homemade cranberry challah sandwich bread recipe

Homemade Cranberry Challah Sandwich Bread Recipe

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That is a mouthful, now isn’t it? In more ways than one! I wanted to kick Avery’s lunches up a notch for Back to School (as we all do, I’m sure) but not in a “she has an awesome lunch for a week and then we are back to just barely getting food in the box” sort of way. That is why I took a favorite, the trusty PB&J and just made it better with a more awesome sandwich bread! Check out this delicious homemade cranberry challah sandwich bread!


We love making challah on Friday’s, but it is just not fair to have to wait all week to get to Friday to enjoy some challah, that is when I thought, why not make it smaller and in loaf pans so Avery can enjoy it in her lunch all week long! First things first, I had to run to Smart & Final to stock up on my baking essentials as well as some of Avery’s lunch favorites. I love the Sun Harvest brand because it is all the natural and hormone free things I want in her food, but at a price I can afford!


Plus you can find them all throughout the store, the No Stir Peanut Butter and Raspberry Preserves are a favorite, but I also picked up the Sun Harvest Dried Cranberries for the challah and some Natural Popcorn to pack with her sandwich in her lunches. There are so many great products and will their upcoming re-branding, it is only going to get better from here! Smart & Final has announced the launch of its new branding campaign which will place the ampersand (“&”) – already in the 144-year old company’s name – front and center to showcase the company’s relationship with both its customers and the communities it serves. For more information on this, check out this great video!

smart & final

Now, let’s make some challah, which sounds much scarier than it actually is- promise. Because this is a bit time consuming, my recipe makes 3 batches which would be a total of 9 challah loaves which would last around 3 weeks in our house. You could bake everything off and freeze your extra loaves, or you could do what I do and freeze two of the batches in freezer bags after the first rise. Then each week I just pull them out of the freezer to defrost completely, braid and let rise then bake off. .

Cranberry Challah Recipe

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 packets (or 6 3/4 teaspoons yeast)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 5lb bag of flour
  • 1-2 packages Sun Harvest Natural Dried Cranberries

But first things first, put the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bottom of  your mixing bowl and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.


Then add the eggs, oil, salt and about 8-9 cups of flour to start. This in the end is very full in the mixing bowl but ends out working pretty well. Start low with your speed and bread hook and go up from there, I didn’t go any higher than medium speed though.


Keep adding flour to the bowl until the dough pulls away from the side. Then add a whole bag of Sun Harvest Cranberries, or two if you want, and mix a couple of times to get it together.


Turn out your down on a floured surface, it will look like a crumbly mess.


Then knead until it looks smooth, pretty, and dough like.


I put some oil in the bottom of 3 bowls, separated the dough into thirds and rolled in around in the oil in each one. Then I covered with plastic wrap and let rise until it doubled in size, about 1-2 hours depending on where you live and the weather.


At this point, I put two loaves in freezer bags and tossed them in the chest freezer and then separated the last bowl into three pieces. Then each piece got separated into fourths and braided. I put the braided loaf in each one of the tins that I also picked up at Smart & Final and let them rise again. (The tins were about a dollar for three and since I sprayed them with cooking spray, the challah came out easily and I will be able to use them a few more times.)


After they at risen over the sides of the pan, I popped them in the oven to bake- at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. You can egg wash them or just spray with cooking spray.


Then they were ready to slice up and become the ultimate PB&J, I mean come on, that looks delicious, right??

I also grabbed these great storage containers for next to nothing and they are perfect for packing lunches, or even adult meal prep as well!


I easily packed up a lunch with a sandwich, mango, and some Sun Harvest Popcorn and it was done!


The only thing better than fresh bake bread is Smart & Final’s new Instacart program and right now you can get $5 off and free delivery with promo code: SMART5! Yup, pretty sweet, huh?! Plus, there is also a Sun Harvest Sweepstakes going on August 26- September 1st,  so you if you snap a picture of your favorite Sun Harvest products, share them on Twitter & Instagram and tag them with #SFSunHarvestSweeps you could get the chance to win $100 SmartCash Card! That is a lot of groceries and you have 20 chances to win!


Make sure to keep up with Smart & Final on Facebook and Twitter and tell me in the comments below what your favorite back to school lunch packing tips!


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One Response to Homemade Cranberry Challah Sandwich Bread Recipe

  1. Carolyn West August 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    I love making challah but I only ever do one at a time. I like the idea of making a whole bunch of them and sticking the dough in the freezer. It’s a great idea. #client