Chocolate Chip Challah

Hello! For those of you who go to temple… You know challah. Challah is challah. You either get it right or wrong, there isn’t an inbetween. I hope you enjoy my challah recipe. It is chocolate chip after all. ūüôā

For those of you who don’t go to temple but are really curious what challah is… Challah is a beauty. It is like a giant braided roll with a touch more sweetness than usual and has a special flavor that I associate with challah, despite the fact it is just a sweet yeast-y taste. Awesome things about challah that you should know¬†about eating challah:¬†Challah is very good dipped into grape juice. Challah is meant to be teared off (hence the braiding) and shared with others. Challah can be eaten at any time (awesome right?) but is usually served for¬†shabbat (Friday night at sunset to Saturday night at sunset… Jewish holy day). Challah is spectacular. It is food heaven in a bite. Expecially chocolate chip challah. Which I made today.

For those of you GEEKS:¬†Let me tell you something about challah. We were best friends during Shabbat. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even… Whatever. So then during Passover, I started going out with my first unleavened-friend matzah¬†who was totally gorgeous but then he moved to Indiana, and challah¬†was like, weirdly jealous of him. Like, if I would blow her off to hang out with matzah, she’d be like, “Why didn’t you call me back?” And I’d be like, “Why are you so obsessed with me?” So then, for my passover¬†party, which was an all-bread¬†pool party, I was like, “Challah, I can’t invite you, because I think you’re yeast bread.” I mean I couldn’t have a yeast bread¬†at my passover party. There were gonna be unleavened rolls¬†there in their *baking suits*. I mean, right? She was a YEAST BREAD. So then her mom called my mom and started yelling at her, it was so stupid. And then she dropped out of school because no one would talk to her, and she came back in the fall for high school, all of her hair was cut off and she was totally weird, and now I guess she’s on chocolate chips. If you’ve never watched Mean Girls go educate yourself. Now.¬†

Ok. In all honesty, this is not even my family recipe. I based this off of this Kindergarten Challah recipe. As for the actual braid a beautiful instruction for 3, 4 and 6 strand braiding can be found here as well as my version for the 3 and 4 strand below.

So here we begin. ūüôā

Place a little under 2 tablespoons yeast or 2 packages of yeast in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon sugar sprinkled on top.

add the yeast and sugar

Add 1/2 cup warm water and mix slightly then set aside. TIP: The best tempature water is when you can run the water on your wrist and it is not cool nor warm on your skin. Let the yeast mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. Evolution of the yeast:

Yeast is beginning to get there... but you must wait longer young Padawan.

Yeast is beginning to get there… but you must wait longer young Padawan.

Rory: You said we had to be patient. The Doctor: Yes. You. You! Not me! I hate being patient! Patience is for wimps.

Rory: You said we had to be patient.
The Doctor: Yes. You. You! Not me! I hate being patient! Patience is for wimps.

The yeast- It is ready!

The yeast- It is ready!

While you are waiting, add 3/4 cup of sugar to a bowl.

food

Beat in 5 eggs.

add 5 eggs

Whisk those eggs with the same strengthin which you'd punch Darth Vader in the face.

Mix in 1 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of oil, and teaspoon salt. I prefer sweeter challah, so I also added a tablespoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of sugar (although I would have prefered honey). Other possible flavorings could be cardamom, nutmeg or maple syrup.

add some vanilla extract

Add the yeast mixture to the egg/sugar mixture.

add that bacteria

Begin to add flour, two cups at a time.

add your first 2 cups of flour

First 2 cups

photo 2 (5)

Next 2 cups. At a total of 4 cups now.

photo 3 (4)

photo 4 (5)

Next cup cups. Total of six cups here.

photo 1 (4)

flour flour everywhere

Add 2 more cups and knead in the bowl with your hands. Attempt to add more flour- I only got to 8 1/3 cups but it can go up to 10.

photo 4 (4)

Transfer to floured surface and cntinue to work in flour until it will not hold any more.

work in that flour

photo 2 (3)

Put it into a LARGER bowl than before (as I learned the hard way) and let it rise for 4-6 hours.

let it rise

0 hours rising…

1h

After around a hour

Only three hours in and it was pouring over the sides!

Only three hours in and it was pouring over the sides!

4 hours and 2 bowls later...

4 hours and 2 bowls later…

5 hours later...

5 hours later…

Wow! After six hours and a mid-way change of bowls, it still was rising!

Wow! After six hours and a mid-way change of bowls, it still was rising!

Now, comes the braiding.

So once it has been between 4 to 6 hours (or 8 hours tops), flour a clean surface (counter/table/ect). Then, punch your dough down and divide it into 3 sections. Each section will make a loaf, or 2 mini-loaves. Create a ‘well’ in each loaf and put slightly under 1/3 cup of chocolate chips into the well. Fold the chocolate chips in untilspread around the dough.

punch and divide

Braid as desired. My braiding instructions can be found here. (For 3-strand or 4-strand braids.)

braided challahs

I made a 3-strand braid challah as well as a 4-strand and 2 mini-loaves that were 4-strand as well.

Next, beat an egg with a fork. This will be your egg wash. Use a pastry brush(different kinds here) to spread the egg wash along the challah. If you do not have one or could not find one, feel free to use a spoon or your fingers, as long as you coat the top of the challah. Preheat the oven at 350*. Sprinkle the tops of your challah with chocolate chips and let them sit for 15 minutes to rise even more.

egg wash

Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking often after 25 minutes until the challah is golden brown and your kitchen’s aroma is too much to handle with the beauty of the smell of challah.

YUM

ooh delicious

Leftovers? Try some challah french toast.

chocolate chip challah recipe

I hope you enjoyed!

-Redheadedwhovian

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