Challah

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

With its rich, slightly sweet flavor, shiny golden crust, and pillowy interior, challah isn’t just for the Jewish holidays — it appeals to everyone, any time!

Challah

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Challah is the bread of celebration in Jewish tradition, but I put it in the matzo ball soup and bagel category: it appeals to everyone. It’s a rich, slightly sweet loaf with a shiny, golden crust and pillowy-soft interior. But what makes it truly special is its distinctive braid, which symbolizes, among other things, the joining together of family and friends.

Rest assured, challah looks like far more trouble than it actually is. Think of it as a once-in-a-while baking therapy project. Kneading and braiding the dough, smelling the challah baking in the oven—it really is satisfying. And when the long braided loaf is presented at the dinner table, it is a sight to behold!

I owe much of the credit for this recipe to Nanci Hirschorn, one of my lovely readers, who has been perfecting her challah recipe for over thirty-five years. Thank you, Nanci, for all the pointers!

Heads up: this recipe makes one 16-in loaf. It’s huge! If you have leftovers, use it to make Challah French ToastBaked Apple French Toast, or Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding.

What you’ll need to make Challah

The recipe calls for instant or rapid rise yeast, which rises faster than regular active dry yeast. Once opened, yeast will keep in the refrigerator for three to six months. Yeast is sold in jars (as pictured) or individual packets. If you don’t do a lot of bread baking, it’s best to buy the packets; just note that the quantity required for this recipe (1 tablespoon) is more than one packet.

Be sure your eggs are room temperature; this dough is slow to rise and cold eggs will slow it down even further.

How To Make Challah

Step 1: Make The Dough

Begin by combining the lukewarm water, oil, honey, 2 of the eggs, and the egg yolk; whisk well and set aside.

whisked wet ingredients

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, and salt.

flour, salt, and yeast in mixer

Mix to combine.

whisked flour, salt, and yeast

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.

adding liquid ingredients to dry ingredients in mixer

Knead on medium-low speed until you have a sticky dough that clings to the bottom of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes. The dough may seem too wet but have faith—it’s supposed to be.

kneaded sticky challah dough

Dust your hands generously with flour, then scrape the sticky, elastic dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour.

challah dough on floured countertop

Knead into a soft, smooth ball.

challah dough kneaded into a ball

Step 2: Let it Rise

Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, flip it over once so the top is lightly oiled, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

dough in bowl ready to rise

Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it’s puffy and doubled in size, 2 to 3 hours. Keep in mind that when baking yeast breads, rising times are only a guide. The temperature in your kitchen, the humidity level outdoors, and how you knead the dough will all affect the rising time.

challah dough after first rise

Step 3: Braid the Dough

If you have a little girl in your life, or were ever a summer camp counselor, you have an advantage with braiding challah. But even if not, I assure you it’s easy to do. There are dozens of methods, but I think this 4-strand braid is the easiest and the prettiest.

To begin, invert the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and dust with flour. It will deflate.

challah dough

Cut the dough into four even pieces. (If you want to be exact, each piece should weigh approximately 9 oz or 260 g.)

cut challah dough

Stretch and roll each piece into a rope about 20-inches long. Lay the ropes parallel to one another (vertically). Pinch them tightly together at the top, and then fan them out. If the ropes shrink a bit, just work them back into their original length.

four strands of challah dough

Begin by taking the strand farthest to the right and weave it toward the left through the other strands using this pattern: over, under, over.

starting challah braidstarting challah braidTake the strand furthest to the right and repeat the weaving pattern again: over, under, over. how to braid challah

how to braid challah

how to braid challah

Repeat this pattern, always starting with the strand farthest to the right, until the whole loaf is braided.

how to braid challah

how to braid challah

Tuck the ends under the loaf to give it a finished look.

Step 4: Let the Braided Dough Rise

Carefully transfer the braided loaf to a parchment-lined 13 x 18-inch baking sheet. Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until about 1.5 times the size, 1 to 2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. (Note that the loaf will continue to rise a bit in the oven.) In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and brush the beaten egg generously over the risen dough. (Note: If you like, sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds onto the challah before putting it in the oven.)

