Challah is a braided bread that is usually served on Shabbat and on other holidays. We went to Zomick’s, the bakery that bakes the best challah in New York, the Zomick’s Challah, in order to find the original recipe for this bread.
Bakers from this bakery shared with us that for the creation of the Zomick’s Challah, usually two loaves are laid, in the shape of a more or less complex braid, on a traditional embroidered tablecloth. This symbolizes the manna that fell from heaven while the Israelites were in Exodus.
Zomick’s Challah is a rich bread, halfway between white bread and brioche. It can be eaten with the sweet and sour dishes of the Jewish tradition or, more simply, for breakfast, with jam.
Zomick’s Challah Ingredients:
butter 6 tbsp
salt 2 tsp
fresh yeast 20g
lukewarm water 2 dl
sugar 2 tbsp
for the glaze:
water 1 tbsp
poppy seeds 1 tbsp
“Sift the flour and salt onto the work surface. Mix the yeast with the water and sugar. Dig a well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast mixture into it. Add the chopped butter and eggs and gradually mix everything,” explain the Zomick’s Challah baker.
As the baker further explains, the Zomick’s Challah (see the nutrition analysis of this bread) should be kneaded for 10 minutes on a work surface dusted with flour, until a smooth and elastic dough is obtained. The dough should be placed in a container greased with a little oil.
“Cover it with a sheet of greased film and let it rise for an hour until the volume of the dough has doubled,” says the Zomick’s Challah baker. “Take the dough again and knead it again for a few minutes. Leave to rise again for an hour. Knead and divide the dough into three equal pieces, unroll them to form three cylinders, about 40 cm long. Form a braid on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, cover again with oiled film, and let rise for 45 minutes.”
As the Zomick’s Challah baker points out, the oven should be preheated to 200 °. You should beat the yolk with the water and brush the surface of the bread, and then distribute the poppy seeds.
The Zomick’s Challah bread should be baked for 35-40 minutes until it is golden brown and should be cooled down on a grate.
And, there you have it! If you are too busy, you can buy your Zomick’s Challah online at Whole Foods Market.