Idan Chabasov's Heart Challah (ChallahPrince)
Idan Chabasov's Heart Challah (ChallahPrince)

Heart Challah

There is nothing like fresh challah to soothe ones homesickness. I especially like this braiding because it is easy, but looks really impressive

I created the heart challah for the first time in the summer of 2020, when I lived in Berlin. I was very homesick, and nothing soothes that feeling or reminds me of home more than fresh challah. I especially like this braiding because it is easy to do, but the result is voluminous and very impressive. The amount in the recipe is enough for a large challah, but what’s nice about it is that you can scale it according to the size you like – it is impressive both as a huge challah and as small rolls, because with this basic braiding there, it is lovely either way. Here are two videos to help you out:

Ingredients for Heart Challah

For the dough:

  • 7 cups + 2 tablespoons (1 kilogram) bread flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) Sugar (for those who prefer a less sweet challah, can reduce up to half the amount of sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) Salt fine
  • 3 teaspoons (14 grams) Dry yeast or 40 grams fresh yeast
  • ½ cup (100 grams) olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon (430 grams) water

For the egg wash and garnish:

  • 2 egg yolks scrambled
  • Sesame seeds


Prepare and let the dough rise:

  • 1. Mix flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook- if using fresh yeast, do not add it at this stage but dissolve it in 1/2 cup of the water.

  • 2. Add oil and water (if using fresh yeast, add the dissolved yeast as well) while mixing at a slow speed. Knead for about 4 minutes, until the flour absorbs all the liquid. You may not need all the water - the resulting dough should be neither sticky nor wet, but it is important that all the flour is absorbed into the dough (make sure you check under the dough at the bottom of the bowl).

  • 3. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and knead for 10-12 minutes, until you get a smooth, uniform dough that gathers around the kneading hook and detaches from the sides of the bowl.

  • 4. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, and transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with a plastic bag or a clean, damp towel and leave to rise outside the refrigerator for about an hour until the dough doubles in volume.

Shape, rise, and bake:

  • 5. Heat an oven to 355F (180C) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • 6. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls weighing about 7 oz (200 grams) each. There is no need to flour or oil the work surface.

  • 7. Take one of the balls of dough and flatten it a little using the base of your palm to form an oval. Fold the long side of the oval to the center and roll it into a cylinder. Place your hands in the middle of the cylinder and roll it while moving your hands from the center to the ends, until you get a tapered strip of dough 23.5"-27.5" (60-70 cm) long, thicker on one side and narrower on the other. Roll the rest of the balls in the same way.

  • 8. Place 4 strips of dough side by side on the work surface, with the narrow end closest to you. Connect the thick ends together. Number the strips from right to left: the rightmost is strip #1, the leftmost is strip #4. Please note: as soon as you change the position of one of the strips, the numbering changes accordingly (i.e., the rightmost strip will always be #1 and so on).

  • 9. Place strip 2 above strips 3 and 4, so that it becomes the leftmost one.

  • 10. Place strip #1 above strip 2, between strips 2 and 3.

  • 11. Place strip 3 on top of strip 1, so that it becomes the rightmost.

  • 12. Place strip 4 above strip 3, between strips 3 and 2.

  • 13. Repeat the operation until you plait a long braid, the upper part of which is thick and the bottom part narrow. Fasten the narrow edges of the dough together, so that the challah does not open during swelling and baking.

  • 14. Knit the remaining 4 strips in the same way.

  • 15. Place the two strips on the baking sheet, facing each other, and shape each braid into a half-heart shape, so that the two braids form a heart whose "hills" are plump and whose "point" is thin. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and leave to rise for 40-60 minutes, until the dough almost doubles in volume.

  • 16. Brush the puffed challah with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on all sides.

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If you want, you can use the same amount of dough to make 2 smaller challahs, or make one Star of David challah from the dough according to the explanation in the link and use the rest of the dough to make a heart challah – just make sure that the 8 strips of dough are equal in size.

*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.