A Foolproof Round Challah Recipe for Rosh Hashanah

 
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This is it. This. Is. It.

The ultimate, best, simplest, fail-proof, fool-proof, proof-proof round challah recipe for Rosh Hashanah.

It’s one-bowl. It’s no-knead. It’s no-fancy-equipment. It's no-braid. It’s other-positive-hyphenated-things. And it’s pareve too!

It’s the simplest challah recipe that ever I have made. And you KNOW I never speak in hyperbole.

THIS IS IT.

*passes out*

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Okay. Lied a little. There’s some kneading involved. About two minutes of it, to be precise. But normally, you’ve got to knead bread, for, like, eight years. So I’d say this is an enormous improvement.

What I really do stand by is the fact that this is a very, very, impossibly easy recipe—the kind of recipe that could make a bread baker out of a non-bread-baker (let alone a person who has never seen the inside of their own oven). You don’t need a stand mixer to make it happen, for starters, nor do you need any bread-making experience or fancy knowledge of what the heck is actually happening inside of the dough when it rises or what the yeast is doing in there for so long, for goodness’ sake.

Nobody knows that.

The recipe follows! It’s adapted from the brilliant Leanne Shor, by the way—be sure to check out her blog too.

Shana tovah to everyone celebrating next month (yes, I’m a tad bit early with this one). If you end up making this, leave a comment or shoot me a note on Insta; I’d love to see your creations! xx

Easiest-Ever Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah

Adapted from Lion’s Bread / Leanne Shor; makes two pareve loaves.

Note: You’ll want to set at least several hours aside to make this or any traditional challah recipe. I suggest reading through the instructions quickly before planning your day so that you know exactly how much time is required for each step!

what you’ll need

for the Dough:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1.5 cups unbleached bread flour

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (pro tip: you can warm them up quickly by letting them sit in a glass of tepid water for a bit!)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

What You’ll Do

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with the yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

  2. When time’s up, add the eggs, honey, and olive oil on top of the flour-yeast mixture, and mix well. Add the remaining all-purpose flour, the bread flour, the kosher salt, the cinnamon, and the sugar; mix until all ingredients are combined and a shaggy dough ball forms.

  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 2-3 minutes until the surface of the dough is smooth, and a nice ball is formed. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 1.5 hours at room temperature or until doubled in size.

  4. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and cut it in half. Roll each half into a long rope, about 18 inches long (this may take a minute!). Beginning at the end, spiral the rope on itself in order to create a round loaf like the ones pictured above. Pinch the end of the bread and tuck it slightly underneath the loaf to make sure the spiral doesn't unravel during baking. (If you do want to try a braid, this is a great resource.)

  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the loaves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature for about 45 minutes.

  6. Combine beaten egg and water. Remove the plastic wrap from the loaves and coat them with egg wash using a pastry brush.

  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until dark golden brown; I always try not to over-bake mine! Allow to cool; then, just before you’re ready to serve it, throw it back in the oven to warm up a little.

    P.S. This recipe doesn’t keep too well—you should definitely enjoy (or gift!) the loaves fresh on the same day or night that you bake them, or the next day at the latest—but the leftovers do make a mean French toast.