Using a Bread Maker to Start Challah Bread

Our bread maker is an old Toastmaster that we have had a long time, and it has been through A LOT. It’s a little bit beat up with a lid that doesn’t fit on quite right, from when it fell off the kitchen counter a few times. Fortunately, it still works… mostly. We are kind of in the market for a new bread maker, but in the meantime, I use our old faithful Toastmaster. I might be a little bit sad when it has to go.

Bread makers don’t seem to like me very much, so I don’t use them very often. The bread I make in them always falls! So lately, I’ve been using our bread maker just to start doughs for me. It’s been great for starting cinnamon roll dough and challah bread dough!

I don’t think the recipe I use is really authentic. I made challah rolls for Easter lunch and that dough had honey in it. (By the way, those rolls were amazing. I was practically dropping a few on the floor by accident, just so I could eat them.) This one does not. The recipe is just from the manual that came with our Toastmaster. Somehow, that manual has survived up until now, though its cover is falling off and it’s getting a little tattered on the edges.

Challah Bread Dough

  • Servings: 1 large loaf
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, room temperature, plus enough water at 80 degrees F/27 degrees C to equal 1½ cups
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast

Glaze:

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp water

Topping:

  • 1½ Tbsp poppy seeds, optional

Directions

Place eggs, water, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt in the bread pan. Then, place bread flour into the bread pan and spread it out to the edges of the pan. Make a little well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast into it.

Use the dough cycle on your bread maker.

When dough cycle is finished, place the bread dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into thirds, making three 13-inch-long ropes with tapered edges. Pinch ropes together at one end and braid together. Pinch together at the other end and secure braid.

Transfer braided dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Combine glaze ingredients and brush onto braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake at 350 degrees F/177 degrees C for 25 minutes, or until done.

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I can’t describe how much I love this bread… This recipe makes a HUGE loaf. It’s enough to feed my family and then some. After making the bread topped with poppy seeds once, I usually leave them off now. I make sure to do the egg glaze though. It just gives the bread a really beautiful color.

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Sometimes I succeed at making a pretty braid, and sometimes I don’t. I’ve also overproofed the dough. It doesn’t seem to matter though. My family eats this bread up no matter what it looks like.

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Challah loaf with poppy seeds as a topping

My kids will request this bread. If we have it around, they ask for me to use it for grilled cheese.

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This is a second loaf I made that I sprinkled flake salt on.

So if you have a large family who loves homemade bread, this is a really simple one to do! It looks pretty and it tastes great and leftovers will get eaten up as soon as possible!

-Lynn

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6 thoughts on “Using a Bread Maker to Start Challah Bread

  1. What a beautiful challah bread/s. You did a great braiding job.

    We had a bread machine briefly, a Charlescraft brand one, but when the paddle housing broke down and grease leaked into the loaf, I had to pitch it as a replacement bread box wasn’t available. It was very convenient for pizza dough on the dough setting.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I only post the pretty pics too though sometimes, I don’t have the option cause the results weren’t particularly pretty. 🙂

        I learned to make bread by hand and, if not for my SIL gifting a bread machine to my mom (which she didn’t know or want to learn how to use so she gave it to me) I wouldn’t have bought one. It was convenient for making pizza dough for supper when I came home at 3-3:30 pm cause an hour later, while I changed, made a coffee and had a rest, all I had to do was roll it out and prepare the toppings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for your comment! And thank you so much for stating the history of challah bread and how important it is. I like the idea of adding saffron to the bread, and also of making two loaves instead of only one. I’m so glad that my post brought you pleasant memories. That is what I wish for my children when they are grown: that one way they will remember home is through the food that we ate together as a family.

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  3. Challah is typically served for the Jewish Sabbath and two loaves are used, one for Friday night and one for Saturday, since on the sabbath you don’t work but you are still supposed to have a special bread loaf. (Challah is a Jewish term and the sound of ch is a back of the throat guttural we don’t have in English so it translates to Hallah in English.) I suspect your recipe is for two loaves and at some point when the recipe was passed along someone just didn’t bother to write that down. Or maybe it was from a very large Jewish family where one loaf was that big. I often double my recipe and I always try to have two loaves in the freezer just in case I get so busy I can’t bake on a Friday. Now that my kids have grown I halve batches and make much smaller loaves because we just can’t eat it that quickly. It doesn’t matter, as nothing beats homemade challah. I too found that bread never bakes quite right in the bread maker so I used my bread maker for kneading until that part died. Then I invested in a nice kitchen aide with dough hook and that is even nicer to use. For glaze I use a whole beaten egg instead of egg yolks and I took one loaf with sesame seed and one with poppy seed. A special friend brought me a large amount of saffron from Afghanistan and I have been adding that as well. Every women has her own special way of doing Hallah. There are deep spiritual feelings surrounding women and Challah and providing for your family. I can tell from you post you feel it too. It is a very fitting bread for any special holiday. Your post brought me many warm pleasantly scented memories.

    Liked by 3 people

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