Step 5: Bake

Place the baking sheet atop another baking sheet; this will prevent the bottom crust from browning too much. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is a rich brown color and the internal temperature is between 190°F and 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a rack to cool. Challah is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep for a few days in a sealed plastic bag.

Challah

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

You May Also Like

 

Challah

With its rich, slightly sweet flavor, shiny golden crust, and pillowy interior, challah isn’t just for the Jewish holidays — it appeals to everyone, any time!

Servings: One 16-inch [40 cm] loaf

Ingredients

  • 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon instant/rapid-rise yeast (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the lukewarm water, oil, honey, 2 of the eggs, and the egg yolk. Add to the dry ingredients and knead on medium-low speed until you have a sticky dough that clings to the bottom of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes. The dough may seem too wet but have faith—it’s supposed to be.
  2. Dust your hands generously with flour, then scrape the sticky, elastic dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour and knead briefly into a soft, smooth ball. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, flip it over once so the top is lightly oiled, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it's puffy and doubled in size, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and dust with flour. It will deflate. Cut the dough into four even 9-oz pieces, and then stretch and roll each piece into a rope about 20-inches long. Lay the ropes parallel to one another (vertically). Pinch them tightly together at the top, and then fan them out. If the ropes shrink a bit, just work them back into their original length.
  4. Begin by taking the strand farthest to the right and weave it toward the left through the other strands using this pattern: over, under, over. Take the strand furthest to the right and repeat the weaving pattern again: over, under, over. Repeat this pattern, always starting with the strand farthest to the right, until the whole loaf is braided. Tuck the ends under to give the loaf a finished look.
  5. Carefully transfer the braided loaf to a parchment-lined 13 x 18-inch baking sheet. Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until about 1.5 times the size, 1 to 2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. (Note that the loaf will continue to rise significantly in the oven.)
  6. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and brush the beaten egg generously over the risen dough. (Note: If you like, sprinkle poppy or sesame seeds onto the challah before putting it in the oven.) Place the baking sheet atop another baking sheet; this will prevent the bottom crust from browning too much. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the crust is a rich brown color and the internal temperature is between 190°F and 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a rack to cool. Challah is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep for a few days in a sealed plastic bag.
  7. Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant/rapid-rise yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise.
  8. Note: When baking yeast breads, rising times are only a guide; the temperature in your kitchen, the humidity level outdoors, and how you knead the dough will all affect the rising time.
  9. Make-Ahead Instructions: Prepare the loaf up to the point where it's braided and on the pan. Cover it with greased plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove the braided dough from the refrigerator and set it on the countertop (keep it covered). Let it come to room temperature and rise for about 1 hour before baking as directed.
  10. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: Challah can be baked, cooled, tightly wrapped, and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw at room temperature for at least 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (16 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 206
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 126 mg
  • Cholesterol: 35 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi, I made this on Friday and I’m in Arizona. My challah was so wet after all the flour still and I added more flour but it was still so wet. The challah ended up being great just extra wet. I suggest adding some sugar if you want it more sweet. Do you have any recommendations when it’s really wet? I could not even braid it. I definitely would make this again just find a way to not have it so wet.

    • — Madison on July 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Madison glad the challah turned out well although the dough was challenging to work with. If you make this again and find it to be too wet, I would continue to add flour, just a little at a time until it gets to a more workable texture. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • This bread is absolutely wonderful! The flavor was amazing!! It’s funny, I used the instant yeast I had on hand which was apparently not fresh anymore, but even as a denser loaf it was still soft and so delicious. And the only thing I did differently was use a rosemary infused honey, because that’s all I had in my cupboards, but I couldn’t taste the rosemary myself. This loaf was such a hit, my mom asked me to make another loaf just a day after I made the first. Thank you so much-I love being able to pamper my parents with the things they enjoy!

