Challah Bread

Every time I make bread at home, I instantly proclaim that it’s so good I should really do this more often. And then it’s usually a few months before I actually get around to making bread again.

If you have never made bread at home, this Challah bread would be a good thing to start with. The dough was very forgiving and easy to work with. A coworker of mine came over to make this bread with me on Sunday. We were having a French toast party at work and decided that homemade Challah would be much better than store-bought.

My coworker had never made bread before, but like I said, this dough was very easy to work with. Like most breads, this does require some time with all the rising and waiting. But that’s ok, we enjoyed watching some cheesey chick flick while our bread was doing it’s thing.

Everyone at work was impressed that we made the bread from scratch. And of course, it made some great French toast!

One Year Ago: Strawberry and Spinach Salad
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Challah Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
5 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
8 to 8 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.

Recipe as seen on Smitten Kitchen

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11 Responses to “Pita Bread”

  1. #
    1
    Julie — July 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    These look super, and like something I might could do! I was thinking of making some gyros lately, if I do this will have to go along with it.

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    2
    Jeanette — July 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    My DH is in Saudi and brags all the time about the homemade pita bread he gets around the corner, now I can make my own. Thanks for the instructions.

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    3
    newlywed — July 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Mmm, these look great. I’ve made the homemade pita recipe in Vefa’s Kitchen a few times. Instead of baking them in the oven, you pan-fry them. So addictive!

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    4
    A Scientist in the Kitchen — July 17, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I’ve made pita bread before but always a failure. They are so hard like stone! I’m inspired again to make this over the weekend, follow your recipe and see what happens. Wish me luck 🙂

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    5
    Sonya — July 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I made these this morning and YUM! they are so good. Mine have performance issues though and only one puffed up for me..lol I think I know what the problem is now. I was rolling them out way to much. They are so good though. Thanks for the recipe!

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    6
    Diane — July 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I have not tried these yet but I have made a lot of homemade bread over the years. These look delicious and I’m going to get my daughter to make these with me. There really is nothing better than a sandwich on good pita bread!

    Diane

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    7
    S. — July 30, 2010 at 2:56 am

    These looks super. I love how you got them to be so plain colored. We have them like this back home in Cairo sometimes but ours are a little darker because of using mostly whole wheat flour. I made pita bread recently as well and have to admit it was one of the more fun things I’ve done recently. 🙂

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    8
    Joudie's Mood Food — August 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Home made pita….. How dangerous is that?!?!?! I dont think i would be able to stop making them. I am middle eastern and my husband is Greek so this would probably be the best and most used recipe for us…. Lovely and seems very easy.

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    9
    Nanan — September 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Made these today – super easy and delish!!!! Went great with Hummus!

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    10
    Tamar — December 30, 2014 at 10:47 am

    These are my absolute favorite! I make them many times during the year, but they have become a New Year’s Day tradition. I make hummus out of black eyed peas and serve with your pitas. Thanks for the recipe!

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    11
    Tina Basu — April 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I love pita breads buy have never thought of making them, but this recipe is looking great, I must give it a try

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