How to Make Challah

Make perfect, fluffy challah every time with this classic recipe.

Classic challah is almost as sacred as Shabbat itself, and we know how gratifying and delicious it is to prepare homemade challah at home. If you have always feared this task, we promise: it is easier than you think.

Watch below for step-by-step directions on how to make Claudia Roden’s classic challah recipe. And don’t forget to check out our video for mastering a 3-braid, 6-braid or even round braided challah.

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled to make four loaves instead of two.

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challah

Classic Challah

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4.3 from 6 reviews

Knowing how to make the perfect challah is a life skill.

  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅛ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbs dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 whole egg for glazing
  • ½ Tbs salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 tsp of the sugar. Beat well and leave 10 minutes, until it froths.
  2. In a very large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then add the salt, sugar and oil and beat again. Add the frothy yeast mixture and beat well. Now add the flour gradually, and just enough to make a soft dough that holds together, mixing well, first with a large spoon, then working it in with your hands.
  3. Knead vigorously for about 15 minutes, until it is very smooth and elastic, adding flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Pour a little oil in the bowl and turn the dough, so that it is greased all over.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and put it in a warm place to rise for 2‑3 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and knead again, then divide into 2 pieces to make 2 loaves.
  6. Braid challah into desired shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, leaving plenty of room for them to expand. Allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Now brush gently with the beaten egg, or if you want to sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, brush first with the whole beaten egg.(The seeds stick better if the white is there too.)
  8. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the loaves are beautifully golden-brown. They are done if they sound hollow when you tap the bottoms.

Notes

This recipe can easily be doubled to make 4 loaves instead of 2.

  • Author: The Nosher
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Shabbat

17 comments

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  • Marvin Cohen

    This Challah is probably what my Grandma Sophie made when she was the wife of Grandpa Harry Rothschild who was the Rabbi in Jersey City NJ back in 1930s and 1940s.






  • Janet

    I am not an expert in Challah baking, but following this recipe was easy and Great Success!!. Thank you






    • Shannon Sarna

      It could be a few things. You might need to use more flour if the dough seems too loose. If the dough seems firm when shaping/braiding, then you may be over-proofing the braided dough, meaning, letting it sit too long and then it deflates. Try just a 30 minutes second rise after it is braided.

  • Lia S.

    I followed the exact recipe, but for some reason it came out dry. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Challah dough should be a bit sticky when its ready to rise. Sometimes it can be easy to add more flour when kneading to take the stickiness out, but resist the urge. You can always try adding a bit more water to the dough if you aren’t adding any additional flour. Also keep in mind that dough is different throughout the year depending on the temperature and humidity, so learning what your ideal dough should feel like and adjust accordingly.

  • pharmacy uk

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    • Shannon Sarna

      We have never tried it, but I would do some googling to see if there are recipes made with peanut oils or other nut oils. Good luck and let us know if it works!

  • Rachel Lenore

    Love this recipe! Have you ever tried a slow/cool rise with this recipe? I.e. braiding and then putting in fridge overnight? Any make-ahead tips?

  • Oliver

    This bread was absolutely delightful thank you rabbi and Harry Rothschild






  • Otina

    Can this be made using a Kitchen Aid mixer? I can no longer knead because of a shoulder injury. Thank you.

  • Mikail

    Shalom
    Iam a Beginner when it comes to Baking and Baked Goods Recipes, But this Challah Recipe is simple, easy to follow and Delicious. Todâh. Thank you so much!






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