Surprisingly easy to make, this egg-rich loaf of challah is shaped like a menorah for a fun and special Hanukkah surprise.
Serves: 16Prep: 3 hours 20 minutesCook: 20 minutesTotal: 3 hours 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons or 1 package dry active yeast
- 3⁄4 cup water, warm but not hot (100-110°F)
- 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, divided
- 1⁄4 cup melted butter or oil
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1⁄2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes or until small bubbles are visible.
- Add 3 eggs, butter or oil, salt and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar. Using dough hook, beat until mixed.
- Add 4 cups flour; mix until dough pulls away from side of bowl. If dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until dough is tacky but not sticky.
- Knead dough in mixer on medium-low speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Place dough in greased bowl; cover. Let rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled.
- Gently deflate dough; divide into quarters. Divide one quarter into thirds; roll each piece into 14”-long rope. Braid pieces. Transfer to center of parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Divide another quarter of dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place 4 of the balls at the bottom of the braided piece to form the bottom of the menorah. Place the other two against the braid on top of the bottom row.
- Divide the third quarter in two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Form the larger piece into an 18”-long rope. Arrange in a wide “U” shape near the top third of the braid to form the outer branches of the menorah. Form the second piece into a 12”-long rope. Cut 2” off so you have a 10” piece and a 2” piece. Set those aside.
- Divide the final quarter into 12 pieces. Roll each into a ball. Place 8 of the balls along the “U” shaped dough rope to form another set of branches. Place the 10” dough rope along the balls to form the 5th and 6th branches. Next, place the 4 remaining balls to form the 7th and 8th branches of the menorah. Place the last 2” piece in the center as the shamash candle.
- Cover. Let rise 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature until puffed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Beat remaining egg; brush over loaf. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until deeply golden brown.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.