Challah 3 Ways

If you are a frequent visitor of this site then you have noticed multiple recipes from my friend Mira Martinez. She is an amazing cook who has introduced me to some great recipes that I might not have tried otherwise. (coconut milk chicken and quinoa salad are just two of the many unique dishes that I sampled at her shabbat table!) Regardless of whether she is having a mexican themed meal or trying indian cuisine, her challah is always the same recipe and it’s a classic. It is slightly sweet with a soft cake like texture and it’s been the death of many of my diets.

She makes it 3 ways, as long challah, as rolls, and sometimes as breakaway challah by forming rolls and baking them in a bundt pan. She got the recipe from her friend Yocheved Freeman who was kind enough to let us repost it here on KITK. Trust me when I say, this is going to be a staple at your future Shabbat meals.

Ingredients:
5 Tbs. yeast
5 c. warm water
3 Tbs. sugar
Combine and let sit 10-15 min. or until it bubbles.
5 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 scant Tbs. salt
5 lb. + 1 c. high-gluten flour (comes in a 6-lb. bag)

Directions:
Combine the 5 Tbs. yeast, 5 c. warm water and 3 Tbs. sugar and let sit 10-15 min. or until it bubbles.
Then add the 5 eggs, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 c. oil, 3 scant Tbs. salt, 5 lb. + 1 c. high-gluten flour (comes in a 6-lb. bag) Then Knead or mix with bread mixer. After cover with a towel and let rise 2-3 hours, punching down from time to time. Shape loaves and after shaping the loaves, you should brush them with a beaten egg. Once they are shaped, bake at ‘380 for 17 minutes then switch trays between top and bottom racks and turn them around. Lower heat to 350 and bake an additional 9-10 min.

~ This is Yocheved Freeman’s recipe, submitted by Mira Martinez.

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16 thoughts on “Challah 3 Ways”

  • Mira wrote the following:

    “I use active dry yeast. It looks like granules.

    By bread mixer, I mean a powerful stand mixer, such as a Kitchenaid or Bosch or Magic Mill. I do not own one, and I knead the dough by hand. But you could use any mixer (with a dough hook) that is capable of handling up to 6 or 7 lbs. of flour.”

  • I am attempting half the recipe — seems like it’s not such a good idea because the moisture is not enough for that amt of flour, I guess it’s not really scalable?? Any idea why not? I only added flour to the point that it seemed to absorb. Still rising….

  • The challah is baking!!! Was great recipe, I’m sure I followed it! But I have a container of flour still hmmmm… was really a tough dough but when I went to roll it out, was really nice to work with. The smell is great!!

  • Mira replied with the following:

    “I make 8 large loaves with this recipe, but some people only get 6 or 7. I do a four-braid challah.

    I don’t use a mixer. I do it by hand. However, my friend Yocheved uses a Bosch comfort plus mixer (I think).

    I have never tried to scale the recipe. Sorry I can’t help there.”

  • This is a great recipe, thank you so much. It was my second time making challah and it was a big hit. My husband loves it, I have to keep him away from them all week long just so that we have enough for shabbos.

    I have one question though, when i follow the recipe exactly the dough is very sticky and i end up adding more flour. At one point i didn’t want to add any more even though the dough was still sticky bc i thought it would it mess it up and once it rose the dough wasn’t sticky anymore and was very easy to work with. I wanted to know if the dough is supposed to be very sticky at first or should i be adding more flour?
    Also have you tried to make it with whole wheat flour, does it come out the same?
    Thank you so much, its so yummy!!

  • I always put in a full 5-lb bag of high-gluten flour. Then, before I turn it out on the counter to start kneading, I pour maybe a cup or two of whole wheat flour on the counter to help with the stickiness. I add more whole-wheat flour as needed. I’m not sure how much more I add, but I don’t let it get too sticky. By the time I’m done kneading, it’s usually not sticky at all.

    Before I put it back in the bowl to rise, I pour a few tablespoons of oil into the bowl and when I put the dough in I flip it over a few times so that it gets coated with oil. Then I put a towel over it and place it on the stovetop while I warm the oven to about 190 degrees. I think this helps it rise.

    Also, when it’s done rising and I am rolling it out to form the loaves, I also keep a little whole wheat flour on hand to combat any stickiness. At this point it usually doesn’t need much flour.

    I really like the mix of white and whole-wheat flour.

    Glad you like the recipe!

    ~ Mira Martinez

  • I was thinking 5 cup water to flour ratio is high.. That’s why sticky.

    To sub honey I would half the amount if you want equal sweetness.

    • To braid a four-strand challah, you lay out the strands and pinch them together at the top so they are fanned out at the bottom. From right to left, we can call the strands 1, 2, 3 and 4. Take strand 1 (on the far right) and put it over strand 2, under strand 3, over strand 4. Now take the current right-most strand (the strand formerly known as strand 2), and do the same operation (from right to left, take it over, under, over). Keep doing this with each new right-most strand until you get to the bottom. Then pinch the strands together and you’re done.

      There might also be some videos on Youtube showing this. Good luck!

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