The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Challah without braiding?

Gunnersbury's picture

Challah without braiding?

I like to make challah, but really hate the braiding part.  Is it possible to simply put dough in a loaf pan and attain decent results?

MichaelH's picture

Why don't you try it and report back to us how it worked?

It will cost you almost nothing and you will be providing a service to the forum.

Good Luck.

Caltrain's picture

Hamelman and, iirc, Reinhart, state that you can make challah with any combination of braided or unbraided and in a pan or free standing. Other posters here have also offered the same advice in the past.

Gunnersbury's picture

Thank you. I will make it more often, using the much easier bread pans. I have some Jewish friends for whom I will still braid it, but that is special. 

ibor's picture

Being particularly interested in  bread braiding I would like to ask you, for didactic purposes, to please expound a bit on the reasons why you don't like braiding dough

* too much work forming the ropes?

* haven't been able to learn the braiding moves?

thank you

flournwater's picture

It's much easier to prepare in a bread pan but unless you practice your hand at braiding you can't expect to master the art.  You don't say what type of braid you've worked with but a three element braid is really quite easy and still makes a very nice presentation.

Click for larger image

dmsnyder's picture

You can certainly bake challah dough as a simple pan bread, but you can also make pan challah like a brioche nanterre. You divide the dough into 3 or 6 pieces and shape each piece as a roll. Then place them in your pan either in 1 row of 3 or two rows of 3, proof and bake.

See NYBakers/Norm's Book - Recipe Tests


Zeb's picture

I've done Maggie Gleazer's rolled up sun shape. That's three strands coiled and crossed in the middle. Looks more complicated than it is! 

Challah From a Blessing of Bread

flournwater's picture

That's really nice Zeb; quite festive.  I hadn't seen it before.  Thanks for sharing.  I see how it was done and I think I'll try that soon.

Zeb's picture

Flourwater hi, thanks back !  I've had a look to see if I had any other photos and I have this one before it went in the oven that shows the layout of the coils a bit more clearly. In case anyone else wants a go. I think the strands were about 250g each. I made it at New Year.

Gunnersbury's picture

Thank you, all you wonderful people who responded. I am going the loaf pan route to enjoy that wonderful Challah bread, but for special occasions I will braid: I read that for the Jewish Rosh Hashanah, a round braid is done! Maybe by then I will hav mastered the straight braided version. 

ssor's picture

kind. Challah is braided. if it isn't braided it is just bread.

mimi7107's picture

Isn't half the fun of baking challah in the braiding?  I'm also mystified by those who use the bread machine so they don't have to knead.  I suppose it's a quicker way to have fresh bread, but kneading sure is fun and therapeutic!  

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Regrettably, Kiev is no longer in business. It was an inexpensive Russian diner, and you got challah with every order. Wonderful bread that was baked on the premises, although it was not braided, and was baked in loaf pans.

I guess if your customers are eating that much bread, you don't spend time and oven space making braided, free-standing loaves.

Anybody got a recipe for Kiev's challah?

Bread Booty's picture
Bread Booty

I just made unbraided and it was great. Reminded me of Kiev. Quicker to make