Challah Bread Made With Cake Flour
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Prep: 140 min
Bake: 35 min
Yield: 1 loaf
Challah is a brioche-like bread made extra soft when baked with cake flour. It’s enjoyed as a Jewish holiday tradition and also makes a perfect breakfast bread – spread soft butter and jam on a slice and pair it with a cup of hot coffee to start the day.
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/4 cups unsifted Swans Down® Cake Flour, for sponge
  • 4 cups sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 egg yolk, whisked)
  1. LINE a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. MAKE SPONGE: Mix yeast, water, honey and the 1 1/4 cups unsifted flour until combined in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. ADD the 4 cups sifted flour, salt, eggs, egg yolks and vegetable oil to the sponge.
  4. MIX at low speed until ingredients start to come together, then increase speed to high and let knead until the dough starts to slap against the side of the mixer.
  5. REMOVE dough from bowl onto a floured surface and hand-knead for a minute. It should be very soft and smooth. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  6. REMOVE dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 13-inch rope. Place the dough ropes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pinch one end of the ropes together and braid, then pinch the loose ends together and tuck both ends under the loaf. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. PREHEAT oven to 375℉ while dough is resting.
  8. BRUSH braided loaf with egg wash and bake for 10 minutes. Without opening oven, reduce oven temperature to 325℉ and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting.
  • helene schilian says:

    I followed instructions correctly. dough feels heavy, not soft and silky as challah dough should be. Seems to be lacking in liquid. First rise in progress, going very slowly.

  • Vindog says:

    I followed directions fairly well, but dough was far too wet and sticky to use with dough hook until I added more flour. I’ve got it rising for the first hour so we’ll see 🙂

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Vindog, We’re sorry to hear you had this problem.We sent your information to our Customer Service Department. Someone should be reaching out. Happy baking!

  • Tina Valle says:

    I am in the middle of making this and having the opposite problem from Barb – mine looks like cake batter rather than a dough. I’m going to have to add more flour and hope it comes together. I double checked all my measurements and confirmed I didn’t read any of them incorrectly 🙁

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Tina, We’re so sorry that you had this experience. Were you able to save the batter? Let us know the outcome.

  • Barb Jambrosek says:

    I followed the instructions very carefully and the bread came out dry and heavy like a brick. First time in all my years making bread that I had to throw out the loaf.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Barb, We sent your information to our Customer Service Department. Someone should be reaching out. Happy baking!

  • Judy says:

    Can you use a hand mixer. I don’t have a dough hook

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Judy, If you have dough hooks for your hand mixer you likely can. Just be conscience as to if it seems to be too much of a strain on the mixer. If not, we would recommend kneading by hand. Happy baking!

  • Pam says:

    this is beautiful dough, so easy to work with, I love it. Loaf is in the oven with no fuss!

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