How to Make the Best Challah Bread
Bread. Yay! I hope you’re as excited as I am about homemade bread. Bread is good for us - real, living, fresh bread that is. And we find it throughout scripture and Jewish traditions. Today we’re making an extremely special bread. Are you ready to learn how to make the best challah bread?
Learning how to make challah Bread can be a very enriching, inspiring experience.
What Is Challah Bread?
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made during festival celebrations and often for the Sabbath.
There are many symbols included in the making and eating of challah.
First of all, traditionally two loaves are made, which symbolize the two portions of Manna the Lord provided on Fridays during the Israelites' time in the desert to allow them to observe the Sabbath.
There are many other meanings behind the bread which you can read below the recipe.
My Jewish Learning is also a great resource for those who’d like to learn more about the history of challah bread and other rich Jewish traditions.
There is great purpose in setting aside time to remember and reflect on all God has done. And great blessing.
As we’ll see below, we as Christians are part of God’s chosen people. He never meant for our worship of Him to be separated from Jewish celebrations and festivals.
As a matter of fact, I love teaching about the festivals of God so much, there’s a whole series of videos about how we as Christians can celebrate the Feasts of our Lord, such as:
We share in the nourishment God gives His people, His promises, love, and blessings. We can also share in His celebrations!
And challah bread is a great addition to any feast or festival.
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Make The Best Challah Bread
How To Make The Best Challah Bread
- 1-3/4 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 6 - 8 cups flour
- 2 tbsp vital gluten (optional, beneficial with fresh-milled flour)
- Add yeast to lukewarm water and whisk.
- Mix honey and olive oil together and then add to water and mix.
- Add salt and mix.
- Add eggs and mix.
- Add 4 cups of flour and mix (The whisk won’t work as well with the flour added. A fork will do a good job.) Add gluten if desired. Add additional flour until dough forms a loose ball.I could easily make this in my Bosch mixer, but there’s an element of making this bread by hand that is special.
- Sprinkle a clean countertop with flour and dump the dough onto it. Add another cup of flour and knead. Fold, twist, punch down, and turn dough.
- Once a good ball is formed, cover with a slightly warm towel, place in a warm location, and let it rise until doubled. It can also be covered with plastic wrap and flipped upside down to double.
- Once the dough has doubled, split the dough in half. Shape the first half in a circle, flatten out, and cut into 4 or 6 strips. Roll strips to even lengths and braid. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Paint the braided Challah loaf with an egg wash (the yoke and white mixed together).
- Top with Kosher salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or other seed blend.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 190°.
Challah Recipe Bonus: Butter Topping
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Challah Bread Symbolism
As there is with many foods in the Bible and from traditional Jewish recipes, there are connections between the ingredients and our relationship with God.
The ingredients in challah bread are no exception. They can represent the following spiritual truths and promises:
- Water: Salvation & Cleansing
- Yeast: Growth & Expansion
- Honey: Provision from God
- Olive oil: Anointed (those in Christ)
- Salt: Covenant with God through Jesus
- Eggs: Life
- Flour: Jesus as the Bread of Life
Mixing and kneading the dough by hand is a wonderful opportunity to pray for those in your life.
We can pray for the specific things listed above for our loved ones, or for other needs, such as chronic or terminal illnesses, pain, financial difficulties, or emotional struggles.
As you mix and knead the dough, think about who you can pray for.
- Family members
- Church members
- Church leaders
- Government leaders
- Those in the Church facing persecution
If you’re anything like me, the list of people needing prayer can be very long. However, make sure not to over-knead your dough!
I’ve prayed for you! That as you read this post and make this scrumptious challah bread, the Lord will remind you of His love and will bless you with His best riches of mercy, grace, peace, joy, and more!
Additionally, I pray this bread blesses you beyond what you can imagine.