Recipes and Cooking Best Basic Challah 4.4 (29) By BHG Test Kitchen BHG Test Kitchen The Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen has been in continuous operation for nearly 100 years, developing and testing practical, reliable recipes that readers can enjoy at home. The Test Kitchen team includes culinary specialists, food stylists, registered and licensed nutritionists, and other experts with Bachelor of Science degrees in food science, food and nutrition, or culinary arts. Together, the team tests more than 2,500 recipes, produces more than 2,500 food images, and creates more than 1,000 food videos each year in the state-of-the-art test kitchen. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Published on June 2, 2011 Print Share Share Tweet Pin Email Prep Time: 60 mins Rise Time: 90 mins Bake Time: 30 mins Stand Time: 10 mins Total Time: 3 hrs 10 mins Servings: 48 Yield: 3 loaves Jump to Nutrition Facts Ingredients 1 ¾ cup warm water (105°F to 115°F) ½ cup honey 2 packages active dry yeast 4 eggs, lightly beaten ½ cup butter, melted and cooled 1 tablespoon salt 7 ½ - 8 cup bread flour or 8 to 8-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon water Directions In a large bowl stir together the 1-3/4 cups warm water, the honey, and yeast. Let stand about 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the four eggs, the melted butter, and salt. Gradually stir in as much of the flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (5 to 7 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1-1/2 hours). Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into six portions. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside. Divide each portion into thirds (18 portions total). Gently roll each third into an 18-inch-long rope. Place three ropes on a large baking sheet 1 inch apart; braid. Repeat with another three ropes to make another braid. Brush one side of a braid with water; lightly press braids together to make a double-braided loaf. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough to make two more double-braided loaves. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl combine the 1 egg and the 1 tablespoon water; brush over braids. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove loaves from baking sheet. Cool on wire racks. Tip: For a glossy look, remove loaves from oven and immediately brush with additional egg mixture (except for Mini Cinnamon-Sugar Challah and Parmesan Challah). Garlic-Herb Challah: Prepare as above, except reduce honey to 2 tablespoons, use olive oil instead of the melted butter, and add 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed; 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed; and 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed, to the yeast mixture.To shape spiral loaves, divide dough into three portions. Divide each portion into thirds (nine portions total). Gently roll each third into a 24-inch-long rope. Braid three ropes at a time to make three braids; shape each into a spiral loaf. Let rise as directed. Instead of brushing with egg mixture, in a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons butter, melted; 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed; 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed; 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed; and 1 clove garlic, minced; brush over loaves. Bake as directed. Makes 3 loaves (16 servings each).Per slice: 109 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 g trans fat, 22 mg chol., 154 mg sodium, 17 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 3 g pro.Daily Values: 1% vit. A, 1% calcium, 6% ironExchanges: 1 Starch, 0.5 Fat Chocolate Challah: Prepare as above, except substitute 2/3 cup packed brown sugar for the honey and stir 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder into 2 cups of the flour before adding to the yeast mixture (you will use less flour during kneading).To shape stacked loaves, divide dough into three portions. Remove one-fourth of the dough from each portion; divide each fourth into thirds (nine small portions total). Gently roll each third into a 15-inch-long rope. Braid three ropes at a time to make three small braids; cover and set aside. Divide the remaining three portions of dough into thirds (nine large portions total). Gently roll each third into an 18-inch-long rope. Braid three ropes at a time to make three large braids. For each stacked loaf, brush a large braid with some of the egg mixture; top with a small braid, pressing gently. Let rise as directed. Brush with the remaining egg mixture; bake as directed. Makes 3 loaves (16 servings each).Per slice: 116 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 g trans fat, 27 mg chol., 168 mg sodium, 19 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.Daily Values: 2% vit. A, 1% calcium, 7% ironExchanges: 1 Starch, 0.5 Fat Mini Cinnamon-Sugar Challah: Prepare as above. Divide dough into three portions. Use two of the portions to shape stacked loaves as directed for Chocolate Challah. Continue as directed.Use the remaining portion of dough to shape mini loaves: On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 24x7-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut rectangle into forty-eight 7x1/2-inch strips. Braid three strips at a time to make 16 mini loaves. Let rise as directed, omit brushing with egg mixture, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Serve warm. Makes 16 mini loaves plus 2 stacked loaves (16 servings each).Per slice: 124 cal., 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 0 g trans fat, 25 mg chol., 171 mg sodium, 21 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 3 g pro.Daily Values: 1% vit. A, 1% calcium, 6% ironExchanges: 1.5 Starch, 0.5 Fat Vanilla-Scented Challah: Prepare as above, except use 3/4 cup sugar instead of the honey. Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds; add vanilla seeds to the yeast mixture. Continue as directed. Parmesan Challah: Prepare as above. To shape single-braided loaves, divide dough into three portions. Divide each portion into thirds (nine portions total). Gently roll each third into an 18-inch-long rope. Brush ropes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and roll in 1 cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Braid three ropes at a time to make three loaves. Continue as directed, except omit brushing with egg mixture. Makes 3 single-braided loaves (16 servings each).Per slice: 126 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 0 g trans fat, 24 mg chol., 194 mg sodium, 19 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.Daily Values: 1% vit. A, 3% calcium, 6% ironExchanges: 1 Starch, 0.5 Fat Print Nutrition Facts (per serving) 113 Calories 3g Fat 19g Carbs 3g Protein Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label Nutrition Facts Servings Per Recipe 48 Calories 113 % Daily Value * Total Fat 3g 4% Saturated Fat 1g 5% Cholesterol 27mg 9% Sodium 167mg 7% Total Carbohydrate 19g 7% Total Sugars 3g Protein 3g Calcium 10.1mg 1% Iron 1.1mg 6% Potassium 37mg 1% Folate, total 48.4mcg Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.