Challah bread, the traditional Jewish or braided bread

The seventh day of the week, as the Jewish and Christian religion says, is the day of rest, the day on which, after creation, God rested. In the case of the Jewish religion this day is Saturday. It is a day marked on the calendar and begins with the blessing of the bread. Challah bread is prepared in different ways depending on the celebration for which it is made. The traditional way is braided as we are going to prepare it in this recipe. Each of the arms of the braid signifies truth, justice and peace. Challah is really the piece of bread that was cut and had to be left to the priests or to the poor. It symbolizes and remembers that you always have to give others something, that you have to share with others.

For the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the new year, the Challah bread is made in a circular shape and this means continuity, it is like a tribute to the cycle of the year. From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur (the most important holiday of the year) there are ten days in which you can still change what fate brings and that is why it also symbolizes that you have ten days to change the fate of each. On the first Saturday of Easter, some Jews prepare the Challah bread in the shape of a key, it is known as Shlissel Challah. Easter remembers the stay in the desert in Egypt and the odyssey that the Jews lived to get out of there. The shape of a key symbolizes that the key to the destiny of each one is held by the Lord. Challah bread is not made with dairy because of Kashrut law or Jewish law that says that dairy foods and meats cannot be mixed in the same meal. The seeds that are sprinkled once the Challah bread is painted symbolize the manna that fed the Jews during their 40-year flight from Egypt through the desert. The truth is that preparing this type of recipe is very enriching because in addition to learning to cook new things, you learn the history and traditions of other cultures or religions and it is something truly spiritual.

recipe information

    • Preparation time: 4 hours
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
    • Servings: 10
    • Category: cake shop
    • Cuisine type: bean
    • Calories: 237 kcal per serving

Challah bread ingredients for 10 people

    • 500 g of flour of force
    • 250g of water
    • 1 egg
    • 45g honey
    • 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil
    • 25 g fresh yeast
    • Chia or sesame seeds
    • ½ teaspoon salt

To paint the bread:

    • 1 beaten egg
    • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for making challah bread

How to make challah bread

To make the Challah bread, the first thing we will do is warm up some water and mix it with the extra virgin olive oil.

Temper water and oil to make the dough for Challah bread

Add the yeast, honey and egg and beat together so that the yeast is completely dissolved.

Add the egg, honey and yeast to the robot to make the dough for the Challah breadThe next step will be to incorporate the flour and salt and knead for a few minutes. If we do it by hand we will knead it until everything is well mixed and without lumps. If we knead it with the help of a robot with 1-2 minutes in kneading mode it will be enough.

Add the flour and knead to make the Challah breadTransfer the dough to a bowl and cover it with film and a cloth. A good place to rest the dough is inside the oven that is turned off. It is a good place free of currents and with a stable temperature. Let the dough rest for about 2 hours.

Let the dough rest for two hours to make the Challah bread

Once the resting time of the Challah bread dough has elapsed, we take the dough out to a smooth and floured surface where we will remove the air and knead it a little.

Put the dough for the Challah bread on a smooth floured surface and remove the airCut the dough into three equal pieces and give them a little elongated shape and let them rest for about 15 minutes covered with film and a cloth.

Divide the challa dough into three equal portions and let rise againOnce the resting time has passed, the three portions will have doubled in size. We knead and lengthen the three portions in such a way that the ends are a little thinner and we place them to make a braid with them. This is how we will give our Challah bread a braided shape.

Roll out the portions of dough for the Challah bread and arrange to make a braidWe form the braid from the middle to the ends and bring the ends together on each side so that the braid does not open. We place it in the baking dish on a parchment paper and cover it again (with another parchment paper and a cloth) and let it rest for about 30 minutes in a draft-free place.

Place the braided challah dough on a baking tray, cover and rest for 30 minutes.When there are 5 minutes left to rest the dough in a glass, mix the beaten egg, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt to paint the Challah bread. Sprinkle the painted bread with chia seeds or with sesame (to taste). Preheat the oven to 180 ºC-200 ºC in the top and bottom heat position. We put the bread at a medium height and leave it for about 15-20 minutes, until we see that the dough is golden.

Brush with egg and sprinkle chia seeds on the braided Challah bread before bakingWhen the Challah bread is done, take it out and let it cool on a rack without the parchment paper at room temperature. We enjoyed the bread accompanying the meal.

Final presentation of Challah bread

Easy preparation summary

    1. Temper water and oil
    1. Add the egg, honey and yeast
    1. Add the flour and knead
    1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours to double its size
    1. Roll out the dough on a smooth floured surface and divide into three equal portions.
    1. Cover the portions with film and a cloth for 15 minutes
    1. Stretch the portions and place them crossed to form a braid
    1. Form the braid from the middle to each end and bring the ends together so that the braid does not open
    1. Let the Challa bread rest for 30 minutes in a baking dish with parchment paper and cover with another parchment paper and a cloth in a place that is free of drafts
    1. Uncover the braided Challah bread and paint with the mixture of beaten egg, extra virgin olive oil and salt
    1. Sprinkle the Challah bread painted with chia seeds, sesame… to taste
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC and put the Challah bread with heat up and down for 15-20 minutes
    1. Remove the bread and let it cool on a wire rack without the parchment paper.
    1. Enjoy the bread accompanying the meal