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)

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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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Can I use bread flour instead of all purpose? What might the difference be?

    • — Andrea Feldmar on November 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrea, I wouldn’t recommend using bread flour here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can this dough be made in the bread machine and then remove to braid?

    • — Lyssa Fischbein on November 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • Fantastic results! I recently purchased a stand mixer and had no idea bread making would be so easy.

    • — Rob Moeller on October 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Strayed from my regular Challah recipe this weekend after coming across this one and wow! SO delicious!! Will definitely recommend it to my friends to try out! It turned out beautiful, sooo yummy and so soft inside! My oven is on the smallish side so I divided the dough in half and baked two loaves. Worked great! And they were both great size! We will be freezing some and having French toast tomorrow for breakfast for sure! Thank you so much for an amazing recipe and method!! I’m so used to making my Challah one way every time, but it was fun to try something slightly different and get extremely good results 🙌🙌 Thank You!

    • — Steffie on October 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • First time making challah and it turned out great! I didn’t have vegetable oil so I substituted for 3 tbsp of canola oil and 3 tbsp of margarine. Great recipe, thanks!

    • — Lian on October 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Do you use the dough hook for the entire recipe? I’ll be baking this on Friday!

    • — Barbara on October 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Yes, you use a dough hook for the portion of time that the dough is in the mixer. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was the best bread I ever made! Mind you, I started making bread recently, but this is definitely comparable to what you’ll find in the top bakeries. I made it by hand, and it is a labor of love because the dough is very sticky which makes it difficult to knead by hand. But totally worth it! I’m not a fan of the smell from the egg wash, so will try to find an alternative next time (personal preference, that’s all). I made it with a combination of all purpose, whole wheat, and oat flours, and sprinkled sesame seeds on the top. I’ll definitely make this again. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    • — Sabrina on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Just like the challah I used to love when I lived in NY. Worth every minute of raising time! Three quarter loaf gone in 15 min. Thanks for a great recipe:)

    • — Danute on October 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello! So excited to make this but I was wondering if you have any suggestions for making this into a cinnamon sugar challah? Thanks so much!

    • — Lily on October 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lily, I’m not sure how you would tweak this to make it into a cinnamon swirl version. I do have a cinnamon swirl bread on page 221 of my cookbook. If you don’t own the cookbook and want the recipe, let me know and I can email you with it. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi. I love your recipe and my challah was amazingly tasty. But does it really need a tablespoon of dry yeast?! Suffice to say it made a humongous bread…😋🥰

    • — Crinel on October 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Crinel, I’d stick to the recipe as written for the most predictable results. Glad you enjoyed it!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is an awesome challah. I had never baked yeast breads before, but recently, it has been a regular Friday thing. It is pretty easy, and I have used both dry yeast and fresh yeast. I have also used whole grain bread flour, and whole grain flour. And both work really well. The kids love to do the braiding.

    • — Neil on October 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made Challah for the first time ever and it turned out absolutely perfect!

    • — Tamara on September 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Edit to add I did not have a mixer and just kneaded it by hand.

      • — Tamara Colantonio on September 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi I made you challah in New Orleans snd it was great.
    I am in telluride altitude very high. Do I make it the same way or do I have to alter the recipe?
    Also up here, I do not have a kitchen aid. Can I just knead by hand?
    Thank you

    • — Sharon Jacobs on September 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! I would imagine you’d need to make some adjustments due to the altitude, but I don’t have experience baking at high altitudes so, unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share – I’m sorry! You may find these tips helpful though. And yes, you can knead; just keep in mind that it will be a bit sticky. Hope you have success with it!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

    • — Teresia Simoson on September 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Teresia, I’m not sure what kind of problems you’re experiencing as he blog is programmed to be mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a plugin that would resolve the issues you’re having – I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on September 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • It was delicious! I added a few more Tbsps of honey, we like it sweet.

    • — Anabela on September 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • When you say knead in mixer on “medium low”, with a Kitchen Aid mixer, would that mean 2 or 4? Thanks!

    • — Heather on September 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • I’d go with 4. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Shalom Jenn 🙂
    One word about this Challah recipe ; PERFECTION!!!!!
    THANK YOU for a perfect recipe for Rosh Hashannah and Shabbat. This bread became the start of the evening!
    I followed your recipe 99% – I proofed the yeast using the water and added 1 tablespoon light brown sugar – then added 2 more teaspoons of sugar to the flour mixture.
    I live in Florida, so higher humidity even in AC indoors. My dough was not at all sticky – just nice and soft – light dusting to knead after Mixer – just 1 minute light kneading. Braided 🙂
    Allowed full rise times. Sprinkled gray Icelandic sea salt on top – lightly.] BEST CHALLAH!

