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Making Challah for the Jewish Holidays

I decided to make challah for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and thought I would share the process.  What I couldn’t believe was how easy it is to make this egg bread and that you shouldn’t be intimidated when considering making bread from scratch.

I divided up the process by going to the market yesterday for the ingredients.  To make challah for the Jewish New Year, you need the following ingredients:


Here is the recipe for egg bread. I got this from Marlene Sorosky’s Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays.

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
1 4/ cup vegetable oil
Poppy or sesame seeds, for topping


In a small bowl, combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water and set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.

Mix in a bowl the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until frothy and add to the flour mixture plus the yeast mixture, boiling and cold water and oil and mix for about 5 minutes either by hand or with a mixer and dough hook.  I mixed the dough until there were no lumps.

I then kneaded the dough by hand on a marble pastry board for about 15 minutes using plenty of flour to prevent sticking and to make the dough very elastic.

Then oil a large glass bowl and place the dough in the bowl and be sure to coat the dough with the oil.  Place a damp cloth over the dough and allow to rise at room temperature or in a warm heated place (90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 90 minutes.  (I warmed my oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and then turned it off and placed the dough inside the oven.)

Allow the dough to double and then take out and divide into three equal portions and braid.  Or just make a loaf and create a circle to celebrate one of the Jewish holidays.

Let the finished dough loaf sit out at room temperature for another 45 minutes and brush on an egg wash and sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds if desired.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

One of the points I like to emphasize in Budget Bash is to make it simple and not stress out about preparing for a party. I made the challah the day before the Jewish New Year and will serve it at dinner on Rosh Hashanah day. 

How to Serve

Dough can be braided or made into a loaf. 

Prep Time

3 hours including 2 for it to rise


1 loaf of bread

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