Easy Challah with a Stand Mixer
For years and years and years I relied on my sister’s amazing bread machine challah recipe. It never failed me…until it did and forced me to figure out how to make challah with a stand mixer. (Let’s be honest, I think it was more the bread machine failing than the recipe itself.)
The other day, struck by a sudden craving, I realized that I could probably tweak the original recipe to make challah with a stand mixer instead of the bread machine. After all, I use my mixer to make all sorts of rolls, no reason I couldn’t use it to make challah as well!
Took a little tweaking, but I managed to convert the recipe and, if I do say so myself, improve on it a little. This challah recipe doesn’t have much hands-on time, but does require a few hours of proofing time, so plan accordingly.
(Looking for something a little sweeter to bake? Check out my amazing chocolate chip banana bread recipe!)
Stand Mixer Challah
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, making challah is a breeze!
Mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Let it stand for 5 minutes on until the yeast has activated and the mixture is frothy.
Pour the yeast mixture into the stand mixer bowl and add the rest of the sugar, the butter, the eggs and one egg yolk, the salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Using the dough hook, let the machine start mixing the ingredients together.
If the dough looks too sticky, add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time until the dough starts to form into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Allow the stand mixer to kneed the dough for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be ready when it's smooth and silky and bounces back when you press a finger into it. If you're not quite sure the dough is ready, you can always turn it out onto a floured surface and kneed it a little by hand. You want the dough to be supple enough to fold and kneed without too much strength. You don't want the dough to become tough.
If you want to add chocolate chips to your challah, turn it out onto a floured surface and fold in the chocolate chips as you kneed it a few more times. (Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the dough, fold it over, stretch it out, sprinkle more chocolate chips, fold it over again and repeat until you feel your dough has enough chocolate chips spread out in it.)
Cover the bowl of dough with a clean dishcloth and set in a warm space. (If it is cold where you are, you can preheat the oven to 200F, turn it off, and place the bowl in the warm oven with the door left open.) Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. Usually takes a little over an hour.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into three equal parts and roll or stretch them out into logs of equal length. Braid the three logs and tuck the ends under. Place your braided loaf onto a greased baking sheet, cover with a clean dishcloth, and allow to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F and brush the top of the challah with a beaten egg yolk to give it a deep golden finish. At this point you can sprinkle your challah with sesame sees, poppy seeds, or just a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 28-30 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack so the bottom doesn't become soggy.
There you have it. Easy challah with a stand mixer. Trust me when I tell you that nothing tastes better than bread that you made with your own two hands eaten straight from the oven, slathered with a healthy pat of butter or a generous dollop of Nutella.