Honey Challah

Challah is the centerpiece for Jewish observance of Shabbat.  Typically two loaves of challah are made.  They represent the manna that fell from the heavens to feed the Israelites when they wandered in the desert for 40 years after their mass exodus from Egypt.

Shabbat begins just before sunset on Friday evening and lasts until three stars appear in the sky on Saturday night.  There are three traditional meals eaten.  One on Friday night, Saturday morning and late Saturday afternoon.  The focus is to sing songs, learn the Torah and discuss that week's portion of scripture.

Whatever your religious observances are, this honey challah is perfect for making french toast.  This might become a weekly family tradition where we explain to my son the significance of Jesus, spend quality family time together and have french toast!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 

  • 1-1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F
  • /45 degrees C)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)
Egg Wash: 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of milk.

    1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, 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 damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
    2. 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 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
    3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired. 
    5. Cover the challah with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Then remove the tin foil and allow the challah to brown for 15 minutes.  Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.


    1. PERFECT challah...one of my favorite breads! Enjoy the holidays...a challah French toast would make any day a celebration!

    2. Beautiful Bread!
      Have a great day.
      Always, Queenie


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