    • — Rachel on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I followed this recipe exactly and my dough was beyond wet/sticky (and yes I did have faith as the instructions suggested). It was unmanageable and I had to add a ton of extra flour and I’m still not sure I’ll be able to salvage it. What went wrong?!

    • — Ashley on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ashley, so sorry to hear this was problematic for you! What brand of flour did you use? And after adding a lot flour, it shouldn’t have still been so wet. Is there any chance you mis-measured one of the liquid ingredients (the water, oil, or honey)?

      • — Jenn on September 19, 2020
      • Reply
      • My 4 year old was helping, so anything is possible. I used King Arthur bread flour. Added a ton of extra flour and ended up making a sloppy round loaf. End result was somehow still ok.

        We’ll give it another try sometime and see how it goes.

        • — Ashley on September 19, 2020
        • Reply
        • LOL – not to blame your 4-year-old helper, but I do know that I had plenty of “help” from my kids when they were little and sometimes, something would get missed/mis-measured. 🙂 Hope you have better luck if you try it again!

          • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
          • Reply
  • Hi!

    This might be a stupid question but can I bake this in a round shape?

    • — Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Not a stupid question at all! Yes, making a round loaf is fine. Baking time may be a bit different so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve never made challah and am so excited to try this since I have trust in ALL of your recipes! Traditionally, on Rosh Hashanah, the challah is round with raisins. Is there a way to adapt your recipe for the circular challah?

    • — Melisa on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Melisa, so glad you have had success with the recipes! Yes, you could make this into a round challah if you’d like. The bake time may be a bit different but I’m not certain by how much, so I’d pay attention to the visual cues and the temp on your instant-read thermometer. And this video tutorial will help you with the braiding part. Happy New Year!

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you for such a prompt reply and Happy New Year to you, as well! 🍎

        • — Melisa on September 18, 2020
        • Reply
  • I’ve been making this recipe weekly since March and without fail it’s a major hit with family and friends.
    I hope to have the same wonderful texture when I convert this to a braided round challah (or just round challah) for Rosh Hashana. Any advice as to whether I’ll need to adjust the baking time for a round challah?

    • — Lori on September 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad it’s become a regular thing in your house! The bake time may be slightly different for a round version, but I’m not sure by how much, so I’d pay attention to the visual cues and the temp on your instant read thermometer. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Tried making this this afternoon and I was pretty nervous—the dough was SO sticky it was hard to work with and then it rose way faster than it was supposed to (it’s warm where I live and we’ve got the air conditioner blasting so I preheated the oven to about 130 degrees and stuck the dough in with the door cracked, so maybe it was a bit too warm), but I was patient with it, followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out beautifully. Great flavor, sooo soft. We’ve been nibbling on plain slices, but tomorrow I’m gonna make my boyfriend the best French toast he’s ever had. Thanks so much for the recipe!!

    • — Julia T. on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I have made this Challah Bread recipe quite a few times over the last couple of months and each time it was PERFECT and well enjoyed. I am thinking of making a “sweeter” Challah Bread and was wondering if I should add a bit more honey or can I add a bit of sugar? What would you recommend.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes and your step by step instructions, very much appreciated.

    • — Leeta on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! If you want it a bit sweeter, I’d go with the sugar. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you so much, Jenn! This challah is incredible. The look, the taste, the smell…all way over and above anything I expected. My picky teen boys who only love Publix challah never want to go back.
    We love all your recipes. Our favorites are ziti, tortilla soup and sweet and tangy chicken. Thank you again!!!

    • — Dana on August 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is my first challah. It looks good but not as full as the pictures. Does the humidity in middle Tennessee affect the outcome?

    • — Susan Weisbarth on August 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, humidity can have an impact on the rise. Next time I’d reduce the water just a bit. Hope it turned out okay!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Since I used active yeast I reduced the water by the amount of water I used for the yeast. The dough was very dry when I put it in the proof oven. I am sure it will taste great. Any recommendation for the future attempts?

    • — Marilyn on August 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Marilyn, Dryness is usually caused by measuring the flour incorrectly. Did 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. How did the challah turn out?

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • I do it by hand and it works just fine. Not hard to do at all and it turns out nicely.

    • — Karen Z. on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is an amazing challah recipe! So consistently delicious. I’ve been making it every Friday since March and have been able to share with numerous friends and family who have all LOVED it. Super easy to make. I’ve been playing around with different braiding styles too. It’s just perfect!

    • — Emily on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • The BEST Challah recipe, and I tried quite a few in the last couple of years. Even my very critical husband approved of this one. I added some raisins and kept the dough in the fridge overnight after the first rise to bake it fresh in the morning. Absolutely perfect.

