the dry ingredients must be mixed together in a large bowl. Then add in the warm, softened butter, which will make the Challah soft, fluffy and tender. Once the butter is incorporated, eggs and water are added and, with help from a wooden spoon or dough hook, the ingredients are blended until a uniform dough forms.
Once the dough is ready, the next step is to knead it for about ten minutes. This will develop the gluten and help the Challah to rise outwards in an even, smooth form. When the Challah is ready to shape, it is time to add the traditional toppings of sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds, which give the Challah its classic flavor and look.
Once it is shaped, the Challah needs to rise and proof before baking, ensuring that it is flaky and delicious. To finish, simply brush a beaten egg wash over the Challah before baking, which will give it its lovely golden-brown color and shine.
Making Challah is an amazing experience that makes time stand still. With its rich flavors and beautiful shape, this homemade bread adds warmth and deliciousness to any occasion. So why not try your hand at homemade Challah today, and you are sure to wow your family and friends with your masterpiece!