Not your typical challah

    1 hour 45 min

    Challah is traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath, but this is not your average challah recipe. This challah is embellished with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, garlic and sea salt for a terrific twist on the traditional plaited loaf!

    9 people made this

    Serves: 24 

    • 3 tablespoons dried active baking yeast
    • 600ml (1 pint) warm water (45 degrees C)
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 120ml vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
    • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
    • 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 750g flour, or more if needed
    • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
    • 1 egg, beaten

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr45min 

    1. Mix the yeast, water and sugar together in a large bowl, stir to dissolve the sugar, and let the mixture stand until a creamy layer forms on top, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil, and sprinkle the yeast mixture with 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds, 2 tablespoons of dried onion, 1 tablespoon of dried garlic, garlic granules and onion powder. Add the flour a cup at a time up to 750g, then add more if needed to make an elastic but not sticky dough.
    2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a compact round shape, and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over several times in the bowl to oil the surface of the dough, cover the bowl with a cloth, and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
    3. Line 2 baking trays with parchment. Cut the dough into 2 equal size pieces. To make 3-strand plaited loaves, cut each piece into 3 pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 15cm long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and plait them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left, and move it over the new middle strand. Continue plaiting, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is plaited, and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look. Place the loaves on the prepared baking trays. Cover the loaves, and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
    4. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Mix sesame seeds, sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of dried onion, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried garlic in a small bowl. Brush the loaves with beaten egg, and sprinkle with the seed mixture.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven until the loaves are cooked through and golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness after 45 minutes of baking time.

    Freezing note

    This challah freezes extremely well after baking. I always freeze it, even what I bake on Thursday nights for use on Friday! It preserves the freshness so well.

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    Reviews in English (9)


    I put in some whole wheat flour in place of some of the bread flour, and used 1/2 cup honey in place of the sugar. Realistically, this makes 3 or 4 loaves, not just 2! Great taste! I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the salt in the topping! I braided both loaves differently, for variety's sake! I'll be making this again!  -  10 Dec 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Delish! First time ever making a braided bread and I'm so happy with the results. It was light and fluffy and sweet.  -  22 Nov 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I used my bread machine to mix the dough and it was pretty tricky since it was overflowing, but I'm glad I did it! I let it cycle through the dough setting while following the directions until Step 2 when I took it out and let it rise in a huge bowl. My loaves looked like they came from a fancy bakery! I love the way the inside is twisted and has an airy texture. I'm going to make it again and serve it with veggie cream cheese!  -  31 Oct 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)