    • — Christine on July 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I baked the Challah bread and it is amazing. I followed the recipe exactly and I cannot believe how easy and delicious.
    Next time I will use this recipe and make hamburger buns. I usually purchase them in the store but no more!
    Thank you for another amazing recipe!
    MC

    • — Maria Cabral on July 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have made your crusty artisan bread and rustic apple tart, both have turned out wonderful. I make the crusty artisan bread regularly, my family loves it!

    I am trying this recipe right now but am seeking ideas for how to manage the challah making time so that I can have fresh challah in the morning. Can I refrigerate the dough after the first rise- and if so, how long can it stay in the fridge for?

    I do not have mixing stand, so I mixed it by hand with a dough mixing “thing”. I found my dough didn’t look as elastic as your photo. I was mixing it in a dough mixing bin. Will the dough look different if mixed by hand and will the result differ as well?

    I also forgot to mix the liquid ingredients first, before adding it to the flour!

    Hope I didn’t ruin it!

    • — Annie on July 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Annie, glad you’ve enjoyed some of the other recipes you’ve tried! If you’re mixing the challah dough by hand, it may look a bit different than my pictures but it shouldn’t impact the results. (Keep in mind that there are lots of other variables involved like the brand of flour you’re using, the temperature when the dough is rising etc.) Hope that helps and that the challah turns out nicely!

      • — Jenn on July 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was my first attempt at making Challah. Much easier than I thought it would be. Results looked just the picture. My oven has a Proof mode so I took advantage of this and saved a little time with the proofing. Can’t wait to use the leftovers for either french toast or bread pudding.

    • — Kathy on July 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Could this be made using a bread machine?
    Thank you.

    • — Mary on July 11, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I’ve never used a bread machine so I can’t say confidently whether or not this would be appropriate for one. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on July 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have never had luck making bread until I used this recipe. Easy to follow instructions and sooo delicious. I amazed my husband and son. They loved the Fresh bread and next day we made tasty french toast. All eaten within 24 hours.

    • — Anna on June 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • I like when my challah bread is chewy so I made it with bread flour. Recipe was great. My daughter braided the dough and will attempt 6 braids next time. Thanks so much for the recipe.

      • — Monica on July 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • I grew up on challah from an old-style Jewish bakery and hoped only that my own would be nearly as good but I was amazed that this turned out even better than what I remember…and so easy! Texture and flavour were to die for and it’s the only bread ever that I have preferred without butter smeared on it. I couldn’t bring myself to slice it so we tore it off in chunks and the two of us polished off this huge loaf in two days, so I need to give our waistlines some time to recover before baking another one. The only issue was that the braids came out rather flat rather than rounded. Do you think that it could be due to the fact that I left the second rise for maybe 1/2 hour too long on a hot day, while waiting for something else to come out of the oven?

    • — Sora on June 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad this worked out nicely for you! Yes, I think you’re right – – the fact that the braids came out a bit flat was likely due to it sitting to rise for a bit too long.

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn,
        We are following your recipe but we live in houston where the humidity is high.
        We usually proof our yeast before adding it to the dry ingredients; would we get a better rise if we proof it, or should we follow your recipe(we are using rapid rise yeast).

        • — Linda Glasser on July 31, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Linda, It won’t hurt, but you won’t get a better rise by proofing the yeast first.

          • — Jenn on August 4, 2020
          • Reply
  • great recipe! house smelled fantastic while it was in the oven. is the crust supposed to be a bit flaky?

    • — Cyg on June 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The crust really shouldn’t be flaky. Was the texture of the inside okay?

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • What a fun project for the day. Haven’t tasted mine yet, but it looks beautiful! Mine did flatten a bit. Do you have a tip for next time on how to keep it from flattening?

    • — Diane on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hope it tasted as good as it looked! Did you let it go longer than 1.5 to 2 hours with the second rise? That can sometimes cause the bread to deflate a little as it bakes.

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • Does this recipe result in a super sweet Challah? I like one that is less sweet. Also, if I want to substitute sugar for the honey, what is the ratio? Thanks in advance!

    • — Diane on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, no, this will not give you a super sweet challah; it’s more subtly sweet. And it would be fine to use sugar in place of the honey—you’ll need to use the same amount so 6 tablespoons. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • We made this bread today! Thank you so much for the recipe. My kids enjoyed braiding the dough. It was fun 🙂 – Celeste

    • — Celeste on May 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • I never imagined that I would be able to make challah, but your recipe was amazing! It came out so well and tasted great. If I make two loaves from one batch, would you suggest keeping the strands at the same length for braiding the dough or shorter to have a thicker/higher loaf? Thank you so much for your hard work to provide so many recipes that turn out successful in my kitchen!

