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Jamie Geller’s Challah Recipe


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Jamie Geller's Challah Recipe


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Jamie Geller’s Challah Recipe

Here is my now famous challah recipe. Challah is the Jewish egg bread served every week on Shabbat and is usually braided. You don't have to top it, but I love it with everything topping and I have a heavy hand. I make this recipe every week and I get so much satisfaction out of the kneading and braiding it is the one dish I don't mind spending time on. And don't forget to get the kids involved. Not only are they in my prayers, but they each get their own little mound of dough to shape and decorate as they like. I like everything, they like sprinkles, we are all happy. Enjoy this challah recipe this Shabbat and for many years to come.


  • Prep Time : 1 hour
  • Cook Time : 45 - 55 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 45 min


4 challahs


  • 2 ounce active dry yeast + 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 cups warm water, divided
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 (6-pound) bag high-gluten flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil, divided
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds


1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of warm water, cover loosely with a towel and set aside.

2. Place salt in a huge plastic bowl.

3. Add flour to bowl.

4. Add sugar and egg yolks.

5. Yeast should now have bubbled/foamed and doubled in size, if yeast has not bubbled or does not seem active repeat the process again.

6. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and slowly pour yeast and sugar water mixture into the well. Then add the remaining 4 cups of warm water into the well. Make sure the water is not too hot. It should be no warmer than you would use for a baby’s bath.

7. Start kneading ingredients together and add a ½ cup of oil.

8. For the next 10 minutes, knead, adding another ½ cup of oil slowly during that time as needed to create a workable dough. Dough shouldn’t be too sticky and also should not be dry. It should become one cohesive mass.

9. Loosley cover dough with a large kitchen towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen for 15 minutes.

10. After 15 minutes, lightly oil your hand and knead again for another 5 minutes adding a touch more oil to the dough if necessary. The dough should now be easier to work with and will become smooth and satiny.

11. Rub a little oil over the top and around the dough. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel. Place covered bowl in a medium plastic garbage bag and place open ends of the bag loosely underneath the bowl, trapping in air.

12. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

13. Punch dough down and knead (lightly oil your hands if necessary), flipping it and releasing any air bubbles. Cover again, using the towel and the bag, and let rise 1 more hour.

14. Lightly oil your hands, and punch down again. With a sharp knife divide dough into 4 equal parts.

11. Liberally spray 4 (9-inch) round baking pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

12. Preheat oven to 375 F.

For Round Challah

13. With lightly oiled hands, place 1 piece of dough on a smooth work surface. Play with the dough a bit, squeezing out any air bubbles. Then roll the dough into a long, thick rope, adding oil as needed to keep it from being too sticky. Don’t use too much oil; a little sticky is fine.

14. Place one end of the rope up against the edge of the prepared pan and coil it, ending in the middle. Set aside

For Pull-Apart Challah

15. With lightly oiled hands, place 1 piece of dough on a smooth work surface. Play with the dough a bit, squeezing out any air bubbles. Separate into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a round ball, adding oil as needed to keep it from being too sticky. Don’t use too much oil; a little sticky is fine.

16. Place one ball in the middle of the prepared pan and surround with remaining balls. Don’t worry if they don’t touch. They will rise into each other while baking. Set aside.

17. Repeat either method with remaining dough so that you have 4 challahs.

18. Brush challahs with beaten egg and sprinkle with a combination of poppy and sesame seeds.

19. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes and then lower your oven temperature to 350 F and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until challah tops are dark golden brown.

20. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve while still warm. Once the challah has been sliced, you can store the slices in sealable plastic bags for about 4 to 5 days.

From the Joy of Kosher Cookbook, order your copy 199 more recipes.



About Jamie Geller


Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the "Queen of Kosher" (CBS) and the "Jewish Rachael Ray" (New York Times), she's the creative force behind JoyofKosher.com and "Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller" magazine . Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, "Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes."




178 Responses to Jamie Geller’s Challah Recipe

  1. 2 ounces of yeast would equal to how much if using a measuring cup?