    • — Lane on May 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Happy Mother’s Day!
    I made this bread for the first time with my son and it came out perfect! Thank you so much! I have your book and wanted to make the baked bourbon French toast. I was not paying attention that it should be the whole loaf of bread. In the recipe intro you said you use your leftovers. Is the toast going to be too soggy, sadly I did not reduce the egg mixture? Thanks

    • — Sonya on May 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Sonya, Glad you enjoyed the challah! The answer to your question really depends on how much challah you have left over. Do you have the majority of the loaf?

      • — Jenn on May 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello,

    Is it possible to make this into several challahs?

    Thank you!

    • — Anabelle on April 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, the bake time may be different though, so keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Let me start off by saying that I cook and bake a lot but I have always been intimidated by baking breads and challahs. I finally decided to try baking this challah and it turned out fabulously. My husband gave me some pointers such as use a dough scraper which was a big help in working with sticky bread dough. Appreciate that you included internal temperature as I would have pulled it out too soon otherwise (top was golden but not cooked through yet). I was tempted to add some honey to the egg wash but glad I followed the recipe instead. Challah was perfect all around – texture, crust and sweetness level. Although my braid didn’t look quite as nice as your picture (although still very presentable ;)). Looking forward to giving it another try this Shabbat.

    • — LisaR on April 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am confused about the egg wash??? The recipe calls for 3 eggs, 2 whole and 1 yolk. So do I just use the leftover egg white for the wash or another whole egg???

    • — April on April 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi April, You’ll combine the water, oil, honey, 2 of the eggs and the egg yolk. You can discard the white from that egg that only requires the yolk. You’ll then use the last full egg for the egg wash. Hope that clarifies that you enjoy the challah!

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • I followed exactly. Your instructions are top notch! I was so excited to see the dough sticking at the bottom and the ball of dough was so beautiful! Braiding was a snap too! My soon to be 27 yr old son requested something else beside the usual goodies…I said bread? He said challah? Well, he never knew about challah til he moved to Manhattan. So I dived into Pinterest and at the top found your shared recipe. Before I even look at a recipe, I always check out the reviews. Fast forward, I made it today and by looking at it, you’d think I had made it all my life. I know this because friends on fb said so!🤣
    I am not a fan of this bread. Neither is my husband. Toasted we liked it better. Oh well! My neighbor got half the loaf and she ate it out of the bag and LOVES IT!! But my son wants it with some soup next week and his wish is my command!
    I wish I could share the photos…the finished loaf is magnificent! THANK YOU!

    • — Susie T on March 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • For our Shabbat dinner I baked this Challah and so far…THE BEST one. It was so delicious, soft, spongy that it is going to be for now on the challah on my table every Friday night!

    • — Cheryl on March 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’ve made this recipe a few times and the challah has always turned out great! But my dough is never wet and sticky enough to cling to the bowl. Do you know why that could be? Or why the challah still turns out so well? Thanks!

    • — Zoe on March 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Zoe, Perhaps you’re using slightly more flour than necessary and that’s why you’re finding the texture to be less sticky, but if it turns out well, I wouldn’t worry about it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • I have this challah in the oven right now, and it smells delicious! I made the recipe into two loaves of three strands instead of one larger loaf because I have a small family, and two loaves are essential for Shabbat, which is tonight.

    I found the dough to be very dry, and I had to add water. Next time, if we like the flavor, I’ll just add another egg.

    I always use the overnight rise in the fridge for the second rise, and it worked well. I used active dry yeast and did the first rise in my oven on “bread-proof” which sets the oven to 100 deg F, and it worked very quickly. The dough doubled and I left a dimple after only 2 hours. I don’t think instant yeast would have been any faster!

    So if it’s as delicious as it smells right now (it’s out of the oven now), this will be my go-to challah recipe. Thank you!

    • — Ellen T on March 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Could we put raisins in this bread? How much would you recommend and at what step of the recipe? Thank you so much 🙂

    • — Alaina on February 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alaina, Yes, you can add some raisins. I’d start with about 1/2 cup and if you like the results, you can increase the amount the next time you make it. I’d add them right at the end of when you’re kneading the dough in the mixer. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • I just made up this dough and I am wondering why all the warnings about stickyness? There was not enough liquid in the dough for 4.5 cups of flour to be sticky. I am wondering if I did it wrong and will my bread still be soft enough on the inside.

