Paula Shoyer - Classic Challah
Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with Paula Shoyer's Challah.
Classic Challah
Seasonal Event:
Rosh Hashanah
Makes 2 large braided challahs or 3 medium ones
  • 2 envelopes dry yeast (1/2 ounce, 4 ½ teaspoons)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil, plus 1 teaspoon to grease bowl
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water 3 large eggs
  • 6 ½ - 7 cups bread flour


  • In a measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup warm water and mix in a teaspoon of sugar. Let sit until thick, for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour oil, salt and ¾ cup sugar into a large bowl. Mix with a whisk. Add 1 cup boiling water and mix again to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the 1/2 cup cold water and mix again. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the oil mixture, reserving 1 tablespoon to brush on top of the loaves.
  • When the yeast mixture is thick and bubbly, add to the bowl and stir. Add 6 cups of the flour, one cup at a time, and mix well. Place dough on a floured surface and add ¼ cup of flour and knead in. Continue adding flour, a few tablespoons at a time, and knead in the flour until smooth. You may not use up all of the flour. Just add flour until when you rub your hand across the dough, it doesn’t stick.
  • Place 1 teaspoon oil in the bowl and rub around. Return the dough to the bowl, rub the oil on your hand on top of the dough, and cover with plastic or a clean dishtowel. Let rise for one hour. Shape as desired. Place on a baking sheet and let rise for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°f. Brush the top and sides with the egg mixed with a little water. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden.

©Paula Shoyer, reprinted with permission from The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling 2013)

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