  2. Two cups sugar, Jaime? I’d be interested in a healthier version.

  3. Hi Chaya 1/4 cup!

  4. I made this challah this weekend with half whole wheat flour and it came out amazing.
    I also used some of the dough to make these blueberry buns for dessert – http://joyof.kosher.com/recipe/toronto-blueberry-buns/ – the BEST.

  5. avatar says: Sarah

    Do you mean a 6 lb bag or 5 lb bag of flour? I have never seen a 6lb bag and do not have a food scale although I know that I should. If you do mean a 6lb bag, could you let me know what brand packages flour in that size? Thanks so much. Also, in your Irish Car Bomb Cake, you mentioned that you could not provide us with your buttercream recipe. I was wondering why since I really enjoy your recipes so much.

    • Hi Sarah – I do mean a 6lb bag. I use Dependable Foods, High Gluten Flour – check out the 6lb bag here: http://www.allinkosher.com/p-33681-dependable-high-gluten-flour-6-lb-parve.aspx. It’s about 4 cups of flour to a pound so you can use a 5lb bag plus 4 cups. And I am SOOOO happy you like my recipes — but the Irish Car Bomb Cake is not mine, it’s from our friend Shira — it’s her buttercream recipe — maybe you can leave her a comment under the cake recipe and coax her into sharing it with the world :-)

  6. How about a bread machine recipe?

  7. Hi Evelyn — I always make 6 pounds so there is really no non-commercial machine out there that can handle the recipe in one batch. That’s why I always felt it was “easier” to just do it by hand all together. I will look into working on a smaller amount for a bread machine as soon as I have the chance.

    • avatar says: Jack l

      The Bosch mixer handles this recipe with ease!

      • Hey Jack L – which Bosch? all 6 pounds? I am in the market for a new machine the motor in my Kitchen Aid is going… :-(

    • FYI I have since halved this recipe and made it in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook with great success!

      • avatar says: AILUY

        Hi Jamie,
        when you said you have halved the recipe, do you mean just half of every ingredient? Do the times have to be adjusted at all? Thank you

    • hi jamie i just did your challah and it looks amazing. cant wait to eat it. do you have a 5lb recipe? i would love to use my bread mahine. thank you!

  8. avatar says: Zahava

    Hi jamie! I thought I might have asked you this already but I don’t see my question posted , So I’ll ask it again. I was wondering if you have a recipe for sweet crumb topping for challah. Someone gave me challah with crumbs on it for Shalach manos and I didnt wash on it because I thought it was cake, it looked,smelled, and tasted so good! If you have a recipe for that, that would be awesome! Thanks!

    • hi Zahava – you did ask and I did answer – lol – we had a little technology glitch, Ok so I am SO in love with the crumb topping. My friend just made me a crumb topping challah after I had my baby. I must get the exact recipe for you but in the meantime this topping would also work well: http://www.joyofkosher.com/recipe/cran-apple-crunch-kugel-2/
      please let us know how it you like it.

      • avatar says: SarahD

        Hi, Jaime,
        first of all, your challah recipe is the best that I’ve ever tried. I will never try another ever again!! :)
        Secondly, If I were to add the crumb topping, would I add it right before baking the challah? It sounds amazing and want to try it.

        Also, another question: I froze half the challah dough like you suggested in another comment and defrosted it in room temp. I honestly can’t remember what I did after that, but the challah didn’t come out that good. Any thoughts as to what may have happened? Maybe I didn’t let it defrost all the way? Does your challah come out the same when you defrost and bake?
        Thank you!

        • hi SarahD. First YAY!!!! 2nd: Put the crumbs on right after you egg wash the challah, before baking. You can also try putting some of the crumbs inside the challah as well. Huge hit! 3rd. Since I have moved to Israel I have also been having trouble with my frozen raw dough. I am going to give it one more shot but I am going to pre shape it and freeze it like that. (Is that what you did?) And the number one rule is to let the dough come to room temp – it should not feel cold to the touch at all. It must fully thaw and then rise in a warm corner of your kitchen. Let me know if you have anymore Qs.

