Have you ever wondered how to make a round braided challah (or any kind of round braided bread)? It’s easier than you might think. And it all starts with a hashtag! Watch the video below for the simple steps to make a round braided challah, and scroll down to the end of this post for the easiest ever no-fail challah dough recipe.
It’s almost Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. I’m celebrating with my family next week and that means apples and honey, brisket, honey cake and yes… a round challah.
Round challahs are consumed this time of year in a nod to the cycle of the year coming full circle. Round challah can be tricky to locate. If you look around, you can probably find round challahs in some better bakeries. I have even found some in my local Trader Joes. But the best challah is one that is still warm from your oven. Store bought cannot compete with that.
Does the idea of making challah scare you? Guess what… I have something to tell you about making challah. It’s a shocking secret that past generations kept on the down low, as they passed recipes from generation to generation.
The Shocking Truth about Making Challah:
Making challah is not hard. In fact it’s SUPER easy. Particularly if you have a mixer, and you’re hanging out at home anyways. I make my challah in my Kitchen Aid mixer with a recipe from a dear friend. It’s never failed me once. It’s so good and so easy, that every time I watch the British Baking Show, and it’s bread week, I feel sorry for the contestants because they do not have my recipe.
“Mom,” my kids say,” You could have nailed Star Baker this week! Look at that pathetic Brioche someone tried to serve to Pru and Paul. The horror! ”
Everyone needs to know how to make this stuff because it’s such a versatile bread dough – great for rolls, bread wreaths, a pull-apart Turkey Shaped Challah, a Nutella Star Bread, and we are still coming up with ideas, so stay tuned.
This challah is delicious any way you braid it, and guess what, the braiding isn’t that hard either. If you can roll your dough into four fat snakes, and weave them into a hashtag, you’ve done half the work. The video above will demonstrate the rest!
Here is the recipe for the Round Challah dough:
- 2 Packets Dry Yeast (or 4.5 tsp)
- Flour (about 7 cups)
- 2 Eggs, Separated
- 1/3 cup Oil
- 3 tbs plus 1/3 cup Sugar (or honey or agave nectar)
- 1 Tbs Salt
- Water (1/3 cup to dissolve yeast plus about 1-1.25 cups to add while mixing)
- Place the yeast along with 3 tbs of sugar and 1 cup of warm water in a bowl (go ahead and leave it in the mixing bowl if you are using your mixer)
- Wait 15-20 minutes, after which time the mixture will be bubbling and alive.
- Add 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbs salt.
- Now start adding flour, a half cup at a time, alternating with “wet” ingredients in this order: water, egg yolks (set the whites aside for later!), then oil. When the dough holds together and is still springy but not sticky, you are done.
- Transfer dough to an oiled, larger bowl and lay a damp towel or paper towel over the top. Let rise. I like to do this in my oven set to the “proofing” temp. If your oven has this setting, try it!
- Punch down the dough after an hour.
- Divide dough into two balls for two challahs, and then divide each ball into sections for braiding. After braiding, cover again and let the bread rise again for about 30 min more.
- Take the egg whites and a pastry brush and paint your braided challah to make nice glaze.
- Back in a preheated 365 degree oven for 25 minutes
Optional ingredients: choco chips, raisins, sprinkles ( a hit with my kids), poppy or sesame seeds.
If you are looking for a gluten free recipe for Rosh Hashanah – here is one for Gluten Free Honey Cake.