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  • Prep Time : 2 hour
  • Cook Time : 45 minutes min
  • Ready Time : 2 hour, 45 min


6 medium challahs


  • 5 pounds flour (can do half white, half whole wheat if you want)
  • 1 cup pls 1 tablespoon sugar (add at least ½ cup more if whole wheat flour is used)
  • 2 packets of dry yeast which is equivalent to around 4 tbs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 cups warm water, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Lots of love


Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Place dry yeast into well. Add 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 cup of warm water and 1 tbsp of flour to the center well. Let it bubble up for 5 minutes. (the kids love watching this – good chance for chemistry lesson)

Add salt around the edges of flour (salt shouldn’t mix with the yeast)

Add sugar to the flour

Add oil to the middle

Add eggs to the middle

Add 3 cups warm water to the middle

Mix all together until its desired consistency, I use my hands once they have been thoroughly washed, knead it for ten minutes and let rise for 20-30 mins. While I am kneading it I like to sprinkle in brachot (blessings) for our family and friends, sometimes I include names of those who need healing, to find a mate etc.

Punch down a 2nd time, knead for another 10 minutes and let rise 20-30 mins.

Take challah with Bracha, shape into the challah – either braided or round, and let rise again 20-30 mins. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds or poppyseed.

Bake for 30 -40 mins depending on size of challahs.

For Cinnamon Babka / Rolls

Set aside a part of the dough, use your fingers to shape and stretch it out to an oblong or square shape. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect. Mix a cup of sugar with a decent helping of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mix over the dough. You can add raisins too if that floats your boat. Roll up tight. Use sharp knife and cut 1.5 inch sections and place one by one in round pan, until the pan is filled. Let rise 30 minutes and bake 30 minutes. When cooled, drizzle with icing.

For Chocolate Babka / Rolls

Same as cinnamon except melt one cup choc chips with ¼ stick of margarine, and spread it out. My kids like me to sprinkle choc chips over it too.

For Pull-apart Challahs

Instead of braiding, section off 6-8-12 (depending how big you want the pieces to be and how big baking tin is) identical pieces of dough. Mold into balls, place in pan next to each other, let rise. Coat with egg wash and seeds. Bake. Alternatively, you can belly button them. This means once all pieces are in pan use forefinger to make indent in each roll, and put choc chip / raisins / cinnamon sugar mix in. Rise. Bake.

NOTE: My friend Shoshana taught me how to make challah and shared the recipe with me. I will always be grateful to her for getting me started on my way with this beautiful mitzvah.


About Hadassah Sabo Milner


HaDassah Sabo Milner is a Welsh Jew who lives in Monsey NY. She is a writer and a blogger and a lifelong foodie. She's married with four sons who provide her with much fodder for her writing projects. HaDassah is also a social media rockstar who can update multiple platforms simultaneously whilst cooking Shabbat dinner for 70. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter Twittr , and read her blog In The Pink .




11 Responses to Challah

  1. avatar says: Shoshana

    Hadassah – I love that my Challah recipe is getting famous! I hope that making this recipe brings everyone as much Bracha and Hatzlacha as its brought you. I just want to say that this recipe was taught to me by my mother-in-law and I then passed it onto Hadassah who is generously passing it onto thousands of other lucky women! Enjoy. My mother-in-law should get nachas.

  2. Care to share how you braided your challahs — especially the round braided ones? they look wonderful!

  3. avatar says: Zahava

    yum! I definitely agree that adding love to challah really makes it taste better!

  4. I just made this, and made 3 round braids out of it, I foloowed the video you 3 made on how to do the round braids, and truly it was the best CHallah I ever made, it looked incredible and tasted even better. Thank you so much

  5. I just made this last Shabbos and it came out delicious!!!

  6. Confession: I’ve never made this, but I’ve been to Hadassah’s house and experienced it myself. Some of the best homemade challah I’ve ever had.

  7. I have been searching for the perfect challah recipe for a year and a half. I always skipped recipes that called for 5 lbs of flour. Something about this recipe made me try it. I think it was building the well and letting the yeast proof in the middle of the flour. It sounded like fun. Anyway, I came away with the BEST challah on the first try and every time since then. I never thought I would be known for my challah. Thank you Hadassah for a great recipe!

  8. avatar says: daniela

    hi, i use the same exactly recipe, one tip if anyone would like to fasten up the process, i get the 4 cups os water, and i hit it up in the microwave for 85seconds, so the temperature of the water is 115F (perfect temperature so the yeast rises), i mix everythng in the mixing bowl, leaving for last the salt (salt cant touch the yeast). I use rapid rise yeast (fleischmanns), i do every shabat the same rcipe, and it works perfectly, there is no need to put the yeast to grow, and to wait. just mixing everything works perfectly for me. I let the dough mix in the machine for 5 minutes mor or less, i knead a little with the hands, and i let it rise for 2hours, untill it doubles size. Whle making the challa shapes, i put on my oven in 200C, and after am done, i dont let the dough rise again, i’ll go straight to the oven. the challas grow beautifully in the oven. (another idea is to do everything exactly the same as here, but the night before, and letting the dough rise in the refrigerator well covered so it doesnt get dry. the next morning you take it out from the refrigerator and wait just a little so the temperature of the dough freshness up, the dough rises the whole night perfectly)

  9. I made 4 batches of this for a community dinner, the dough came together really easily. I made a few changes to the recipe, but it was super easy. I think this has become the new go-to

  10. avatar says: yehudis

    Hi..you took about making a “well” and poutting the yeast mixture in the center. What does that do for the challah making process? I just want to understand what the reason is for making the well.
    Also- if I use a Bosch machine, how do I make that well? because the dough hook is in the center?..thanks!

  11. avatar says: Susan

    Thank you, Hadassah, for sharing this fanastic recipe!

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