In the Jewish tradition, challah is served on the Sabbath. Since the first meals of the Sabbath typically contain meat, the challah is made without dairy, although recipes containing butter can be found.
Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 3 hours 55 minutes
- ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. warm water
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 3½ tsp. active dry yeast (2 packages)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- In a large bowl combine ½ cup water, honey, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in all-purpose flour, oil, 2 eggs, egg white, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface, divide into 3 equal portions, and form a 3-strand braid. Place onto prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Brush gently onto the top of the risen loaf, and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.