Sharing with you my Rosemary Honey Challah Bread Recipe that’s not as difficult as you think! Rosemary is my favorite herb to add to bread, grow, and have in my house over the holidays. Something about the woodsy relaxing aroma mingled with baking bread is intoxicating. The addition of honey to add sweetness also softens the texture and makes this my go to Challah Bread.
Don’t be intimidated by fresh bread, get excited! Playing with dough is going to be your new hobby. Think of this as a step up from your no-knead bread and an introduction into braided loaves.
Give yourself a free afternoon to experiment with how to make challah bread. You will have plenty of time to read, watch a movie, go for a walk, or have a meal while the bread is rising. But don’t eat too much, because once its baked you won’t be able to hold back.
Tips for Rosemary Honey Challah Bread Recipe
- Stir the warm water and honey together before adding it to the active dry yeast.
- Use fresh rosemary!
- Allow your dough to prove in a cold oven with the light on.
- Weigh your dough to create even sections.
- Leave your countertop slightly un-floured so the dough can grip as you roll it out.
- When rolling out the dough into strands, if it is too sticky add a little flour to your hands, if its too dry, add a little water to your hands.
- Once you have rolled out long strands for braiding, dust a little flour through a small sieve over the dough to prevent sticking as your braid.
- Use a soft pastry brush for your egg wash to prevent deflating the risen dough.
- Check your dough with a thermometer to read 190 F and/or gently lift and tap on bottom, if it sounds hollow bread is done.
- Store bread in a sealed paper bag at room temperature.
Challah Bread Dough
- 1 Cup (125 ml) Warm Water 110 F
- 4 Tbsp Honey
- 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 Cup (62.5 ml) Olive Oil
- 2 (100 grams) Large Eggs
- 2 Cups ( 250 grams) Bread Flour
- 2 1/2 Cups ( 312.5 grams) All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1.5 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
- 1 (50 grams) Large Egg beaten with a fork
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, warm water and honey. Stir with a hand whisk and let sit 8-10 minutes until frothy.
- Meanwhile in a large bowl hand whisk together sifted flours, salt, and rosemary. Set aside.
- Place dough hook attachment on mixer.
- Add beaten eggs to yeast mixture and begin to mix on medium low.
- Pour in the olive oil and mix until combined. Gently scrape bottom of bowl if needed.
- Slowly spoon in flour mixture while continuing on medium speed.
- Mix until dough has formed and pulls away from edges of bowl wrapping around dough hook, but still attached to very bottom center of bowl. Dough should be slightly sticky and firm.
- Now, either work dough for 3-4 minutes on medium high speed until a positive 'Windowpane Test' is performed,(pull a piece of dough off with fingers and spread apart, if can be stretched to transparency without breaking gluten is ready).. Or transfer to lightly floured surface and knead by hand for another 6-8 minutes.
- Place dough in a lightly floured bowl large enough for dough to double. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm draft free location.
- Dough will need 1-2 hrs to prove and double in size.
- Once doubled in size transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Press risen dough down to release excess air.
- Weigh the dough and using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut into 6 equal portions.
- Take each portion and roll onto slightly grippy surface with a cupped hand to make a smooth round ball.
- Let dough balls rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Take three balls and roll out into equal length 12-14 inch strands. Place the three strands onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (You can also braid on the counter and then transfer to tray.)
- Attach the tips furthest from you by pressing together with fingers and rolling the tips into a point. Braid dough in a three strand french braid completely to the end. Press remaining tips together like the top. Tuck each end slightly under the loaf. Transfer to tray if not already done.
- Gently coat the loaf in egg wash and set in cold oven with light on for second prove. Repeat with second set of dough. Each loaf should be on its own baking sheet.
- Allow braided loaves to prove and puff for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove loaves from cold oven and place on counter for second coating of egg wash.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Place loaves on middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown, 190 F in center, and/or hollow sounding when tapped from the bottom.
- If loaves are browning too much on one side rotate halfway through baking.
- Place baking sheets on cooling rack and allow bread 10-15 minutes to cool before slicing and serving.