Challah

Challah

Recipe for a perfect soft homemade challah. This recipe makes a perfect overnight challah. You can cover the kneaded dough in the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge overnight, and in the morning, wrap it and bake it for breakfast.

What country does challah come from?
Challah comes from Jewish cuisine and is traditionally a type of savory bread with symbolic meaning. However, in Polish cuisine it has been modified into a sweet baked bread often sprinkled with crumble (and we call this Chałka Drożdżowa). Nowadays, we can buy such sweet challah in any bakery or supermarket. Unfortunately, they are often made from a mold and not woven. They taste more like a roll than a buttery cake with a characteristic structure that tears perfectly. The crumble on store bought challah is usually almost just flour, and there is very little of it. That’s why it’s better baking challah at home.

What is challah made of?
To prepare challah we need flour, milk, butter, sugar, egg and yeast.

How many eggs for challah?
We add only 1 egg to the dough made of 500 g of flour, but we need one more egg to brush the challah before baking. Thanks to this, the crumble will stick to the challah better and the surface of the challah will be shiny after baking.

What flour can challah be made from?
Challah is prepared from wheat flour. I bake challah with all-purpose flour type 405-500, but you can also use bread flour or type 550 flour, which is best for yeast dough.

How to make challah crumble?
The crumble is made from flour, cold butter and sugar in proportions of 2:1:1. It is a good idea to cut the butter into small pieces to make your work easier. The crumble is best kneaded with your hands and it takes a maximum of 2-3 minutes. All ingredients must be combined and the crumble should be in the form of larger and smaller pieces.

How long does challah take to bake?
Bake one challah with 500 g of flour for approx. 35-40 minutes without convection. If you make two or three challah from the same amount of dough, they will probably bake faster. The thicker the challah, the longer it will take to bake.

Can you eat warm challah?
It is best to cut the challah only when it has cooled down. Thanks to this, the challah will be fully baked in the middle. The larger the challah, the longer it will cool.

How to store challah?
Challah is best on the same day. To keep it fresh and not let it dry out, wrap it tightly in paper or put it in an airtight container.

How to wrap challah?
We wrap the challah like a braid (Dutch), i.e.:

How to Braid Challah
  • Form 3 equal-sized rolls from the dough (1, 2, 3).
  • Glue the rollers together with their ends on top.
  • Always wrap the braid by passing the middle roller over the roller next to it, alternating.
  • First, place the middle roller (2) over the right roller (3). Now the right roller (3) becomes the middle roller.
  • Then place the middle roller (3) over the left roller (1). Now the left roller (1) becomes the middle roller.
  • Place the middle roller (1) over the right roller (2) again.
  • Then place the middle roller (2) over the left roller (3).
  • Alternate the rollers until you run out of dough.
  • Finally, glue the three ends of the rollers together and tuck them underneath.
  • The challah is ready.

What to do with stale challah?
Challah tastes best fresh, but if you have some challah left on the second or third day and you don’t know what to do with it, it’s not as tasty anymore but it’s a shame to throw it away, prepare French toast with challah! Just dip the slices in beaten egg with a splash of milk and fry them in a pan on both sides. Such challah toasts taste great with jam, fruit, Nutella or cheese, e.g. cream or mascarpone.

How many kcal does one piece of challah have?
The given proportions will give us one large challah weighing approximately 1 kg and having an energy value of 3314 kcal. This challah will yield approximately 20 thick slices. One piece of challah has approximately 166 kcal.

Challah contains gluten.
Read the step-by-step recipe on how to prepare Polish Chałka (Challah) and watch the video below the recipe.
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Challah

Challah (Polish Chałka)

Fresh challah with butter or jam is a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. Delicious sweet, buttery braid-shaped bread with lots of crumble. Perfect for Sunday breakfast.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Baking 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfasts, Snacks
Cuisine Jewish, Polish
Servings 1 challah
Calories 3314 kcal

Challah Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

Leaven

  • 250 ml milk (luke warm)
  • 20 g fresh yeast (or about 7 g dry ones)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour

Dough

  • 500 g folur
  • 60 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g butter (melted)
  • salt

Crumble

  • 50 g flour
  • 25 g sugar
  • 25 g butter (cold)
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)

Additionally

  • 1 egg (to spread on the challah)

Instructions
 

Leaven

  • Pour lukewarm milk into a bowl, add crushed yeast, sugar and flour. Mix and cover. Leave to rise for about 10 minutes.
    250 ml milk, 20 g fresh yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp flour
    Preparing the leaven - adding milk

Dough

  • Sift the flour, add sugar, egg and salt to the risen leaven. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes with a mixer (use a dough hook). After 10 minutes, slowly add melted butter and knead for another 10 minutes. Cover the kneaded butter and leave it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour or put it in the fridge overnight.
    500 g folur, 60 g sugar, 1 egg, 60 g butter, salt
    Kneading yeast dough with a hook
  • Knead the risen dough with your hands and divide it into 3 equal parts. Form a roll from each part (if you want to make 2 small challah rolls instead of 1 large one, form 6 rolls). Glue the rolls together at one end and make a braid out of them (see how to do it in the video below), then glue the rolls together at the other end of the braid. Cover the braided challah and set aside to rise for 20-30 minutes.
    How to wrap challah in a braid

Crumble

  • Pour the flour, sugar and cold butter cut into pieces into a bowl. Knead by hand until the ingredients are combined. You should get both larger lumps and loose crumbles.
    50 g flour, 25 g sugar, 25 g butter, 1 pinch salt
    Preparation of crumble for challah

Baking

  • Brush the risen challah with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with crumble. Bake in an oven preheated to conventional heating356 °F (180 °C) for approx. 35 minutes. Wait for the challah to cool before sliceing it. Enjoy your meal!
    1 egg
    Spreading with a beaten egg and sprinkling the challah with crumbles

Video

Watch how to make homemade challah (Polish Chałka) step by step video.
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Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 331kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 54g (18%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 5g (33%)Trans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 54mg (18%)Sodium: 33mg (1%)Potassium: 125mg (4%)Fiber: 2g (7%)Sugar: 11g (12%)Vitamin A: 302IU (6%)Vitamin C: 0mgVitamin D: 1µg (4%)Vitamin E: 0mg (2%)Vitamin K: 1µg (1%)Calcium: 48mg (5%)Iron: 3mg (16%)Manganese: 0mg (20%)Magnesium: 17mg (4%)Zinc: 1mg (5%)Folic Acid: 86µg

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Have you made this recipe?Show it off and add a photo in the comments!

Challah

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