As we prepare for Shabbat or Shabbos, we know that nothing is more essential than the traditional soft and fluffy Challah bread. The anticipation of observing this precious day and enjoying the warm slices of freshly baked bread can awaken all of our senses.
Challah, known as Jewish bread, represents more than just food; it is a symbol of community and tradition. The beauty of preparing and baking challah is that it offers a moment of rest and reflection. It is an opportunity to step away from the fast-paced world and embrace the joys of family and heritage.
This recipe will teach you how to make Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread or bread for any special occasion in a simple and easy way. You won’t need any fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients. It’s a recipe that has been passed down from my family through generations, and I’m excited to share it with you.
In this article, you’ll find step-by-step instructions, tips, variations, serving suggestions, how-to guides, make-ahead advice, storing instructions, reheating techniques, and expert advice for perfect results. Don’t worry if you don’t have prior baking experience; this recipe is designed to be easy to follow for anyone.
So are you ready to make your own traditional Soft Fluffy Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread? Come along with me on this journey where you will learn about the art of making kosher bread while engaging in some meaningful Shabbat/Shabbos cooking practices. Shabbat Shalom!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As you read through the ingredient list of this Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread recipe, with its warm water, active dry yeast, unsifted all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and vegetable oil among others, you might be wondering what sets it apart from other bread recipes. Well, let me tell you why you’ll fall in love with it.
Firstly, this recipe makes traditional soft and fluffy challah that is perfect for any festive occasion. Its melt-in-your-mouth texture is sure to impress any guest or eager family member at your Shabbat dinner table. Not only that but the braided shape gives a beautiful presentation to your loaf.
Secondly, this easy challah recipe is accessible to everybody from beginner to experienced bakers. The ingredients are simple to find and the instructions are easy to follow. You don’t need a lot of baking experience to make this delicious bread recipe.
Thirdly, making challah shabbat shabbos bread has been a tradition passed on for generations in Jewish culture as a tradition that connects our heritage from ancient times in each Friday night dinners welcoming Shabbat with warm delicious freshly made Challah. So why not connect yourself with culture and history when you bake?
Lastly, the aroma of freshly baked challah is enough to make you want to start eating before it’s even ready. And when it is ready, just say the hamotzi blessing over it before serving it up hot out of the oven or freshly reheated again.
So whether you’re new to baking or a seasoned veteran in the kitchen looking for a delicious bread recipe for Shabbat dinner or just want to connect back to your heritage and culture, you’ll definitely love this Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need:
Water (2 cups): lukewarm water is essential for activating the yeast. Hot water can kill it, whereas cold water can hinder the yeast growth.
Salt (1 tablespoon): adds flavor to the bread and helps tighten the structure of dough.
Sugar (1/4 cup): feeds the yeast and helps it grow faster. Also gives a slight sweet taste to the challah.
Active Dry Yeast (1 tablespoon): leavens the bread and give it a light texture when used correctly.
Warm Water (1/4 cup): mix 1+¼ cups of warm water with sugar then add 3 teaspoons of active dry yeast in a separate bowl. This mixture will be used later.
Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons): makes the dough anti-stick and it also adds a nice aroma to the bread.
Egg (2 large eggs, 1 egg yolk): added to provide richness to the dough, add color, flavor and draws in moisture by adding fat content. Use them as an egg wash on top of challah for added shine too!
Unsifted All-Purpose Flour (4 cups) – can be replaced with bread flour, but all-purpose flour works great too!
Poppy Seed: optional – for sprinkling over the challah once done baking.
The Recipe How-To
To make this traditional Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread Recipe, you will need:
- 4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water (use if needed to make the dough come together)
- 1 egg for the egg wash
- Poppy seeds for topping (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups of flour.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour and add 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast, followed by 1 and a half teaspoons of salt.
- Mix together the yeast and salt, then add in 3 eggs, adding one at a time. Beat thoroughly after each addition.
- Next, add in sugar and stir until combined.
- Heat up a half-cup of vegetable oil, then pour it into mixture along with warm water. Stir until everything is combined.
