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Grandpa’s traditional Challah bread

Grandpa traditional challah bread is a classic family recipe. Whenever Grandpa Piasek is in town, you can be sure to fill up at least a half of day making several loafs of Challah. Finally, in my late 20’s I decided to document the recipe.

Challah bread is traditional Jewish bread that is most usually eaten on Sabbath or Holidays. The dough is enriched with eggs and oil and then braided and sometimes a little sugar is added to the dough as well. The styles of braiding or forming into different shaped loaves mean different things. For example, when there are three braids it symbolizes truth, peace, and justice. When there are 12 humps, they symbolize the miracle of the 12 loaves for 12 tribes of Israel. Most modern, several diners and deli, and fancy brunch places serve up Challah French Toast. Whenever or however you bake and eat it, you should know that you are experiencing a huge taste of tradition.

Recipe for Grandpa’s Challah Bread


  • 2 lbs of flour
  • 2 cups of luke warm water
  • 2 tsp dry yeast (a little less than 1 packet)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup eggs
  • 8 0z.  sugar
  • ¼ cup oil (to keep it moist)


  1. Mix the above ingredients together
  2. Then, add 2 lbs of all-purpose flour (or more) –not too soft not too dry- for 6 or 7 minutes by machine (by hand 12)
  3. Next, place the dough in large oiled ceramic or glass boil with towel or on baking sheet. Alternatively you could place it on cutting board and wait until it doubles in size.
  4. Then knead lightly again for 5 minutes
  5. Again, wait 10-15 minutes to let rest
  6. Finally, roll out dough into strands about ½ thick and at least six inches long. use three for each loaf and braid as naturally as possible. don’t be discouraged with your braid! Just rock it -the bread will be delicious no matter what.
  7. Next, let the rolls rise again for about 45 minutes to about 1 and ½ hours (until they almost double in size).
  8. Wash them gently with mixture of beaten egg and a little (less than a tablespoon water).
  9. Bake in oven at 350 degrees
    1. 25-30 minutes for bread
    2. 15 minutes for rolls.