Turkey Challah Bread

A loaf of turkey challah bread on a wood board

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This easy Thanksgiving idea uses one of my classic challah recipes to make a loaf of bread shaped like a turkey! It’s super simple to do and makes a fluffy loaf of challah that’s as fun to eat as it is to make.



Make the challah dough. First, you are going to make a batch of my Honey Vanilla Challah. Then after the first rise, you’re going to assemble the turkey.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You are going to assemble the turkey on this baking sheet.

Assemble the Turkey

Get a sharp knife. To assemble the turkey you’ll need to cut the dough using a sharp knife.

Cut the dough in half. If young children are helping you, do all the dividing of the dough separately and just give them the pre-cut pieces to work with.

One half of the dough is going to be the turkey’s body. Shape it into a large ball and place it in the center of your lined baking sheet.

Cut the remaining piece of dough into 4 pieces. One piece is going to be the turkey’s head. Shape it into a ball and place it just above the body, using a little bit of water to help the two pieces stick together if necessary.

Cut off about 1 tablespoon of the remaining dough. Roll into a ball and affix to the turkey’s “face” with a touch of water to make the dough stick together.

Cut the rest of the dough into about 30 equally sized pieces. Roll them into a ball, then arrange them around the turkey like feathers.

Second Rise, Then Bake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Your bread will rise on the counter while the oven heats up.

Let the dough do a second rise. Cover the turkey loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Add the eyes. With a sharp knife cut small slits where the eyes will be, then insert raisins.

Add the egg glaze. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, this is going to be the glaze for your bread. Gently brush the dough with a thick layer of it.

Bake. Place the dough in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bread is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when you thump it on the bottom.

Transfer to a baking rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing – or at least wait until it’s warm, not hot – then enjoy!

Keywords: thanksgiving bread, animal shaped bread, challah recipe