Food Gardening Network
Challah Bread

Challah Bread

Challah bread is a mainstay during Jewish holidays and the Sabbath, and this traditional recipe is a fun alternative to buying a loaf from the bakery. If you wish, feel free to add raisins or sprinkle poppy seeds on top to customize the loaf to your taste!




  1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and the yeast. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Separate 1 egg and reserve the white. Whisk the yolk with the 2 remaining eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk in the oil.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, and remaining sugar on low speed for 20 seconds until combined. Increase the speed to medium, add the egg mixture, and beat for 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the yeast mixture and beat until incorporated. Change to the dough hook, reduce the speed to low, and knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Oil a large bowl and place the ball of dough into it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 3 equal portions. Roll and pull each portion into a 14-inch rope. Lay the 3 ropes side by side on a large sheet of parchment paper with the ends facing you. Pinch the tops together and then gently braid the 3 ropes, pinching the ends together and tucking them under to seal. Tuck the sides in a bit to make a plump, tightly braided loaf. Use the parchment paper to slide the loaf onto a large baking sheet, cover the dough with a tea towel, and let rise for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a fork to beat the reserved egg white with the cold water. With a pastry brush, spread the egg white mixture all over the loaf, including into the seams and down the sides. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the internal temperature is 190 degrees F.
  5. Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Keywords: challah bread, Hanukkah