    • — Josephine on May 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! Yes, if you make two loaves, I’d make the strands shorter to give you thicker loaves. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • This recipe makes the perfect loaf of Challah! I didn’t have any honey in my pantry, so I substituted light corn syrup in the same measurement and it was fine, but not overly sweet. I will try it with honey next time to see if there is much of a difference. The dough didn’t rise incredibly high either time, but did rise in the oven to my delight. The crust is perfectly crumbly. I do suggest following the suggestion to temp the inside prior to pulling it out of the oven. I took it out at 30 mins and it was only 180, 5 more mins and it was perfect inside and out!

    • — Erin on May 22, 2020
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  • If you are going to choose a challah recipe, this is the one! Easy to follow directions so you can’t mess it up. Instant yeast is the way to go! The only thing I added was the “everything bagel spice mix” on the top to give it some flavor. My first time baking bread and it really is easy but it is time consuming do to the rising time. The braiding was easy to understand and a 4 braid looks so much better than a 3 braid – forget the 6 braid – not necessary as some recipes call for it.

    • — ribbs on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thank you Jenn for another wonderful recipe. Did not have instant yeast and did not have King Arthur Flour but the reviews and your response to my question allowed the challah
    to be a great addition to our Shabbat meal. Used 31/2 cups of the flour we have and put the orginal yeast in the warm water as suggested. The shape is not great as we needed to roll our long section tighter and then it would have braided tighter. Our challah was more wide than
    high but the taste and the texture were wonderful. As my husband likes challah on the sweet side we will increase the honey next time. And there will be a next time.

    • — greta roberts on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello jenn,
    Made the bread today came out excellent Added raisins and it tasted good
    Thank u
    Raman

    • — Ramandeep Thind on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello jenn,
    Made the bread today came out excellent very easy to make my daughters loved it I added a little raisins which tasted good.
    Thank u
    Raman

    • — Ramandeep Thind on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,
      My daughters want to make your Challah recipe for Shabbat dinner. I don’t have a stand mixer. Can we mix by hand?

      • — Ellie on May 21, 2020
      • Reply
      • Yep – hope everyone enjoys! 🙂

        • — Jenn on May 22, 2020
        • Reply
  • Can I use non-rapid rise yeast? That is all I have.

    • — greta on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Greta. I’d add the yeast and salt to the warm water and let it sit for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the remainder of the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 14, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi! I followed this advice and then got tied up with something else. If the yeast/water/salt has sat for 3 hours instead of 10 minutes is it still okay to use?

        • — Raquel on July 17, 2020
        • Reply
        • I wouldn’t recommend it, Racquel — sorry!

          • — Jenn on July 17, 2020
          • Reply
  • Not only delicious, but also beautiful! Only my second loaf of yeasted bread (I tend to focus on quick breads, cakes, cookies, etc., for my baked goods) but because of your excellent photo instructions, it came out perfect! Well, 98% perfect – the texture wasn’t *quite* as fluffy as I think it should have been, but I’m pretty sure that was my fault. I don’t think I gave it enough time on the second rise. But this is definitely going into regular rotation – I can’t wait for dinner tonight to have the last remaining slices! (I made it yesterday, and it has disappeared FAST.)

    • — Maureen W. on May 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this on Friday. This was my first yeast bread after a few bad attempts about 30 years ago. The challah was perfect. It looked beautiful and was absolutely delicious. And your well written recipe took the fear away. So happy that I finally did this. I think I will make 2 small loaves next week as there are only 2 of us and I can freeze one or give away.
    I have a few gluten free friends and family members. Am wondering if I use the King Arthur Gluten Free Flour if this will work. Would prefer to hear if anyone has tried this instead of potentially wasting a beautiful challah.
    Thank you form the bottom of my heart!

    • — Bea on May 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this and it’s changed your mind about challah baking! I wouldn’t recommend baking this with gluten-free flour, but will let readers respond if anyone has tried it.

      • — Jenn on May 11, 2020
      • Reply
  • I was so nervous about making a challah bread! However your step by step instructions along with the pictures made it approachable. Boy was I so happy I went for it! I followed the recipe exactly as stated and it came out great! Perfect texture and flavor. Thank you so much, and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • — Karen Chew on May 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • I didn’t have a stand mixer so I made it by hand and it turned out AMAZING!! The only issue was that it was gone too soon 🙂
      Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

      • — Bea on May 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have made challah many times using many different recipes. I’ve always followed recipes using active dry yeast, but I only had instant on hand, so gave this recipe a try. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, since my dough was never “sticky”, despite spooning and leveling KAP flour. The dough seemed hard and dry While kneading and I was worried it would be too dense. It also took about 40-45 minutes in the oven for me. Well, I worried for nothing because this challah was the best! Light and fluffy, with a nice browned crust. My family raved about it. I think I’ll be sticking with this recipe from now on!

    • — Sara on May 9, 2020
    • Reply

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