4 Strands Braided Jewish Bread–Challah (犹太辫子面包)



I was surprised with the texture of this bread..It was a very soft bread… On that morning I prepared the bread, for lunch, I used it to prepare some sandwiches for the kids..


On the next morning, I used it to prepare some French toast as the breakfast….. Family members loved this bread..


This is a famous bread with rather basic bread making techniques. It is a bread of Jewish influence and obviously have some religious significance in Judaism..


Per Wikipedia:

“Challah (plural: challot/challos) (Hebrew: חלה‎) is a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays. According to Jewish tradition, the three Sabbath meals (Friday night, Saturday lunch, and Saturday late afternoon) and two holiday meals (one at night and lunch the following day) each begin with two complete loaves of bread. This “double loaf” (in Hebrew: lechem mishneh) commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt according to Jewish religious belief. The manna did not fall on Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion would fall the day before the holiday or Sabbath.


Traditional challah recipes use numerous eggs, fine white flour, water, sugar, yeast, and salt. Modern recipes may use fewer eggs (there are also eggless versions) and may replace white flour with whole wheat, oat, or spelt flour. Sometimes honey or molasses is substituted as a sweetener. The dough is rolled into rope-shaped pieces which are braided and brushed with an egg wash before baking to add a golden sheen. Sometimes raisins are added. Some bakers like to sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top for flavour. Challah is usually parve (containing neither dairy nor meat, important in the laws of Kashrut), unlike brioche and other enriched European breads, which contain butter or milk.”


Unlike other European enriched bread like French brioche, the bread is dairy free .. no butter or milk .. So the bread is enriched with eggs and sweetened by molasses or honey.. It was usually braided by using 3,4,5 or 6 strands of bread dough and in this illustration, 4 strands were used.



Recipe adapted from: Classic Challah: King Arthur Flour

Servings: Prepared 2 Challah of about 12” long


  • 485 grams ( about 4 cups) of all purpose flour or plain flour
  • 115 grams (about 1/2 cup) of lukewarm water
  • 85 grams (about 1/4 cup) of honey
  • 75 grams (about 6 tablespoons) of vegetable oil
  • 9 grams (about 1 tablespoon) of instant yeast
  • 8 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Some sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)




  • In a mixing  bowl, mixed all the ingredients  together. Use a spoon to slightly stir it until it form a sticky dough. Use the dough hook in the machine to beat the dough at medium to low speed (speed 2 in Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, change from medium to high speed (speed 4 kin Kenwood Chef or Kitchen Aid) for about 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the mixing bowl. Transfer the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead, shape into a ball and let it proof until at least double in size. Cover the dough with a wet towel or clingy wrap in the process of proofing.


  • Divide the dough equally. Take one dough, flatten it to about 10“ x 4” rectangular shape. Use a knife to cut it into 4 equal strands. Pinch the end of one bread dough and start pleating like as shown in the picture. For more detail pleating procedures, please refer to here: How to braid challah4 strand method. – Instructables. Once done, let it proof until double in size.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Egg washing (one egg yolk with one tablespoon of water, stir until well mix) the proofed dough thoroughly and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 30 –45 minutes or until your desired colour tone. The time of baking will depend very much on the size and height of your bread dough. Timing is an estimation and you have to keep an eye after 20 minutes or when the aroma of bread starts to permeates the house.



Trust me, this is a soft and aromatic bread because of its enriched contents.. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste bud.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  


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