Challah is rich in symbolism concerning the daily manna God provided for the Israelites during their years in the desert.
It is typical for Jewish people to consume Challah Bread on the Sabbath, which is Friday night and Saturday lunch, and on unique, holy festivals like the New Year when the challah is formed into an oval loaf with honey and sultanas for a sweet and round new year!
A bread machine can help you make classic Jewish challah, a golden-yellow, eggy, soft, and only slightly sweet yeast bread. This is a dairy-free variation.
Why Should Use A Bread Machine for Challah
Challah is a centuries-old Jewish Sabbath bread. It’s a loaf of bread that’s really tender and slightly sweet. Its color and flavor are derived from eggs and honey.
This bread-making machine challah is a real treat. Using a bread machine, it is pretty simple to prepare challah dough! It is deliciously moist challah with a heavenly flavor.
Ingredients and alternatives for Challah made in a bread machine:
- Water: We keep a gallon of spring water in the house solely for baking bread. Chlorine and yeast do not get along. If you do not have access to spring water, tap water will suffice. That is what we have been doing for years.
- EGGS: Opt for the extra-large size. Kindly maintain room temperature.
- Honey: If you do not have honey, substitute sugar. We altered it lately and enjoy how the honey makes the bread moister and less sugary.
- Salt: You may use either table salt or sea salt. 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt may be substituted.
Bread flour: In the past, we’ve made this recipe with all-purpose unbleached flour. It came out fine, but we prefer the texture and rise of bread flour. Weigh your flour if possible. At a minimum, avoid scooping flour with your measuring cup. You’re almost sure to add too much.
BREAD MACHINE OR INSTANT YEAST: Instant yeast (the same thing as bread-machine yeast) is a rapid-acting yeast. It will take off like a shot.
You might also use active dry yeast in place of the dried yeast. It is not required to dissolve it and wait, but you may do so if you choose. Because it is slower to absorb, I recommend adding 1/4 tsp additional yeast.
Vegetable oil: Avocado oil is our preferred vegetable oil for this bread, but corn or canola oil works well.
You may have noticed that the instructions state that you should add the oil around a minute after starting your machine. We believe it works better and results in a more pleasing texture. If you forget and add all the ingredients at once, this is quite normal. Everything will be OK. Carry on as usual.
Toppings that can be used with Challah
While we adore challah bread in its original form, we occasionally alter the recipe by adding a few additional ingredients to the dough. Given that this recipe yields two loaves, we’ll take one and top it with a few chocolate chips as a treat for our family.
Additional toppings for your challah dough include the following:
- Kosher salt
- Dried fruit (apricots, cranberries)
How To Make Bread Machine Challah
Bread Machine Challah, a classic Jewish bread, is quick and easy to prepare in a bread machine. This recipe is dairy-free and honey-sweetened. Do not be startled when you deliver this bread to the table and receive numerous oohs and ahs.
This recipe is taken from the Bread-Machine Challah recipe in Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway’s fantastic paperback, More Bread Machine Magic.
- Combine all ingredients except the oil.
- Commence the DOUGH cycle. After one minute, add the oil.
- After 10-15 minutes, the dough should pull away from the sides.
- Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky to peel away cleanly.
- This dough is fantastic!!!
- Once the DOUGH cycle is complete and the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface.
- Knead many times and form into a ball.
- Use your fingers to push the dough into a flat circle shape, gently squishing the bubbles.
- Cover the created Challah with a tea towel and allow it to double in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F approximately 20 minutes before baking the bread.
- Braid the dough using the three- or four-braid method described above.
- Brush the entire loaf with egg wash (as shown below) and position the oven rack in the lower center—Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the loaf after 10-15 minutes, if necessary, to prevent it from browning too much.
- Allow the Challah to cool completely on a wire rack. For at least an hour, refrain from slicing.
- Remove out a wire rack and serve. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl, whisk or mix the egg yolk, water, and salt.
