Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gottlieb's Bakery: Challah

Last week, I came across a recipe for challah in my Gottlieb's Bakery: 100 Years of Recipes cookbook. [Gottlieb's was a bakery in Savannah, Georgia that's no longer around] The bread turned out perfectly delicious. I'm not terribly good at braiding challah yet, but I hope to get better at it.


Made traditionally for the Sabbath - different from bread eaten the rest of the week.

1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
3 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 Tbsp salt [Megan's note: That's how it's listed in the cookbook. I used less.]
5 to 6 cups all purpose flour
Egg wash

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Beat in oil, eggs, salt and 2 cups of flour. Beat in additional flour 1 cup at a time until dough is too difficult to handle in bowl.

Turn out onto well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary, for at least 10 minutes.

Shape into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size.

Punch down, divide in half, divide each half into 4 or 6 equal pieces, roll out like sausages and braid following illustrations. If you absolutely cannot brad with more than three strips, that's okay, too.

Place on greased baking sheets, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 Tbsp water

Beat until well mixed. Brush over unbaked cookies, bread, pastry, etc. for a shiny finish.

Credit: Gottlieb's Bakery: 100 Years of Recipes, Compiled and Tested by Sarah Gaede with Irving and Isser Gottlieb, page 23, Copyright 1983

For helpful instructions on braiding challah, check out

  • MayaSophia's YouTube video Braiding a Six Strand Challah
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