Sweet Challah with Streusel Topping

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sweet challah with streusel

This Sweet Challah with Streusel Topping is one of my favorite challah recipes and I make it almost every week—to rave reviews! It also looks great made in muffin tins when you need individual challettes. My kids love the sweet crumble topping, but feel free to omit it if you prefer a sweet challah that is not too babka-like.  

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 60 rolls or 6 loavesServings

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 rounded teaspoons or 3 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 14 to 15 cups high-gluten flour

Topping

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, cut into pieces, or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

1. To prepare the dough: Place the lukewarm water in a large bowl. (Note: For the yeast to proof, the water must truly be lukewarm. Dip your finger in the water. If it’s too hot for your fingers, it’s too hot for the yeast as well. If it’s cool, it won’t work either. Lukewarm is just right.) Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Wait 5 to 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof. It will appear foamy.

2. In a separate large bowl (or a large 6-quart mixer fitted with dough hook), mix remaining 2 cups sugar, eggs, 1 1/2 cups of the oil, and salt. Add proofed yeast and mix. Add flour, 4 cups at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes by hand or mixer, adding additional flour if dough is too sticky.

3. Drizzle remaining 2 teaspoons oil in mixing bowl; roll dough in oil to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, prepare the topping.

4. To prepare the topping: Combine sugar, flour, margarine, vanilla, and cinnamon, if using, in a small bowl; mix with a fork until coarse crumbs form.

5. Grease six loaf or challah pans. Punch down the risen dough. Divide into six pieces; divide each piece into at least three, and roll into long ropes about 12 inches long. Braid and place in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle reserved topping over loaves. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove the challahs to wire racks to cool.

Note: This recipe can be made by hand, in a large 6-quart stand mixer with a dough hook, or in a large capacity bread mixer from Bosch or Magic Mill fitted with a dough hook.

Make Ahead: The breads in Celebrate beautifully. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Recipe from CELEBRATE: Food Family Shabbos By Elizabeth Kurtz, Emunah of America, distributed by Feldheim Publishers, October 2015