Making homemade Challah bread serves as great quarantine activity By Chelsea strober '21

All photos by Chelsea Strober '21

Now that we are getting closer to the two-month mark of our time in quarantine, finding ways to keep occupied without being in school, seeing friends and doing many of the other things that used to be part of our daily lives is becoming increasingly difficult. Baking is definitely a fun and tasty way to pass the time, and now is a better time than ever to try some new recipes. Below I have provided a recipe for Challah: a braided bread that is traditionally eaten by Jews on Shabbat and holidays, but can be eaten by anyone and is delicious on any day.

For one loaf of challah, you will need:

For Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup (170g) warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons \sugar
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons additional sweetener (sugar, honey, etc)

For topping:

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
First, combine the yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a medium/small bowl and slightly stir it. Let it sit until it becomes foamy on top (about five minutes).

While the yeast mixture is sitting, mix together the flour, salt and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and additional sweetener (I chose to use sugar).

Once the yeast gets foamy, add it to the dry mixture followed by the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes, or until it feels smooth and somewhat sticky. Add flour as necessary.
When you are done kneading the dough, transfer it into an oiled bowl and cover it in plastic wrap. Let it sit for 1 1/2 to two hours, until it has just about doubled in size.
Once your dough has risen...
Pat the dough into a long rectangle, slice it into three even rectangles and roll those into logs. It is time to start braiding.
First, pinch the three logs together on one end. Then, braid them together as if you were braiding string.
Then, pinch together the other end, and it should look something like this.
When you are done braiding, cover the dough with a towel and let it rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you plan to bake the challah immediately, this would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 375°F.

After the dough has risen for 30 minutes, whisk together 1 large egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of sugar to make the egg wash.

Brush the egg wash over the entire challah

and sprinkle some sea salt on top.

Place the challah into the oven and bake until it is golden brown. Begin checking if the challah is done after 28 minutes.

When done baking, remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool before slicing.
Slice it up and enjoy!