Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner, and I’ll be sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes over the next couple of weeks. I always make a variety of round homemade challahs for the holiday. This year, I’ll be adding this gorgeous Star of David challah to my repertoire. My husband and I were cleaning out a pantry, and a Nordic Ware Star of David Bundt pan (which I had ordered online some years ago and forgot about) was discovered in back of food props and stacks of dishes. My husband suggested I use the pan to make a Star of David challah. I was skeptical about baking my challah dough in a bundt pan, but I gave it a try and was delighted with the result. I sliced the challah horizontally to keep the beautiful star shape, and used some of the leftover star slices to make French toast that got raves from my family. If you’re looking for a showstopper challah for the holiday, find my recipe below.
- 1 pkg. yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Active Dry 1/4 oz pkg—make sure it’s not rapid rise)
- 1 Cup warm water
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 Cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour)
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons oil (I use canola oil)
Glaze for the Braid
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
Glaze for the Jewish Star Bundt
- ¼ cup honey
Line an insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper to bake the braided challah
Spray well with Pam a Nordic Ware Star of David Bundt Pan (can be found at Nordic Ware, Target or Amazon)
Place yeast in warm water with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and allow to proof (to bubble up a bit so you know that the yeast are alive) 5 to 10 minutes.
Place flour, 1/4 Cup sugar and salt in food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Beat egg and oil in bowl, then add to water/yeast mixture.
Start food processor. Pour in liquids. Combine for about 15 seconds. It should be well combined.
When all combined, process for another 40 seconds. Dough will be more sticky than when you knead by hand.
Remove from food processor, knead just a few times, adding a little flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
Place in bowl which has been lightly greased with oil and allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk. This usually takes a couple of hours. Make sure to cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to rise.
Punch down and divide the dough in half. Roll half of the dough into a ball. Roll into a thick cylinder that will fit aroud the tube of the bundt pan. Place the cylinder onto the base of the pan and press the two ends together. You should have something that looks like a circle around the tube of the pan. Press the dough lightly onto the Star of David at the base of the pan. It’s ok if the dough does not totally cover the Star of David. It will spread as it bakes. Divide the other half of the dough into 3 pieces, then roll each piece into a 12” to 14” strand. Braid the three strands together into a simple braid, then place on the insulated cookie sheet. (Insulated cookie sheet will prevent burnt bottom of bread and parchment paper will prevent sticking).
Cover the Star of David bundt pan and the braid and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water and with a pastry brush, brush the glaze gently on the braided dough before baking.
You will glaze the Star of David Challah after it comes out of the oven and it is unmolded from the bundt pan. Heat the honey briefly in a small pot, then brush on top of the Star of David for a shiny presentation.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 30- 35 minutes.
Challahs should come out burnished to a deep golden brown.
Some tips for success: Make sure oven is preheated and it is calibrated to the correct temperature. You can buy an oven thermometer—it will let you know if your oven is at the correct temperature. If not, you can adjust it.
Make sure to use bread flour—it has a higher protein content and consequently a higher gluten content which provides the structure needed for a good bread.
Recipe developed by Judy Elbaum