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Spin the wheel

Challah

  • 600ml (1 pint) warm water (45 C)
  • 1 tablespoon dried active baking yeast
  • 7 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1kg (2 1/4 lb) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs and salt. Add the flour in small amounts, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a clean damp cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 4cm (1 1/2 in) in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and plait from middle.
  • Grease two baking trays and place a finished plait on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5.
  • Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each plait. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.