Sabbath bread, also known as challah, is a traditional Jewish bread that is made to commemorate the story of wandering through the desert for 40 years and the manna that fell from the heavens before each Sabbath that kept the people of Israel alive.
Sabbath bread is a delicious white bread made with 3 eggs. It can be made in keeping with religious observances or it can be used as a dinner or picnic bread.
Yield: 2 braided loaves
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
- 1 Tbsp or 2 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1-1/3 cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil or shortening
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 cups bread flour, about
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Poppy seeds
- In large bowl, mix together yeast, water, sugar, and salt. Stir in vegetable oil and eggs. Mix in enough bread flour to make a thick dough that can be kneaded by hand. Turn dough out onto board and knead for 8 minutes. Put dough in greased bowl and turn dough over in the bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place.
- Punch down. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead out bubbles for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Set 3 pieces aside. Roll out the remaining 3 pieces of dough between your hands, making 3 stripes, about 11 to 12-inches long. Line strips side-by-side on floured board and pinch the top ends together. Braid strips and pinch bottom ends together. Set braided loaf on greased baking sheet and repeat steps for the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Cover loaves with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Uncover bread and brush on egg yolk. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on. Let bread cool on rack. Serve warm.