          • avatar says: SarahD

            Thanks so much for the reply! I will definitely try the crumb-topping this week. Sounds amazing. About defrosting challah, funny thing-ever since I moved to Israel 2-1/2 years ago, I have not had any luck with defrosted dough! It just doesn’t come out the same. It worked for me a few times in the states, but not here…Weird. I will try again, though, anyway and let you know if it works and what I’ve done differently, etc…

            If that fails, I will be cutting the recipe in half and trying it that way. At least sometimes, when I don’t need such a huge batch. The recipe is perfect as is, and feel that cutting it in half will take away its perfect charm. Why ruin a good thing?! I guess we’ll see. :)
            Thank you!


            • OMG crazyyyyyy! I can not believe it happened to you too! It could have something to do with the altitude (but I don’t really think so – just grasping at straws here….) So guess what? You don’t have to worry — since making aliyah (just over 2 years ago!) I half the recipe all the time and it comes out perfect!!! I was so scared the first time but Baruch Hashem it worked!

    • avatar says: goldie

      Thanks Jamie! I actually started using a babka topping- equal parts powdered sugar and flour and oil added until crumbly(a little water can sub for some of the oil)

  9. avatar says: Rochel S

    Hi Jamie — first of all, yours is my favorite cookbook. I’m just making your challah recipe now for the first time — it’s baking and smells delicious. Just a note — I’m assuming this cookbook was written for Jewish women, you should put somewhere in the instructions that one should “take challah” with a bracha, as soon as the dough is ready to rise. There are websites that can tell people how, if they’re not sure, but it’s important to have there, as it’s a big mitzvah.

  10. avatar says: fay C

    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for your wondelful magazines, I love them. i could spend hours in the kitchen. I enjoy trying out new recipes. Well three weeks ago I saw the challah video and I decided to try it. Since my last recipe I tryed came out bad I told myself why go through the hassle. Well i tryed your reicpe and boy was it a hit, just like you said. Everyone in my house could not stop eating it. So my aunt bought me a bag of sifted flour not aware that I had made a batch last week, and I decided to make it again. This time all my sister-in-law and neices ate it to the last drop. Thanks again.

    • Fay! YAY! I really appreciate that you took the time to write in the comments here. Thank you. And so happy you all are loving it!

  11. avatar says: hadas

    i usually only see 5 lb bags of flour..and i havent seen ” high gluten ” written on it..where can you get that in los angeles….?? thank you

  12. avatar says: Sa Ne

    Thanks you make me feel that baking is

    Kosher vitamins

  13. avatar says: sherylpit

    Jamie, I can’t find high gluten flour =- will bread flour work, or can I add gluten to regular flour? If so, how much gluten would I add?
    PS Awesome Website!

  14. Thank you Sheryl SO much! So glad you are enjoying JoK.com. Where are you writing from? Bread flour would work but gluten adds stickiness and sponginess to dough so high gluten will give you a better consistency/much lighter and fluffier challah/bread. I haven’t actually experimented with adding gluten to flour so I can’t advise you there but you could try looking for “bread machine flour” which is the same as high-gluten flour. Or if you want to order it online try this link http://www.allinkosher.com/p-33681-dependable-high-gluten-flour-6-lb-parve.aspx. Good luck!

    • avatar says: Janine

      I am from South Africa and i really cant find this High Gluten Flour here.I dont know what to use

  15. avatar says: sherylpit

    Hi Jamie,
    Thanks for responding so quickly. I’ll look for bread machine flour. Maybe I’ll have better luck with that. I’m in GA and the shipping on the flour that you suggested in that website is over $15.!!

  16. avatar says: shira

    Hi Jamie! first of all, I love your recipes. I followed your video the first time I made deli roll and all my friends wanted the recipe! Your food is always so pretty. I was wondering if it’s possible to cut all the ingredients in half for this challah recipe or if you think that would ruin the overall recipe? Thanks!