While Challah is simple to prepare, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you always have the perfect Challah bread!
- Avoid skipping the egg wash. It helps the dough retain moisture and gives it the gorgeous golden and glossy exterior that Challah is famous for.
- If you prefer a more eggy bread, simply add an egg yolk to the recipe without making other adjustments.
- If it starts to brown too quickly, cover it with foil. Try lowering the baking rack in the oven next time.
- Allow at least one hour for Challah to cool on a rack before slicing. When slicing it, use a serrated knife to avoid ripping the bread.
- Avoid rushing the procedure; your outcomes will suffer as a result. Be patient; it will be well worth it.
What To Accompany Challah Bread
There are countless ways to serve and consume Challah bread. We like to slice it up and do it with a schmear of butter and homemade orange marmalade for breakfast in our household.
We’ll cut some great thick slices for lunch and dinner and top them with thinly sliced beef brisket and red cabbage slaw for the ultimate sandwich!
Storing Leftover Bread Machine Challah
Challah tends to get stale rapidly because of the high honey and fat content, while the eggs help keep it fresh.
After a few days, if you have any leftovers, you can create some excellent French toast, bread pudding, or a breakfast casserole on subsequent days in the air fryer or the oven!
If you want to freeze this recipe, double-wrap the baked bread. Wrap the item in plastic wrap and then place it in a plastic bag or fasten it with foil. Keeps for around a month.
FAQ about Bread Machine Challah
Challah is a typical parve loaf made without the use of dairy products. Substitute oil for butter. Both egg bread and Challah include a large number of eggs.
Brioche is comparable to brioche in that it has a soft, sweet, and delicate texture, but it contains an abundance of butter.
Yes. Using a stand mixer or by hand, combine and knead the dough.
A bread machine’s advantage is that it automatically combines and kneads the dough for the exact amount of time required—no more concerns about kneading too little or too much.
Yes. Twist two ropes together. Alternatively, shape the bread into a ball or oblong shape. You could even make a Challah loaf by filling a loaf pan. While it will not be typical, the flavor and texture should be fantastic.
You should avoid this at all costs because the flavor will be too yeasty, and the texture will not be light and airy.
Do not omit the egg wash. It’s critical to achieve the lovely gloss that distinguishes Challah.
The most accurate technique is to utilize a rapid-read thermometer. When gently inserted into the center of the loaf, it should read between 200 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bread makers with experience can tell by the hollow sound produced when tapping the bottom of the loaf.
Yes. In your bread machine, prepare the dough. Remove it and shape it after the DOUGH cycle. Cover and place in the refrigerator immediately.
Remove the formed dough from the refrigerator a couple of hours before baking and allow it to come to room temperature. Bake in a preheated oven until the dough is puffy.
Egg Wash Glaze
Combine all ingredients except the oil.
Commence the DOUGH cycle. After one minute, add the oil.
After 10-15 minutes, the dough should pull away from the sides.
Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too sticky to peel away cleanly.
This dough is fantastic!!!
Once the DOUGH cycle is complete and the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a floured surface.
Knead many times and form into a ball.
Use your fingers to push the dough into a flat circle shape, gently squishing the bubbles.
Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
Braid the dough using the three- or four-braid method described above.
Brush beat egg over braid and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, pushing the seeds into the dough, if preferred. Set aside and cover. Let rise until almost double. Glaze and bake in a pre-heated oven.
Allow the Challah to cool completely on a wire rack. For at least an hour, refrain from slicing.
Remove out a wire rack and serve. Enjoy!
Compared to other white bread, challah has a high proportion of eggs, contributing to its distinctive pale yellow color. It is renowned for its soft, spongy feel and an egg-washed, lustrous outer crust. Jewish women frequently gather to bake challah and braid the dough together. Once you’ve mastered the braiding method, this exceptional occasion bread will be enjoyed by everybody.
Let us know if you enjoy it and share your own bread pictures and customs with us!