    • — Jeanne B on February 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • There is always some variation in bread baking, Jeanne. How did it turn out?

      • — Jenn on March 1, 2021
      • Reply
    • Mine was dry too! I added additional water and next time will use an egg.

      • — Ellen T on March 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’d love to try this challah recipe but have a few questions. If I feel uncomfortable leaving the dough out for more than an hour or so because it has eggs in it can I do any of the rising in the refrigerator? I also don’t have a stand mixer but saw you said we can do it by hand though it might look a bit different than yours. Do you mean it might be flatter and if so is there anything we can do while mixing to try and avoid this? Lastly, I’m using Publix All Purpose Flour and live in Florida (I saw you said humidity can impact the rise) so I’m trying to decide what the best adjusted water and flour amounts may be. Publix All Purpose flour states it has 3g of protein on the ingredient label, I believe King Arthur which you recommend is 4g, but then I read something about differences between gluten-forming protein and nutritional protein so now I’m not sure how to compare them. Trying to put your suggestions into place, maybe I should reduce the flour by 1/2 cup as I’m mixing it by hand/it’s a different brand flour and reduce the water to 2/3 because of the humidity? Thank you for helping me troubleshoot in advance!

    • — Alyssa on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alyssa, if you knead the dough by hand, the dough may look a bit different but the finished challah should not. And regarding your questions about the type of flour and the level of humidity where you live, I wouldn’t make any changes to the amount of water or flour you’re using. If anything, because you’re kneading it by hand, you may need to add a bit more flour in order to be able to work with it. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on February 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! I’ll leave the recipe as is and only use a little extra flour if the dough becomes hard to manage. If I’m uncomfortable with leaving the dough out for more than an hour or so because of the eggs could I do the first rise in the refrigerator?

        • — Alyssa on February 23, 2021
        • Reply
        • I wouldn’t recommend doing the rise in the fridge. It will be too cold and inhibit rising.

          • — Jenn on February 24, 2021
          • Reply
  • I used this recipe for my first ever challah and it was incredible. My boyfriend must have eaten half of the loaf in one sitting. Thank you for the thorough and clear instructions. Making it again this week and hoping to master the braid! hehe.

    • — Kacie on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Fantastic Challah Recipe. Super easy and yummy.

    • — jill griffin on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi there! Big fan 😊 I only have bread flour, what would be the measurements and directions please? Thank you!!

    • — Mumbles on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mumbles, I wouldn’t recommend bread flour here – I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2021
      • Reply
    • What kind flour do you recommend? I’m new to baking.

      • — Jennifer on February 18, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jennifer, I’d go with the all-purpose flour that the recipe calls for. Hope you enjoy the challah!

        • — Jenn on February 19, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is the easiest bread recipe. I am not the best measurer and this bread always turns out. We live at over 5,000 feet, and it seems like things need a bit more flour than normal. I use the bread flour from King Arthur. When making this dough, let the dough tell you if you need a bit more flour. See how smooth it looks in the last picture (in the bowl), it will feel smooth and satiny. My braid has never been as pretty as hers, but it still tastes good.

    And for adding a bit of flavor…
    To ensure the flour did not dry out the dough, I greased the counter, hands, and rolling pin with a bit of butter.
    Made the legs of the braid, rolled each flat (think long rectangles), sprinkled in some cinnamon sugar and craisins, rolled the legs back up, and braided as normal. After cooking, drizzle some frosting made from powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.
    Or for a savory loaf, use a bit of cheese. We used an Irish white cheddar. The boys thought it needed diced jalapenos.

    The bread is fantastic as is and can be dressed sweet or savory.

    • — Amy on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this challah recipe for the first time. Recommend you follow the instructions for the flour measurement so you get it just perfect ! The 4 braid instructions were easy to follow too. Delicious challah – my new “go to” !

