Challah recipes

Has anyone tried the challah recipes in Secrets of a Jewish Baker or the Smitten Kitchen adaptation of Joan Nathan’s recipe?

The former is a good fit for me because it has a food processor option (it insists on using ice water). The latter I’d have to knead by hand since I don’t have a standing mixer.

I forgot to buy bread flour, so made the Smitten Kitchen recipe, which uses all purpose. Worked quite well—- not too sweet, not too eggy, fluffy but with structure.

It’s been years since I made challah. A new technique to me was putting egg wash on after braiding, before the second rise, and then putting on one more layer before it goes in the oven.


One of my favorite bread
I used to buy them from Whole Foods and buy their butter to eat with it but there is no Whole Foods here.
Is it difficult to make?
Maybe I wil try it one day as I miss it.

Not at all difficult, but it rises three times so you need to be home all day. I hand kneaded it, used olive oil, and took it out of the oven when the internal temperature hit 190F.

I’d never braided a round loaf before, and found Smitten’s directions very easy and forgiving.

maybe when i have more time
used to make a fantastic bread called ENSEMADA, very much like the challah but richer
Used 12 eggs , took whole day
I even bought the small pans for asking them, made 48 at a time, took whole day
But those were the days ack in the 70’s thru 90’s,

I always make the Silver Palate Challa. It’s simple, uses regular flour & I didn’t have a stand mixer when I first started making it. It’s a really good recipe.


My first attempt at a 6-braid challah.


Agree with @JoeBabbitt upthread. The Silver Palate recipe is what I use also - it’s easy and turns out perfectly. I took a fresh baked loaf to a Jewish friend’s house for dinner once, and she exclaimed it was the best Challah she’d ever eaten. Maybe it also helped that it was still warm from the oven…

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Good lord those look good!

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I made a pair recently for Rosh Hashanah based on the serious eats blog post: (apparently there are issues with the recipe linked from the blog post – I just used the ingredient masses from the page I linked.

It was really tasty, though it used way more eggs than I’d expected, even having made it before. Nothing like that almost cotton candy-like tear…


That cotton candy texture is exactly what my family is asking for. The king Arthur recipe was fine, but it didn’t have that texture.

I’ve only used the serious eats recipe once, so no guarantees, but this was the closest I’ve gotten to my childhood memories of challah with that texture.

Post-production thoughts:
I did overbake it a little, so definitely keep an eye on it and foil-shield it if necessary.
Also, definitely wait for 1+ hours post baking for it to cool/finish cooking.
Since the recipe doesn’t say how many eggs to use, I’d recommend buying about 1 dozen/loaf.

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The Sprout made a delicious challah for the holidays this year. She used the recipe in Zahav by Michael Solomonov (love the whole book).


Lovely braids upthread! Our son went to nursery school at our local JCC. Not Jewish, but conscientious about bread, I was appalled to find they made “challah” from Bisquick on Fridays. With the permission of head teacher, I volunteered to bring a bowl of risen, ready to “maul”, Challah dough mid-mornings on Fridays. While the dough was still distributed among the kids for final kneeding and then reincorporating into a loaf of sorts, it was still far more recognizable as Challah if not Kosher. Challah memories.