Monday, 28 February 2011

Fresh From The Oven 4 - Feb 2011 - Braided Challah Bread.

Dom from Belleau Kitchen hosted this month's Fresh From The Oven challenge.
He challenged us to make a traditional Jewish challah bread.

I was delighted as I really like the look of braided breads and Dom had very helpfully produced a series of step-by-step photos to show us how to do it.

This loaf was huge and, unfortunately, the edges burned a little by the time it was cooked through, however it tasted wonderful.  Just how freshly baked loaf should taste.  I served it as part of the buffet table at Adam's birthday party and it was eaten up very quickly - I should have made two!

I will definitely be making this bread more often.  A very versatile loaf and easy to make.  I particularly like braiding it!  Next time I will go for a beautiful golden finish.

Here is Dom's recipe and his photos for how to do the braiding.

Recipe - 

Braided Challah Bread

1 sachet easy blend dried yeast
1tsp clear honey
8fl oz lukewarm milk
50g melted butter
16oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten - in separate bowls - one for the mix and one for glazing
Poppy seed or sesame seeds (optional)

Combine the yeast, honey, milk and butter, stir and leave for 15mins to dissolve

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and one of the beaten eggs.  Stir to make a dough. (It will be very sticky and will definitely need extra flour for kneading)

Knead till smooth and elastic (a good 15 mins) then transfer to a clean bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours.

Grease a baking sheet. Knock back the dough and divide into 3 equal pieces.  Roll to shape each piece into a long strip for plaiting.

Lay 2 of the strips over the third to make a star shape and plait from the centre, tucking the ends under.  Do this on the baking sheet, then cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 mins.

Brush with egg and bake in a hot oven at 190 for 35 - 40 mins or until golden and sounds hollow if you tap it.


  1. That looks gorgeous, I must try braiding a loaf, and I have always wanted to make a challah loaf.

  2. Kath - it's REALLY easy. Even I managed to get this loaf to work! ;-)

  3. so glad it worked... yours looks so wondeful too... I burnt mine the other day but actually it didn't matter... this has to also be my most favourite toasted bread... delicious!

  4. Wow! Your loaf looks gorgeous, I really should try making bread one of these days, although I doubt mine could ever look this perfect. x

  5. This was one of my favourite loaves to make too. I should think the crust tasted quite nice.

  6. he he, it's true this was a huge loaf. The first time I made it I thought it's gonna escape out of the baking pan. Fortunately it stayed in.

  7. Thank you for taking part this month. Your loaf looks great.

  8. Beautiful, looks so yummy

  9. Wow this looks brilliant! Well done you!

  10. I want to come to your house - you're always making such delightful things in the kitchen!

  11. Oh! I have always wanted to make challah - this is bookmarked for next weekend!