Beautiful three-strand braided loaves of easy challah bread are light, soft and fluffy, with a golden brown crust. Rich in flavour and slightly sweet.
- 6 grams active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 240 grams water (1 cup)
- 40 grams liquid honey (2 tablespoons)
- 50 grams vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
- 2 large eggs, beaten and divided (1 egg is for egg wash)
- 500 grams all purpose flour (4 cups)
- 6 grams salt (1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
Prepare the Dough (first rise):
- In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water and whisk in honey, oil and one beaten egg. The mixture should start to bubble and develop a yeasty aroma.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix well until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
- Knead the dough on a clean surface for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball. Transfer the dough back into the bowl and coat with a little bit of oil to prevent it from drying out. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Braid the Challah (second rise):
- Punch down on the dough to deflate it completely and roll it into a log. Divide the log into 6 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope, about 1-inch thick. (This recipe is for making two 3-strand braided challah. You could also make one 6-strand challah).
- Place three ropes side by side on a lightly floured surface and pinch them together at the top to seal.
- Braid the three strands together by alternating the right strand over the middle strand and the left strand over the middle strand. Continue the pattern, alternating between the right and left strands until it reaches the ends. Pinch the ends together to seal.
- Repeat the same steps with the second challah.
- Place both challah spaced a few inches apart on a half sheet baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Cover with plastic cling wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes depending on the room temperature.
Bake the Challah:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Brush a generous amount of egg wash (beaten egg) evenly over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The egg wash adds shine and creates a beautiful golden crust during baking.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
- Let the challah bread cool down to room temperature before slicing, about 30 minutes.
How to store: Store challah in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
How to freeze: You can also freeze challah in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator or kitchen counter.
How to reheat: To reheat refrigerator or frozen challah that has been thawed, place in the air fryer or oven at 300 F for 5-10 minutes. You can also cut into slices and toast in the toaster or toaster oven.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes (+1 hour 45 minutes rise time)
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Jewish
Keywords: easy challah bread, how to make challah, three braided-challah, how to braid challah, vegetarian challah bread,