    • thanks Shira SOOOOOO much. I think you can cut it exactly in half and it should work for you. Also what I do sometimes (if I decide not to make cinnamon buns with the extra dough http://www.joyofkosher.com/recipe/challah-dough-cinnamon-buns-2/) is make all the dough and just before braiding I cut the dough in half, and wrap half in saran wrap and freeze the raw dough. Just make sure you let it defrost at room temperature and that the dough itself is at room temp (and not cold) before you start working with it. Good Luck!

  17. avatar says: shira

    Thats a great idea, thanks so much!

  18. avatar says: Joon

    Dear Jamie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe with the world. My first time baking challah was a spiritual experience it came out amazing!!!

    Shabbat Shalom!

    • Joon!!! thank you thank thank you for taking the time to write. I really appreciate it!

  19. avatar says: Leah

    Dear Jamie!
    This Challah recipe was DELISH! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I live in Monsey too! Just moved here! Anyways, could you tell me how to braid a challah with six pieces? Thanks again!
    Have a good Shabbos!

  20. Hi Jamie,
    If I’m making a 6 braided challah, how much time and at what temperature should I cook it?

    • Assuming you are making 4 large Challahs as the recipe calls for same temp and about the same time maybe 5-10 minutes more – also depends if you are doing in a loaf pan or free form on a baking sheet – loaf pan will need more like 10 -15 minutes more than recipe above and baking sheet about 5 to 10 minutes more than recipe above.

  21. avatar says: irit

    Dear Jamie,

    I did this recipe with my sister and it worked wonderfully, it is such a great recipe.
    However, I did it by myself twice already and every time the last two chalot waiting to go in the oven lose their shape, and ‘melt’. What am I doing wrong?

    • hi Irit – it’s most probably the heat — are they too close to the oven or sitting over the counter with a dishwasher on underneath? if you make them in pans as opposed to on a baking sheet the pans will help hold their shape

  22. Hi Jaime,
    I recently made your challah and it came out delicious. My whole family loved it however, the bread was very dense and lacked fluffyness. Is there anything I could do to make it better?
    thanks for your time

    • a few things are possible here — 1. over kneading/working the dough and or 2. rising in a warm place in your kitchen — I keep mine over the dishwasher or in a dark corner by the oven — it should have lots of air bubbles – should be fluffy and light but again the warmth is important for this (did you keep it covered with a towel and in a large loose bag (dark, cozy and warm) for it to rise?

  23. avatar says: mimitova

    Can I use regular flour with this recipe? I live in Israel and have not seen high gluten flour

    • yes you can maybe be slightly less fluffy/spongy BUT I made it in Israel using whatever general flour was avail and it came out fantastic still everyone loved it!

  24. avatar says: cslindsay

    tastes like white bread to me…..http://allrecipes.com/recipe/traditional-white-bread/ almost the same ratios, i guess this is sweeter, but prob mass produced white bread is equally as sweet as this dough….. hmmmm… still on the search for the best CHALLAH, ty

  25. avatar says: eli7nyc

    Dear Jamie!
    You’re such an inspiration. I just love watching your instructional videos. You make food so much fun. Thank you for that. I just made your challah. It was AMAZING!! Simply the best. I also make the garlic knots and cinnamon buns. YUM. All the best and looking forward to more great recipes.

    • Elisheva! thank you SO SO SO SO SO much. It means so much to me that you took the time to write and that your special Shabbos Challah came out AMAZING! big hugs, J

  26. avatar says: adina

    Hi – this is a large recipe for me, and I alsoneed to “translate” it to Israeli equivalents. Could you please post an equivalent version for someone starting with 1Kilo of flour? (I usually use the Rubinfeld fine ground whole wheat flour, which is about 6.5 cups / kilo, more or less, in case that’s helpful.) Can you give the yeast amount in teaspoons or tablespoons of dry yeast? THANK YOU!!

  27. avatar says: Hinda

    How many packets of yeast is 2 ounces?
    Also was wondering how long i should knead the dough for so it will be light and fluffy…

    • I am unsure what size your packets are so just measure out 4 TBS of yeast. As for kneading 10 minutes or so. Then let the dough rest, loosely covered with a kitchen towel for 15 minutes so the glutens relax and then knead for another 5.

