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Homemade Challah


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Homemade Challah


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Homemade Challah

One of the most important Jewish foods, challah is eaten on Shabbat and holidays. I’ve always loved the smell of fresh baked bread at home, but before I started making my own I thought it was very complicated and difficult. Then I started trying lots of recipes and have come up with this one, which produces a satisfying challah every time. Now that I make my own bread often, I think it’s easy.


  • Prep Time : 1 hour
  • Cook Time : 20 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 20 min


2 challah loaves


  • 320 g (1 1/2 cups) water
  • 80 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 30 g (3 Tbs.) fresh yeast or 15 g (1 1/2 Tbs.) dry yeast
  • 800 g (6 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 g (1 Tbs.) salt
  • 60 g (1/4 cups) oil

For the coating:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2-3 Tbs. sesame/poppy/sunflower seeds


  1. Pour the water, sugar and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add the flour, eggs, salt and oil.
  3. Mix on low for 4 minutes. Increase the speed and mix for another 5 minutes.
  4. Take the dough from the bowl and put it on a floured surface. Knead with your hands a few times and roll it into a ball. Don’t worry if the dough looks a little moist; do not be tempted to add more flour!
  5. Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes, until doubled in volume.
  6. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into three portions, and roll them into a thick snake. Pinch together the tops of three pieces of dough and braid, pinching at the end. Repeat with the remaining dough to make two loaves.
  7. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Allow the dough to rise once more on the baking sheet. Check with your finger to see if it’s ready: push the dough gently with your finger; if it bounces back quickly, then it’s ready to bake.
  9. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame, poppy or sunflower seeds.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  11. Put the challah in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 170C (340F). Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Instead of braiding the challah dough, divide it into 19 even pieces and roll them into balls. Arrange them next to each other in a tight circle to form 3 round challah loaves. Brush with egg and bake as directed above.


TIP:  When making challah, babka, and other recipes with yeast dough,

press lightly on the dough with your finger until it makes a slight dent. If the dent vanishes immediately it’s a sign that the dough has risen and is ready to the next step of baking. If the dent remains unchanged, then the dough hasn’t risen sufficiently.



About Orly Ziv


A lifelong food lover, Orly Ziv worked for many years as a clinical nutritionist before launching Cook In Israel in 2009. Through her company Orly offers culinary tours around Israel and intimate cooking classes out of her home. For more information visit http://www.cookinisrael.com/book.html




14 Responses to Homemade Challah

  1. avatar says: rosenugga

    Great recipe. One of my family’s favorites.

  2. avatar says: Laya


  3. avatar says: Rosie

    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. My challah bread doesn’t look smooth and the braid separates. Any suggestions?

  4. Our favourite I make it every weekend.

  5. avatar says: Orly Ziv

    Thank you Mieke for sharing. Appreciate it!!

  6. avatar says: Cissi

    What if you don’t have a stand mixer with a hook. How do you mix it?

    • avatar says: Orly Ziv

      Cissi, you can knead by hand about 15 min. Be aware that the dough is quite sticky but do not add flour the kneading and raising process will make it smooth and nice.
      Good Luck!

  7. Caught you on a tube video.. Would like to see more. ;)

  8. avatar says: Orly Ziv

    Thank you Stephen for your comment.

  9. avatar says: Rochy

    The challah looks delicious, but I have one comment, because I am confused about something that you said. I was always taught that the springing back quickly of the dough when touched, is a sign that it is sufficiently kneaded. When it has doubled in bulk during the rising however,and then dented, the dough is supposed to remain deeply indented and not spring back. Then (if it has already been shaped) it is ready for baking. I am making challah now for 45 years, and this has always been the case. So did I misunderstand something, or is this something that happens with a different type of yeast?

    • avatar says: Orly Ziv

      Rochy, if the way you’ve been making your challah works so well done. There are different approaches to it.
      Shana Tova

  10. avatar says: denise

    i need to do this recipe, for 4.000 gramos of floor, i have to put 10 eggs??

    • avatar says: Orly Ziv

      That’s correct Denise, 10 eggs for 4000 grams of flour.
      Good luck

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