    • — Susan Tabachnick on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this bread this weekend and it turned out delicious. It was easier to make than I thought and rose beautifully. The eggs in it gave it a wonderful taste.

    • — Sandra on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Really beautiful loaf! I was intimated by the braiding because I had never made challah before but Jenn’s pictures made it easy. Followed the recipe without modifications – my only complaint is that it only lasted 24 hours before it was gone in our house!

    • — Madeline on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe for the first time the other day. I followed the recipe, but my dough was extremely wet and stuck to my hands terribly while kneading. I had to add quite a bit of extra flour, but it still tasted great (just a bit more dry than it probably should have been). Presentations was beautiful and I will definitely be giving a try again to see if I can get it to be more tender.

    • — Ashley on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have been on a roll with your recipes, Jenn.
    I first made this from your cookbook when I bought it over a year ago. I appreciated the pictures then, and now I appreciate even more, the metric measures on your website.
    I made the challah dough yesterday, and stuck it in the fridge till this afternoon. This is a dream dough to work with especially when it’s chilled.
    I made two smaller round three strand braids, and baked in an 8 inch cake pan. I also followed your note about the double sheet pans under, and that worked well.
    This is a beautiful recipe, and the way you post the pictures above the recipe I’m sure helps everyone.

    • — Carol on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this bread last weekend. It was delicious, and surprisingly easy to make! I didn’t have a standmixer so I kneaded it by hand and didn’t find it so wet/unworkable. The bread still turned out great. It was a lot of fun braiding it 🙂 Thanks!

    • — Elizabeth on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This challah is delicious!! The recipe does take a large part of the day, however each step only takes a few minutes.
    I chose to make two “smaller” loafs which were both substantial in size. I will be making this again!

    • — Lesley on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a very satisfying recipe to work through. The reward is a luxurious and stunning loaf of delicious bread. Follow the instructions to the letter and it always turns out. I make this often and if there are left overs I make French Toast – yummers!

    • — Deb Usprich on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • My favorite Challah bread recipe. I’ve stopped searching because this one is that good. It’s easy to make, looks beautiful and tastes amazing. We sometimes make it just so we can make overnight baked French toast with it! It makes a nice large loaf.

    • — Julie G on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I tried a few recipes and had a few failed challahs before finding this one and making a beautiful one! It is a bit larger than the other ones I’ve tried, where they divide the dough, so make sure to really roll it out long enough to braid and have a counter top spacious enough to work on. I did have some wonky inconsistencies in width but I’ll chalk it up to patience and practice.

    • — Karin on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • The best Challah ,
    Although I had trouble cause I find the bread to be big …but overall, the taste is amazing …
    And French toast with this is outstanding…
    Nathalie B

    • — Nathalie on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is an easy for follow recipe and outcome is both delicious and beautiful. I added raisins to mine, my husband loves it that way.

    • — Kate Foss on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have never made challah before, I have always been intimidated. I saw your recipe and decided to go for it. It was simple, easy and so delicious. This will definitely be a staple in our house. I made your yummy potato leek soup with it, it was a great Friday night dinner🍞🥣

    • — Lisa on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have never made bread before and found this recipe easy to follow and easy to do. I often use what I have on hand so instead of just sesame seeds I used everything but salt Mrs. Dash.

    • — J.H. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can I use unbleached all-purpose flour?

    • — Sophia on January 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi, I’m hoping to bake this tomorrow. Question, what effect would adding 1 extra yolk do? As I tend to prefer not to use egg yolk in the egg glaze, only the white- so essentially I’d have a spare. Next question, can I use white bread flour instead of plain/AP flour? Sorry- third, is an American tbsp 15 or 10ml? Thank you so much!

        • — Emma on January 25, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Emma, you can use an extra yolk but it will make the dough a little wetter/stickier so you may need to add a tiny bit more flour. I would not recommend using bread flour for this; for best results, I’d stick to all-purpose.