  28. avatar says: Rachel

    Oh my goodness! This challah is AMAZING! I just made a batch for Shabbat and used a 1/4 dough for cinnamon buns – they were to die for!!! Thank you so so much for your recipe’s and video’s! I’m showing my Rebbetzin after Pesach how to make this! lots of love, from your fan in Australia

  29. wow thank you!!!! so great to feel the love from so far!

  30. avatar says: Souzan

    Hi Jamie,
    I love your recipes and videos. I like the way you describe dry ingredients by weight rather than cups. It omes accurate this way.

  31. avatar says: Jon

    Hi Jamie,

    Your challah looks amazing!! I was hoping to make a smaller batch (but i know how fickle bread can be) do you know if its ok to cut the recipe in half??

    Chag sameach!

  32. Hi Jamie,
    I tried this recipe this friday to make my shlisel challah and it came out AMAZING! I have tried many recipes before in the past 14 years but my challah always came out dry or it would get dry by the next day. Your recipe finally helped me figure out how to fix that problem. Yes, high gluten flour really did the trick!! I am so excited! My challah was never as moist and resilient as it came out this time. Thank you!
    Btw, to answer Jon’s question. I did cut the recipe in half. I also put 1 T of salt instead of 2 T and it still came out wonderful. Fail proof recipe!! :)

    • YAY- I am so happy and thank you for testing and sharing the results of the halved recipe!!!

  33. avatar says: Vicki

    Hi Jamie,

    Can you tell me if fresh and dried yeast are interchangeable, and how the amount of dried yeast in a recipe converts to fresh? I find it much easier to find kosher fresh yeast than the dried variety where I live (in fact, haven’t found the kosher dried yeast yet.)

  34. I just saw your video on youtube, regarding how to make this challah bread. I am going to try it, it looks so yummy. However, that amazing seed mix that you had on the video… is that something you mix yourself or do you buy it? I want to try it, you make it sound oooh so good! :)

    • Its something I buy — it’s called everything mix and should be next to the sesame and poppy seeds on the supermarket shelves. I do however have a homemade recipe for it in my new Joy of Kosher cookbook coming out this fall — so be on the lookout :-)

  35. avatar says: Rivka

    i have no more.kosher salt! can i use table.salt? also, if i were to freeze the challah before baking but after i shape it – do i egg it? how long can it last in the freezer unbaked for?

    • yes you can (although you should get some :-) Its most accurate to substitute salt by weight so you will need 45g (or about 1.5 ounces) table salt for this recipe. Egg AFTER thawing and rising just before baking. Should last for at least 1 month in the freezer unbaked. Great Luck!

  36. avatar says: suzanne

    Can this be made in a bread machine?

    • sure you can — just watch the amounts most bread machines don’t have the capacity to handle all 6 pounds at once.

  37. avatar says: Misty

    Ok, I know you’re going to think I’m crazy but I’m wondering if I could do a gluten free challah like this??!! Every gluten free challah I’ve tried to make so far has definitely left something to be desired, but my son is intolerant and we need challah in our house! Any suggestions? I love the pull apart idea!

    • I haven’t found a good solution, either. The consistency/taste is just not the same. For a challah look, you can make a GF bread recipe in this challah-shaped silicon baking pan: http://www.thekoshercook.com/product_p/kcbw-0160.htm. Or if using a regular loaf pan, use an ice cream scoop to place mounds of dough next to each other in the pan. If you are lucky, it might give an appearance of a bumpy top.

      • Ms. Gluten-Free Nosh is our expert so I thank her for commenting – and Misty – happy you like the pull-apart idea – it definitely makes life easier.

  38. avatar says: pat

    I like your recipes.Thank you

  39. Hi Jamie! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! My favorites are the videos! You make everything look too easy :) I just wanted to know if this exact recipe works in israel. I’m new to the cooking scene, and i’ve flopped too many “american” challa recipes and i’m wary about trying yet another. As I know you live here, can you tell me if this works?

