Rainbow Challah Bread
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 - 115 F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg and 3 yolks (plus one for glazing)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
3 3/4 -4 1/2 cups of flour (all purpose or bread flour)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
This recipe takes about 4 hours including the wait time for the dough to rise, plan accordingly!
- In a mixing bowl, gently whisk yeats, warm water, and 2 tsp of sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy. If it doesn’t get frothy, it means either your yeast has gone bad or the water was too hot.
- Add remaining sugar, eggs, oil, and honey. (pro tip: measure oil first, then honey in same measure cup!) Mix well.
- Gradually add flour and salt. Once it begins to thicken, switch to a hook attachment or knead with your hands. You may not need all 4 1/2 cups of flour. The dough should be soft and very slightly sticky (from the honey). No need to knead now, you will knead plenty when adding color.
- Now add color! separate the dough into 6 equal sections, weighing it if you want it exact. Using a dye-safe surface (and optional gloves), flatten each section slightly and add 5-6 drops of food coloring in the middle. Knead until well combined. This will take 4-7 minutes per section.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. It can all go in at once if you don’t mind a little color mixing. Use plastic wrap or separate bowls to keep all the colors separated. Place in the oven with the light on, and let rise for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Lightly grease your counter with vegetable oil. Roll each section of the colored dough into 18 -14 inch strands. Lay alongside each other and pinch together at the top. Now it is time to braid! (watch the video on our Instagram).
- Assign each place a number. In the photo below the red start in position 1 and purple is in position 6. As you braid the colors will move positions (1-6). Step 1: 6 to 1 (purple to far left). Step 2: 2 (which is now red) to 6. Step 3: 1 to 4. Step 4: 5 to 1. Step 5: 6 to 4. Step 6: 2 to 6. Step 7:1 to 4, you might see a pattern now. After step 5, repeat steps 2-5 until you reach the end. (Note: I make a mistake in the first round of this is the video, and correct it in a weird stop. See if you can spot the mistake!) Curl the ends under on both sides, and keep the traditional Challah Shape, or if it ended up a little long, like mine, make a wreath.
- Place on a greased baking sheet, cover loosely and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour in the oven with the light on.
- Remove dough and preheat over to 350 F.
- Mix one egg yolk and a tablespoon of water. Generously brush dough with egg wash.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. If the Challah is browning too fast, tent with foil.
- Thanks for baking with us!