- Knead dough on floured surface for about ten minutes, adding additional flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to your hands or work surface.
- Clean out mixing bowl then coat with non-stick spray; put the kneaded dough back into the bowl, cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for two hours or until double in size.
- Once risen, punch down the dough, separate into three strands using either your hands or a sharp knife, then braid together to create traditional soft fluffy Challah, trying to keep it evenly woven throughout.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Add braided loaf onto either oiled baking sheet or baking parchment then let it rise an additional half-hour covered with damp paper towel.
- Mix one egg with one tablespoon of water making your egg wash; brush over the top with any additional desired toppings before placing it in pre-heated oven to bake.
- Bake for about forty-five minutes or until golden brown as well as emitting delicious bread smelling aromas in your home kitchen.
Serve your homemade Challah bread warm with butter and honey or whatever spread you like best!
Substitutions and Variations
Now, when it comes to substitutions and variations for this Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread Recipe, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, while you may be tempted to stray from the recipe and make some substitutions, I strongly recommend sticking as closely as possible to the original ingredients listed.
However, there are a few minor adjustments and variations that you can make that won’t dramatically alter the outcome of your delicious Challah bread.
One easy substitution is switching out the poppy seeds for sesame seeds or nigella seeds. This simple change can add a unique flavor and texture to your bread, without significant changes to the overall taste.
Another variation you can try is adding raisins or currants to your dough before braiding. This creates a sweet and slightly fruity twist on traditional Challah bread.
If you’re looking for a more savory option, try adding a sprinkle of garlic powder or Italian seasoning to your dough before baking. This adds delicious flavor notes and aromatics that will take your Challah bread to the next level.
Finally, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, consider experimenting with different shapes and braids for your Challah. The possibilities are endless when it comes to shaping your dough into intricate designs, but a basic three-strand braid is typical for this traditional Jewish bread.
With these tips in mind, go ahead and feel free to get creative with your Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread Recipe venture while still keeping true to its distinct flavors and textures.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing this traditional soft and fluffy Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread, the options are endless.
Firstly, most people enjoy it sliced thickly and slathered with butter or jam as a sweet breakfast or afternoon snack. It also goes well with a cup of tea or coffee, making it perfect for those lazy, relaxed moments.
Alternatively, you could amp up its savory side by having it with some soup or stew, using it to mop up all that rich and hearty broth. This makes for a decadent meal that will warm your belly during cooler months.
Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread can also be enjoyed on its own, simply as a delightfully comforting snack.
It makes for an impressive addition to any Sabbath table and is often used by families to bring in the Shabbat properly. To enhance this cultural experience, you could try including some traditional Jewish dishes like gefilte fish or chopped liver.
All in all, Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread is a versatile bread that goes well with a variety of pairings – both sweet and savory. Its soft and fluffy texture and unique flavor make it an ideal addition to any meal, especially on those special days when we gather to celebrate with our loved ones.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As someone who loves flavorful and fresh bread, I understand the importance of knowing how to properly store and reheat it. But don’t worry, with this challah shabbat bread recipe, you can have the best of both worlds as it is versatile and easy to make ahead, store and reheat!
Firstly, if you are planning to make the challah shabbos bread ahead of time, simply wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. This will allow the dough to develop even more flavor, while still keeping its freshness.
When it comes time to bake the bread, take it out from the fridge about an hour before baking so that it can come to room temperature. Alternatively, you can also freeze the bread for up to a month by tightly wrapping it in plastic wrap and then placing it in an airtight container. To defrost simply take it out of the container and thaw at room temperature for a few hours.
But what should you do if you have leftovers? No need to worry! You can easily reheat the challah bread slices or loaves by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. This will warm them up without drying them out.
If your preference is reheating them in a toaster or toaster oven, use a lower heat setting so that they lightly toast instead of burn. A sprinkle of poppy seeds before reheating can add a nice crunchiness as well.