    • Oh Michal!!!! Thank you SO much! YAY I love doing the videos too – it’s my favorite part about what I do – so happy you are enJOYing them! OK so yes this recipe is tried and true and tested in Israel. Since I have yet to find High-Gluten flour here I use regular but I make the dough in my stand mixer. The dough is much lighter this way and it makes up for the fact that I don’t use the high-gluten flour. Please note it will be a sticky dough – use additional oil (or cooking spray on your hands) to make working with it easier.

  40. Sorry- forgot to ask… can i halve this recipe?

    • yuparooo! halves perfectly — my stand mixer can only handle half the recipe at a time so that’s how I do it!

      • avatar says: Hadassa

        If I half this recipe, do I take challah and make a Bracha? And how many cups of flour is half of 6 lbs? I really want to make Bracha but want to use stand mixer.

        Thanks :-)

  41. avatar says: atarah

    Liked the dough texture as was easy to braid and shape but would have liked it a bit sweeter.

  42. Thanks for the feedback! I am laughing bc I originally called for 2 1/2 cups sugar but thought it was too sweet for most people so I pulled it back. So just add more sugar :-)

  43. avatar says: Lisa

    How many packets is equivalent to 2 ounces of yeast???

    • usually the packets are a 1/4 ounce each so that would mean 8 packets or 4 tbs.

  44. avatar says: suzqz

    Jamie -

    I always followed a friend’s recipe for challah. Flavor was great, texture was less than ideal. For Rosh Hashanah this year, I decided to use a different recipe and I used yours. AMAZING. The texture was PERFECT. I added a mixture of reconstituted raisins with apples, sugar and cinnamon to them – it was delicious. I’m not a baker by nature, so I have two quick questions. If I want to make the dough sweeter, can I simply add more sugar or do I need to make other adjustments? And, if I want to freeze the dough, before I shape the loaves, what point in the process is the best to do it? Thank you so much and shana tova!

    • YAY YAY YAY!!! So happy and sounds soooo delish! Want it sweeter? It’s Simple, just add more sugar – I originally called for 2 1/2 cups sugar you can even push it to 3 if you really want it sweet. But of course play with it to your liking. To freeze proceed all the way through step 14. At which point you can divide the dough and freeze it in portions or as one mass. Punch it down to release all the air bubble and form into a nice round mass. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. To defrost: remove the plastic wrap and place it in a large lightly greased bowl (oil or cooking spray). Cover it with a kitchen towel so it doesn’t form a skin and place in a warm spot (cozy corner) in your kitchen. Once it’s room temperature you are ready to roll — literally! I freeze the raw dough ALL the time and it comes out great! Best of luck and thank you for commenting and shana tova :-) !

  45. avatar says: Moshe

    all in kosher website is no more available , so you can found the Dependable High Gluten Flour 6 LB. Bag Availabe at RocklandKosher,com http://www.rocklandkosher.com/p-2897-flour-high-gluten.aspx

  46. avatar says: karen

    Love your videos and recipes. Question. Can you bake and then freeze Challah? Thank you.

    • yes you can. I recommend re warming it (wrapped in) at 250/300 degrees F until soft – serve warm.

  47. Re-posting my questions because I didn’t found any answers. Can I exchange the sugar for honey (what amount?) at the yeast mix?
    Is there a change if I use whole wheat flour?
    My family and I loved the recipe it’s different from another we tried first , even defrost it’s GREAT , thanks for the recipe .

    • Hi Haidee – so my sister-in-law always uses whole wheat flour in place of white and it comes out great – just a little heavier/more dense. I have not tried honey in place of sugar but I have a friend who uses a mixture of honey and maple syrup in her whole wheat challah and it’s fantastic. Honey is ever so slightly sweeter than sugar so in small amounts (if you are simply substituting a tablespoon or two or even 3 :-) you can use a 1:1 ratio but for larger amounts use slightly less than 1:1. So 1 cup sugar is equal to about 3/4 cup honey. So if you are making the full recipe above you can substitute the 2 cups of sugar for about 1 1/2 cups of honey. At step one, to proof the yeast, replace the 3 TBS sugar for 3 TBS honey. At step 4 add 1 1/2 cups honey in place of the sugar. Good luck and let us know how it comes out.