          And the great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on January 26, 2021
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!! I’m excited to try this recipe, it’s proving now… but it was SO sticky and slack that it was difficult to knead. Should I add flour until it stops being sticky? I kneaded and kneaded, but it remained difficult to work with. It never got into a smooth ball. I used Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose. I don’t believe I mis-measured anything. I would love a video of you making this!! PS – Thank you, I love all your recipes!! : )

    • — Renee on January 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Renee, It’s a sticky dough, but it’s fine to add a little more flour if necessary. Gold Medal is lower in protein than King Arthur (which is what I use), so it makes sense that you’d need to add a bit more. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn! It turned out great! The taste and texture were great, visually it just lacked definition with the braid. I’ll try to add extra flour next time… because I will definitely be making this again!

        • — Renee on January 22, 2021
        • Reply
      • First time making challah bread and it has, worked brilliantly. Easy to follow step by step instructions. It’s delicious! Thank you.

        • — Christine on January 24, 2021
        • Reply
  • Easy to follow recipe! Tastes and looks amazing!

    • — Jamie on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • This challah is light and has the perfect pull-apart quality! This is the BEST of several recipes I’ve tried over the years!

    • — Grace on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi all; what temperature should I be proofing the Challah dough at? (I’m pretty sure I’ve been over-proofing but opinions online for this are kind of all over the place.) And, is there a proofing temp difference for instant vs active dry yeasts? Thanks!

    • — EvanS on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Evan, I just looked this up because I’ve never known exactly what the temperature is of the spot I use to proof. King Arthur (a resource I really trust), suggests 75°F to 78°F. You can read more here. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Thanks Jenn for another wonderful recipe. I have been baking bread just for the past 10 months, but quite a lot of it. Something about the kneading is therapeutic and I actually enjoyed the process of braiding. I made this for a neighbour who is going through a rough patch and she just called to say that this was the most amazing bread and what is in it that it tastes so different! Her family was “over the moon” with this loaf. I will be making this one again very soon so that I will have leftovers for French toast for Christmas breakfast!

    • — Dawn M. on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this earlier this morning and WOW! It looks like a photo and the smell is intoxicating. The instructions were spot on and my dough looked just like yours. I feel it’s important to weigh ingredients when baking and always do it in grams for accuracy. I bake a lot and found this recipe to be simple enough for even a beginner. This will be my new go-to recipe for Challah!!

    • — Julie G on December 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi! I’m making this tomorrow morning and have one question. You say to place the baking sheet atop another baking sheet. I only have 1 half-sheet pan that I’ll bake it on. Did you mean another pan, of the same size, so it sits inside the 2nd pan or another pan of a smaller size so it sits on top of the second pan rather than the oven rack? Hope that makes sense. Thank you!!

    • — Julie G on December 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I may be weighing in too late to help, but yes when I mention placing the baking sheet on top of another one, yes, they should be the same size. If you don’t have two baking sheets of the same size, as long as you have another thin metal pan, you could just invert it under a baking sheet that the challah will rest on so that isn’t sitting directly on the rack. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn! I’m making this bread right now but my dough is very dry! I put all the ingredients in just like you wrote them; what is happening?? Can I fix this or do I need to start over and use less flour?

      • — Kayla on February 27, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sorry I’m just now seeing this, Kayla. How did it turn out?

        • — Jenn on February 27, 2021
        • Reply
  • What If I only have a hand mixer? can I do this all by hand? What would your recommendation be? I want to make this today!

    • — Sandra Goldmeer on December 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, it’s fine to do it by hand. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I’ve now made this challah twice (in one week!), and it’s so delicious, but I think it’s a little denser than most challahs I’m used to. On the second challah I tried to increase rise times, but not too drastically, and it was about the same density as the first. Any advice? Thanks!

    • — Caroline on December 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Caroline, Glad you like it. Regarding the texture, it sounds like perhaps you’re using too much flour. Do you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much for the reply! I made another challah yesterday and used the correct flour measuring method and the challah came out PERFECT! And it made a great french toast this morning. Thanks again!

        • — Caroline on December 20, 2020
        • Reply
        • So glad — thanks for the follow-up!

          • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
          • Reply
    • I had never tried to make homemade bread before other than biscuits. I followed your step by step instructions and the results were gorgeous. My son in law is Jewish and he was so happy that the Hanukkah challah was homemade.

      • — Steve and Deb Williams on December 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this today and it turned out amazing! I accidentally used bread flour instead of all purpose and didn’t realize until I was cleaning up and saw the flour bag. I was really worried it would be a flop after that but it actually turned out really good and fluffy! My whole family loved it. We’ve always gotten store-bought challah but this was way better and the 4-braid gave it a really nice appearance. I plan on making it again but with all-purpose flour. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it was easy to follow and absolutely delicious!!

    • — Julia on December 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I can’t stop making this bread!

    • — Nicole on December 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn

    I’m looking forward to making this but I’m going to use active dry yeast. Typically the yeast is put into the liquid and left for 5-10 minutes. If I add the yeast directly to the dry ingredients will it still rise properly?

    Thanks Jenn – I’m fairly new with using yeast:)

    Nicole

    • — Nicole on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • You can do it either way, Nicole. But if you dissolve the yeast in liquid, the dough will rise a bit faster.

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn
    Yesterday I made my first Challah bread . This was the first time
    I ever used the dough hook on that fancy black kitchen aid
    machine which until this past week I only used to make
    chocolate chip cookies ! The bread was amazing although it had
    a little bit of a Charlie Brown look to it (as we started to weave the
    bread some of the strands were a little shorter than the others .When
    we stretched them they became a little skinnier from when we started
    so one end of the baked loaf ended up a little narrower than the beginning)
    I gave this first one to my daughter .They loved it as asked me to make another
    for a photo shoot they are doing of their home at xmas .On monday I will make
    one for our son and his squeeze. Question .Your instructions say you can make ahead
    and keep it fridge overnight . I take it that means you do the first rise of dough.Shape the
    bread ,do the second rise of 1.5 to 2 hours then put in fridge overnight and give it another hour when you take it out , correct ? I would like to do it this way second time as it is a long process from beginning to end and I don’t want to start at 5 am for lunch delivery ! Thanks for another great recipe.
    ron vaage
    Vancouver BC
    Canada

    • — ron vaage Vancouver BC on November 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ron, You can skip the second rise at room temperature because the braided dough will rise in the fridge overnight (although much more slowly). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2020
      • Reply
    • Ok thanks
      I am doing second loaf now the conventional way
      Will try overnight in fridge for third loaf
      Thanks
      Ron

      • — Ron vaage on November 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made it pretty much exactly as written, and this is the best bread I’ve ever made! I appreciated the instruction to have faith when the dough seemed to sticky/wet, because I’ve made challah before that turned out too dry. It definitely stuck to the bottom and sides of my mixer, but the dough itself wasn’t wet, just sticky. I divided the dough to make 4 buns and 1 braided loaf. Will definitely make it again! 🙂

    • — Ruthie on November 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I have your cookbook and I made this 4 times this week now. This is soo good and I couldn’t believe I made it and it came out with a very beautiful presentation. I have a question – can I omit the honey to sugar? And how much? does it change the flavor? This is the best and I made this with baked bourbon with praline topping.😍😍😍😍😍
    Thanks
    Rose 🌹

    • — Rose on November 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like this, Rose! It’s fine to use sugar in place of the honey—you’ll need to use the same amount so 6 tablespoons. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • My daughter and I made this today and had a few issues with how the challah turned out. First, the braids sort of blobbed together, they didn’t stay separate. Second, while it tastes really yummy, it seems kind of crumbly instead of pillowy. And third, once I brushed the top with the egg, the dough deflated even though I brushed ever so lightly. Can you help us? Wondering if it was in the proofing? Did we handle too much? Want to try again next Friday! Thanks so much.
    Caron and Darcy

    • — Caron Wollard on November 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Caron and Darcy, sorry to hear you had some problems with the challah! What brand of flour did you use? Also, did you let it rise for the amount of time specified in the recipe? If so, did it seem to rise as it should’ve?

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2020
      • Reply

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.