Foodie Friday: Challah with Raisins!

So, last weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and in proper tradition, I made my challah with raisins! For the holiday I make a round challah, but for every day eatin’ I make the braided one!

challahwithraisinsI use the recipe from my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. It’s my favorite bread baking book, everything is super simple, and this challah is no exception. No kneeding, and hardly any waiting. If you’re using fresh dough, the rise/proof only takes about 3 hours total! Bake this baby off at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes and you’ve got a delicious challah!

The dough can be a little sticky, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating. If you’re trying this on a humid or rainy day, you can expect some extra stickiness. Over the weekend, the weather was perfect, it was a little brisk and not at all humid when I made my dough, so it came out perfectly. So mind the weather when you’re baking!

So the moral of my rant is that this recipe is amazing, and if you like challah, I highly suggest trying to make it yourself!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 packets of yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 cups of flour

This recipe makes 4 loaves, so you can easily cut it in half or even double it.

It’s all very simple, dump all your ingredient in a bowl, mix it until combined and let it rise for 2 hours at room temp. I like to add the water, then yeast then honey and salt, then eggs then butter and finally, flour. I use my stand up mixer for the whole process, extra easy peasy.

After the initial two hour rise, you can either go straight to baking or put the dough in the fridge for another day.

For same day baking, shape your dough, then let it rest for 40 minutes. If you want to make challah with raisins, you need to flatten the dough, add your raising, then roll it up and shape into a strip (if you don’t want raisins, just shape into strips). For braided challahs, you make three strips and just braid! For the round challah, you make done big strip and coil it around.

If you’re using refrigerated dough, make sure to let it rest for an hour and 20 minutes after shaping, just so it can come to room temp.

5 minutes before baking, I preheat my oven to 350 degrees. Then I make an egg wash, brush it on my dough and get that guy into the oven. Don’t worry if you’re dough is looking kind of puny at this point.. it will grow a lot in the oven.

in 25-30 minutes, you’re ready to go!