Jewish Bread Machine Challah Recipe

Challah Bread with Sesame Seeds
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  • 105 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 challah (16 servings)
Ratings (10)

This bread machine challah recipe is adapted from "The Artisan Bread Machine" by Judith Fertig (Robert Rose Inc., 2011).

Author Fertig says, the 10-day September holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins the New Year in the Jewish calendar and ends with a fast day on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. When the fast is over, families gather to feast on foods made with honey (to signify sweetness in the coming year) and foods that are round (to signify a year with no endings).

The directions are for a 2-pound challah that can be baked in a bread machine or oven.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 large egg yolk (beaten)
  • 1 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil (vegetable)
  • 4 2/3 cups flour (bread)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast (instant or bread-machine)
  • 1 large egg (beaten for egg wash)
  • Optional: sesame or poppy seeds

How to Make It

  1. Add salt, egg, egg yolk, water, honey, and oil to the bread pan. Spoon flour on top of the liquid. Add yeast.
  2. Select the Basic/White or Sweet cycle and the Light Crust setting and press Start.
  3. At the start of the final rise, press Pause. Remove dough from bread pan, transfer to a floured surface and punch down gently.
  4. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each third into a 10-inch long rope. Lay the three ropes out parallel to each other on a floured surface so they are very close, but not touching. Braid ropes together snugly. Tuck ends under to form an oblong loaf.
  1. Brush braid with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired, pressing the seeds into the dough.
  2. Remove kneading paddle(s) from bread pan. Place braid in pan and press Start to continue the cycle.
  3. The machine will tell you when the bread is done. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Variations

For Oven-Baked Braided Challah

  1. Prepare above recipe through step 1, then select Dough cycle and press Start. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When cycle is finished, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and punch down gently.
  2. Divide dough into thirds and continue as in steps 3 and 4, above. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Heat oven to 350 F. Egg wash bread as in step 5, above. 
  3. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F—about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

For Oven-Baked Round Challah

  1. Prepare above recipe through step 1, then select Dough cycle and press Start. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When the cycle is finished, transfer dough to a floured surface, punch down gently and form into a round loaf.
  2. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Heat oven to 350 F. Egg wash bread as in step 5, above.
  3. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F—about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.