We swiped this awesome recipe from Mayim Bialik. She is pretty much the coolest lady ever, so we feel okay about it. Also. THIS CHALLAH IS FLIPPIN' AMAZING. Read the whole recipe before you get started, stuff gets crazy! But like good crazy, you can handle it.
☐ WARM WATER • 1/4 cup
☐ ACTIVE RISE YEAST • 1 tsp
☐ FLOUR • 3 cups
☐ SUGAR • 6 tsp (divided)
☐ SALT • ¾ teaspoon
☐ CANOLA OIL • ⅛ cup
☐ BAKING SODA • ⅔ cup
+ EXTRA FLOUR FOR KNEADING AND BRAIDING
CHALLAH BAKIN' SCHEDULE (30 MINUTE prep)
20 MINUTE prep
1 1/2 HOURS first rise
20 MINUTES braiding
15 MINUTES baking soda bath
30-35 MINUTES oven time
2 medium sized challahs
- In a medium glass bowl and combine yeast, 1½ tsp. sugar and ¼ cup lukewarm water. Leave it alone until it gets foamy, about 6-10 minutes.
- In another big bowl, toss in the remaining 4½ tsp. sugar, 1 cup water, kosher salt and oil. Whisk.
- Add the yeast mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing well. Slowly add your flour. Knead until a smooth, satiny dough forms. About 5-7 minutes.
- Place your dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp dish towel and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- Dump your dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If your dough is super sticky, you can knead in more flour, a little shake at a time, until it’s easy to work with.
- BRAIDING TIME! Divide dough into 6 equal balls and roll each into a long strand. Braid 3 strands of dough into a challah loaf, for a total of two challahs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a pot with a wide opening, bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil. Gently and carefully, lower one challah into the baking soda solution. Using two wooden spoons or spatulas, carefully turn the challah so both sides get equally covered in the water, or bathe the top with spoonfuls of the solution. Remove after 30 seconds and place back on the parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the other challah. *If this messes with your braid, it’s cool, just pinch it back together after you take it out.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each challah with some water from the pot and then top with salt and/or sesame seeds. Bake until challah starts to brown, about 30 minutes.
- Mayim recommended that this challah is best eaten warm on the day it’s made - the outer crust can get hard the next day. She also said you can dip in additional pretzel salt or kosher salt and add sesame seeds, and serve with mustard.
We highly recommend the mustard suggestion!!!
Then take a picture of your challah, post it on social media. TAG #ChallahHub
EAT MORE CHALLAH
Bringing your challah to a dinner party? Never cover a hot challah! It’ll get soggy and sad. Transport uncovered on someone’s lap (we call this person the Guardian of the Challah), or wait until it totally cools, then wrap in foil.
Don't want to make it yourself? Order one from us (in Los Angeles) and we'll deliver it!