Shabbat Challah

    1 hour 30 min

    My Shabbat Challah is something out of this world. I made it up on my own, because the ones I tasted, I just didn't like. Try it you will love it!! This can make 6 regular sized loaves, or two large plaited loaves.

    133 people made this

    Serves: 60 

    • 3 tablespoons dried active baking yeast
    • 1L warm water
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 250ml vegetable oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 1.5kg plain flour
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract
    • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

    1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Stir in the salt, sugar, oil and 4 eggs until well blended. Gradually mix in the flour. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough underneath the bowl to rise until double. Or, you can place the dough in the bowl, and cover with a towel.
    2. Punch down the dough, and divide into 6 or 8 even pieces depending on what shape you want. Remember to take a small piece off and make a blessing (Jewish law). Roll the pieces into ropes. Plait into two loaves, or one really big 6 piece plait - but only if your oven is large enough. Or, you can make the spiral shape challahs out of each rope. Tuck the ends under, and place on a baking tray to rise until your finger leaves a small dent when you gently poke the bread.
    3. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Whisk together the remaining egg, water and vanilla sugar. Brush over the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
    4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bread is deep golden brown. Wrap the small piece of dough that was blessed in aluminium foil, and burn in the oven as an offering while the other loaves are baking.

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    Reviews in English (100)


    This is a fabulous recipe. I tried the other Challah I recipe first because it had more reviews, but then I decided to try this one because of the shorter prep time. This one is definitely moister and more flavorful, which is especially good considering it takes less time. I did add a few swirls of honey and used poppy seeds instead of sesame seeds, but other than that I followed the recipe. This recipe does make A LOT of dough. I ended up with two huge braided loaves (did the 6-braid). Next time I think I'll cut it in thirds to have three more managable loaves. Great recipe; even my in-laws (who grew up with homemade challah) loved it.  -  04 Jan 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    THis is a great recipe, and the idea of vanilla with the glaze on top is cool. As someone experienced with Jewish law, may I please offer a correction, though: Regarding the Challah offering - THis is a praiseworthy custom in place to keep in practice for the actual "Challah" portion given to our Cohanim in the Temple of Jerusalem (going back 2,000 years and we still do it). They worked, we fed them. Here are a couple of parameters for nowadays, when the Cohanim are kind of "unemployed" in the old sense: THere is a minmum amount of flour needed for this, as follows - about 3 lbs for taking off without a blessing, and about 5 lbs to say a blessing. For the words of this blessing contact This can actually be done for almost any type of dough! To dispose of it, because it is considered unusable and technically not kosher, one cannot burn it where the challh is baking, but where there is nothing being cooked, such as straight over a flame on your burner or under the broiler, later. (Temporarily shut off your smoke alarm!) Alternatively, some Rabbis allow you to double-wrap the dough (which doesn't have to be a lot; can be as small as a large olive) and then throw it out. Here's my favorite part: THis is one of the 3 Mitzvas specially handed to women, and our power of prayer is very great, so, just as we can pray for our families, ill people, etc at candle lighting time for the Sabbath, we can pray when we are taking the Challah portion. It becomes very spiritual.  -  14 Jan 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is an EXCELLENT recipe. I did make a few changes though so I'll list those before I tell you what I liked about this recipe. I cut down the sugar to only two tablespoons for a less sugary challah. I also used only a third cup of vegetable oil and used only 3 eggs but omitted the yolks. My challah was very soft and moist, almost velvety on the inside, with just a slight crunch on the outside. I made this into one large 6 braid challah and brushed with only egg. Then I dipped my finger in water, then into the sesame seeds and gave each segment a roll of sesame for a more even look. Overall this was SUPERB and I have already been asked to make it for a baker friend of mine who wants to feature it in her bakery!  -  13 Jun 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)