    • I substitute honey for sugar in this recipe all the time, turns out lovely.

  48. avatar says: faygie

    Came out perfect!

  49. hi Jamie, on the video you don’t sift the flower, I know that for the challah to be kosher the first thing you have to do is sift the flower. please clarify. thank you I enjoyed the video.

    • Hi Chevy – great eyes — I buy pre-sifted flour – BIG (HUGE!) time saver – and delivers peace of mind.

  50. Hi…Do you a recipe for a 5lb bag of flour?

    • Try JoK friend Hadassah’s recipe: http://www.joyofkosher.com/recipes/challah-3/

      • Hi…thanks, I will try it. couple of questions though:
        1-she wrote to make a “well” and to put 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.
        2- Also- if I use a Bosch machine, how do I make that well? because the dough hook is in the center?
        3- she mentions to knead it for 10 minutes, and then after it rises, to punch down and knead again for another 10 minutes. I am using the bosch machine to knead. does this apply then? because then I would be kneading a total of 20 minutes with the bosch machine.
        Thanks so much!

        • Hey Devorie… Ok so when I make Challah in the bread machine with a dough hook I ignore the well AND find that the kneading time is cut down at least 50% if not more (it’s a machine :-) - so as soon as you see a nice dough form your are good to go — should come together in about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer.

  51. avatar says: Deana M.

    Can I use bread flour or all-purpose flour for the high gluten flour in your challah recipe? I can’t find the high gluten flour in my area. If so, how will it/how do I change up the recipe? Thanks so much.

    • Bread flour is the SAME as high-gluten flour so you are all set. As an fyi I use all-purpose flour now in Israel because we don’t have high gluten flour here. Gluten gives the challah a lighter more sponge-y and chewy texture. But I have found that with the all-purpose flour when I use my stand mixer to knead the dough (instead of by hand) the challah turns out delicious.

      • avatar says: susie b

        Hi Jamie – hope all is well. Still absolutely loving the challah. People beg me to make it for Shabbat all the time! I also pass the recipe along to other people, especially when they’re frustrated with their recipe. I wanted to give it to someone who lives in Israel, but a lot of people say that a recipe used in the States just doesn’t come out the same there. Aside from using bread flour and the stand mixer, have you had to make any other adjustments to the recipe? Thanks so much!

        • hey Susie!!! YAYEEEE! So happy you are spreading the challah love. OK yes in addition to the stand mixer I use more yeast (like 1 1/2 – 2 times as much) AND more oil (again 1 1/2 – 2 times as much) to make the dough lighter and softer. I have recently switched to 70% whole wheat flour and it even still works beautifully Thank G-d :-) !!! Great luck to your friend in Israel.

  52. Hi Jamie, whenever I am baking my six braid Challa at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes it burns badly on the top, but when I bake my three braid Challa it comes out perfectly. What am I doing wrong?

    • OK I can only guess here, but: Is your 6-braid much higher/taller than your 3-braid, and perhaps closer to the heat source? Try moving your oven rack down a level or two and see if that helps. Let me know!

  53. avatar says: Stefanie

    Hi Jamie. I have looked all over the website and love it. I even commented on your Matzo Ball recipe. Anyway I want to make your challah but I can’t find the right flour. There is a market 15 minutes away that is known for selling Kosher food. However, there Kosher section is suprisingly small. I couldn’t find the high-gluten flour you use. I can order it from King Arhur flour but the high-gluten flour only comes in 3 lb bags. Unfortunately they are not cheap. Also, I found the link for the flour you used in the video. It would cost more to have it shipped to Rhode Island then what it is sold for. My question is this. Can I substitute bread flour for the high-gluten flour? Or, would it be worth it to spend a few extra dollars to have the high-gluten flour shipped to me? HELP!!

