Are you getting ready for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur? When planning a family dinner party for these special holidays, you can’t set a table without some soft and fluffy Challah bread.
If you haven’t had much practice baking bread, you may wonder how to make Challah fluffy so that your family enjoys your cuisine. Luckily, you are in the right place. We have gathered the top five essential tips describing how to make Challah fluffy. Then, we detail the best recipe to follow when making fluffy Challah bread, including the equipment and ingredients you will need.
Now, let’s get started!
Tip #1: Weigh Your Dry Ingredients
Many baking recipes include the number of cups and spoonfuls you’ll need to make pie, cake, cookies, or bread. However, for a soft Challah bread recipe, you’ll want to find a recipe that also includes the exact amount of weight required for the dry ingredients.
Make sure to weigh the bread flour and the sugar specifically, as the other dry ingredients could end up too small for this form of measurement.
Homemade bread recipes should generally include the step of weighing out dry ingredients with a scale. Usually, you’ll see Challah bread recipes that include both the cup measurements and the required weights.
By weighing out the dry ingredients, you should end up with a more fluffy texture and light munch. The fluffiness is more likely because using a scale is more precise when producing the proportions between wet and dry ingredients.
Tip #2: Do Not Flour Your Kneading Area
You’ll want to avoid adding flour to your kneading area since extra flour will make the Challah bread more chewy and dense. You likely won’t find this tip in the typical bread baking recipe. Most bread recipes call for using a floured surface when kneading the dough.
However, you’ll want more friction when making Challah bread, so you’ll need to avoid adding flour to the surface. Friction is essential for rolling out the dough and braiding the sections. Furthermore, this is already a dry form of dough, so more flour will lead to a dry and dense loaf.
Tip #3: Taper the Ends of the Dough Strands
This Challah bread recipe requires you to taper off the ends of each dough strand. Doing so will keep all four strands of dough from becoming too large and cumbersome.
Tapering off the ends will also make the dough strands more proportionate throughout the entire braid. Furthermore, more massive ends will require a greater amount of baking time, which can lead you to bake the rest of the Challah loaf for too long, which can make the bread drier and may even burn some of it.
For a fluffy texture and a sweet, light taste, make sure you taper the ends of the dough strands before baking your Challah bread.
Tip #4: Use Two Baking Sheets to Prevent Burning
Nobody wants a burnt loaf of bread when baking Challah. Often, using only one baking sheet can lead the bottom of the bread to burn. As such, you should place one baking sheet on top of a second baking sheet to keep the bottom of the Challah bread from browning too much.
Two baking sheets should prevent burning when baking your Challah loaf. Burnt bread is never fluffy and ends up tasting crunchy and dry. For the most fluffy Challah bread, ensure you use two baking sheets.
Tip #5: Cool the Challah Bread for Two Hours Before Slicing
When the Challah bread comes out of the oven, you’ll find it difficult to stop yourself from slicing right into it and taking a bite. However, to make sure the Challah bread is completely finished and tastes just right, you’ll need to cool the loaf for two hours before slicing into it.
Try your best to avoid tasting the loaf before the two hours are up. You’ll find that most Challah bread recipes ask you to cool the loaf for a few hours. If you want a fluffy slice of bread, let it rest when you take it out of the oven.
Fluffy Challah Bread Recipe
If you want soft and sweet Challah bread, you’ll need a big bowl, plenty of flour and yeast, and plenty of space for kneading out the dough. The recipe we use below should make about six loaves of bread.
If you’re baking this bread on a warm and sunny day, you can leave the dough out in the sun to help it rise faster. It should only take about an hour and a half for the dough to rise before you can start kneading it and making the braids. Once the dough has risen, don’t forget to separate the dough into six pieces.
The Equipment You’ll Need
The cooking and baking equipment you’ll need for a Challah bread recipe includes:
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- A weight scale
- A bread machine
- A bread pan
- Stand mixer
- Large bowls, plates, and small bowls
- Wet towel or plastic wrap
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife to slice into the bread
You can use a bread machine or bake the loaf of bread in the oven. Whatever way you choose to bake the Challah, you’ll enjoy a tasty slice once you’ve let it cool down for a couple of hours.
Ingredients for Challah Bread
The main ingredients you should include in the typical Challah bread recipe are both dry ingredients and wet ingredients. The dry ingredients include:
- 4 tablespoons or 60 grams of dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons or 30 grams of sugar
- 2 tablespoons or 30 grams of salt
- 18 cups of flour or 2,304 grams of flour
The list of wet ingredients includes:
- 5 cups of extra warm water
- 5 large eggs
- 1.25 cups or 160 grams of honey
- 1 cup of light olive oil
- An extra egg for the egg wash
- Two tablespoons or 30 grams of honey for the egg wash
- One tablespoon or 25 grams of vanilla for the egg wash
- In a large mixing bowl, add yeast and sugar to the two cups of warm water and wait for it to thicken after 20 minutes.
- Add oil, salt, eggs, honey, half of the flour, and three cups of water. Mix in a standing mixer to form the batter. Slowly add in the second half of the flour using an individual cup at a time. Make sure the dough is soft and is not sticky. You can knead the dough for a little while in the bowl.
- Use plastic wrap or a wet towel to cover the dough while it rises for 1.5 hours. The dough should get twice as big as it was originally.
- Knead the dough down and let it rest. Then, divide it into six equal parts.
- Braid the dough from three separate sections the same way one braids hair. Put the loaves on greased pans and let them rise for 40 more minutes.
- Make the egg wash with vanilla and honey and brush it over the six loaves.
- Bake the loaves in an oven for 45 minutes at 375° F. The Challah bread will have a golden color on top.
Challah is a favorite amongst bread lovers for its fluffy texture and slightly sweet flavor. With these instructions, the best ingredients, and the right equipment, you’ll be sure to make the fluffiest challah bread for any occasion.