Olive oil Challah

I needed a Christmas project that would be also kid-friendly while also not over-the-top sweet. I tossed around the idea of hot cross buns and cinnamon rolls, but knowing how picky the kids are I did not want to risk it. Instead I settled on Christmas morning French Toast, which we all know is a million times better with challah bread. I found this recipe in the NY Times and it is both easy and very tasty. Sure you have to make the bread a day ahead, but it came together in my Cuisinart in a few minutes. The rest of the time is just passive waiting for the rise. I was slightly intimidated when it came down to shaping the loaf but one thing I know how to do is a braid. This is a super-easy, satisfying, and festive holiday project!

Makes one medium-sized loaf

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1 packet dry yeast

1/3 cup olive oil

3 eggs (room temp)

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

370-400g bread flour (00 type)


Place orange juice, yeast, olive oil, 2 eggs, 1 yolk and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine. Slowly add flour by 1/4 cups, continuing to mix in pulses until bread comes away from the sides of the mixer bowl.

Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand, adding more flour as needed until all stickiness is gone and you have a smooth dough.

Allow to rest, covered, for 2-4 hours or until approximately doubled in size – it may take longer if you have a cold kitchen.

Split bread into 3 even sections (using a kitchen scale to weigh evenly). Roll into 3 x 10 inch ropes and then attach at the top and begin to braid. Tuck top and bottom bits under the loaf.

Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water and then paint loaf, making sure to get into all the cracks and crannies. Allow to rise another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F and bake loaf in oven for 25-30 minutes or until exterior is very dark brown.

2 responses to “Olive oil Challah”

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