Remember that storing this challah shabbat shabbos bread properly is vital for optimal taste and freshness. By following these simple storing and reheating tips, you can always enjoy this traditional soft and fluffy challah bread no matter when or where!
Tips for Perfect Results
As the art of bread baking requires precision and patience, I want to share with you my top tips for getting the perfect Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread every time.
First and foremost, the right measuring of ingredients plays a crucial role in the outcome of your bread. For instance, ensure that you measure the flour properly by spooning it lightly into the cup and leveling it off gently. This technique helps to prevent dense and dry bread.
Another important factor is using the right type of yeast. I recommend using active dry yeast because it provides a gradual rise, allowing the flavors to develop fully. Make sure it is within its expiration date and that your warm water is not too hot to avoid killing the yeast before it even gets to work.
To achieve that traditional soft and fluffy Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread texture, use unsifted all-purpose flour instead of bread flour. All-purpose flour has less protein, which results in a tender crumb.
For an additional touch of flavor and crunchiness, sprinkle poppy seeds on top of your Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread before baking. Not only does this add visual appeal, but also a delicious nutty flavor.
Lastly, invest in a good thermometer to check if your Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread is thoroughly cooked before pulling it out from the oven. The internal temperature should reach around 190°F – 205°F.
With these tips in mind, you are assured of a successful bread-baking experience every time you make Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread. Happy baking!
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy and delicious Challah Shabbat/Shabbos bread recipe, then look no further. This traditional Jewish bread is the perfect addition to any meal, and with its fluffy texture and sweet taste, it’s hard to resist. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is a great way to make homemade Challah that will impress your friends and family.
From the soft and fluffy texture to the poppy seed or sesame seed topping, this recipe promises delicious results every time. The warm water and active dry yeast help create the perfect bread baking environment, making this beautiful Challah an achievable goal for even novice bakers.
By following our tips for perfect results, as well as our make-ahead, storing, reheating, substitions and variations sections, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true Challah expert. And don’t forget about the fun challah shapes tutorial we included in the recipe; the shlissel key challah shape is a real showstopper!
So next time you’re in need of some fresh bread for your Shabbat or Shabbos gathering, try our Challah Shabbat/Shabbos bread recipe. With its rich history and delicious flavor profile, it’s sure to become a staple at your table. Give thanks with the Hamotzi blessing and enjoy your homemade braided Challah. Shabbat shalom!
Challah Shabbat/Shabbos Bread Recipe Recipe
- 3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F.)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg (graded large)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- sesame (optional) or poppy seed (optional)
- Into large bowl, measure 2 cups of the flour. Set aside. Into a blender jar,.
- Pour the water, yeast, and remaining cup of flour. Cover and blend at low speed. Uncover and continue blending while adding the oil, sugar, large egg, and salt. Blend until mixture is smooth.
- Pour batter over the reserved flour. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until a ball of dough forms. Place in a lightly greased bowl turning to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in bulk. Stir down.
- Shape the dough into challas, braided or unbraided. To shape into 2 small braided challas, divide the dough in half. Divide each part into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a long coil of even thickness. Pinch together the tops of all 3 pieces. Start to braid by taking the outer right strip and crossing it over the center strip, bringing it to the center. Then take the outer left strip and cross it over the middle strip, bringing it to the center.
- Repeat the procedure by alternately bringing the right strip to the center until all are braided. Pinch the ends together. Tuck the ends in carefully. Transfer the bread to a greased loaf pan, 9 5/8 x 5 ½ x 2 ¾ inches. Repeat with remaining dough. If you choose to make one large challah, use a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.
- For a round challah, shape the dough round with your cupped hands. Place in greased 9-inch pan (round).
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Beat the remaining egg with the tablespoon of water just to blend. Brush the top of the breads with the egg wash. Sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake for about 40 minutes, until breads are well browned and sound hollowed when tapped with knife handle or spoon. Remove to racks to cool.
Your Own Notes
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Chloe is passionate about creating unique dishes that draw on the flavors of her favorite cultures. She loves experimenting with new ingredients and pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes. Her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious, and she is always eager to share her creations with friends and family.