    • Hey Stefanie — help is here :-) !!! High Gluten and Bread Flour are interchangeable so use it and enJOY! Please come back and comment on the recipe once you’ve made it – we’d love to hear your feedback.

      • says: Stefanie

        Hi Jamie. I finally had the chance to make your Challah. It Came out ok. I took a picture of it but I am not sure how to attach it. Anyway. I used bread flour and made the full 6 lbs. You were right in the video. The first kneading was tough. I had to switch hands a couple of times. It was much softer after 15 minutes. I think I need a bigger plastic bowl. My mom has a big one but not big enough. The dough was nearly overflowing as it was rising. I ended up making 2 6-braid and 3 pull-apart Challahs. I did not use your method of braiding, however. I used your friend Hadassah’s method of “over 2, over 1.” Since this was my first time making Challah I didn’t want to confust myself and I went for the easiest way to braid the bread. The first loaf I did came out very large. The second loaf I did was smaller but still a decent size. The picture I have of the challah is of the second loaf. I was too embrassed by the first one. It was very, very large. It had a crispy crust with a soft chewy inside. I gave the larger loaf to my brother and sister-in-law as they have four kids. I kept the smaller loaf for me and my parents. I will bring the pull-apart challahs to church on Sunday. We have a fellowship, after the service, with coffee, fruit and baked goods. I figured everyone would enjoy them. I told my mom the different things you made with the challah dough. The cinnamon buns was the one that excited her the most. My parents, brother and sister-in-law really liked it when they had a small piece. At least it tasted good. I would definitley make it again.


  54. avatar says: Debbie

    I was referred to your site for this challah recipe which I am so excited to see-I was checking out the comments as I do to see if there are any recommendations or questions I might have. Ran across a mention of a recipe you have called the “Irish Car Bomb.” I live in Ireland and I would suggest out of consideration for those families who have lost people to actual car bombings in Ireland that you change the name of the recipe.

  55. avatar says: Brooke

    Is it true Jewish to put poppy seeds on it?My husband thinks it is a American add on to challah.

    • not that I am aware of – that is to say Israel is full of poppy seed challahs.

  56. Hi Jamie.

    Thank you for this website and your expertise. You make everything look so simple!

    My husband just bought me a mixer, which I feel I should use. Can you give directions for its use with this recipe? ALSO, as the mixer handles only a kilo and a half of flour (3.3 pounds), I have to adjust the measurements. Can you help me out with this?

    Thanks very much. I hope you are loving Israel as much as we are. (We made Aliya three years ago.)

    Chana Rochel

    • hi Chanarochel!! Thank you thank you thank you! BH we are loving Israel and so happy and honored to live here. OK so I have also been using a mixer now that I am here mostly bc I changed to whole wheat flour and the mixer incorporates air into the dough and produces a lighter/fluffier whole wheat challah than hand kneading. So here is what I recommend: Half the recipe exactly and use only 3 pounds of flour (not 3.3) – weigh it for accuracy if you can. Proof the yeast in the bowl of the mixer, once proofed add the flour and then start the mixer. Slowly add in the rest of the ingredients (in fact have them ready to go) and mix with the dough hook for 8 – 10 minutes.

  57. avatar says: ch

    hi, i made ur challah today and was wondering if you could tell me why the challah flattens while baking? you cant really see the shape of the braids…
    otherwise it tastes delicious!
    a big fan of u all the way from antwerp, belgium

    • hi there all the way from Antwerp Belgium!!!! so that absolutely should NOT happen. in fact it should rise and puff up while baking… sometimes mine almost rises too much in the oven — perhaps your yeast wasn’t active — did it double is size when you proofed it and did your dough rise nicely?

      • avatar says: ch

        Thanks for your response. My yeast did double in size when i proofed it and my dough did rise as well. But while rising in the oven the braiding shapes slowly disappeared which resulted to a flat top. :)

        • ok so another “trick” to retain the braid shape is after braiding do not let it rise again but rather bake it immediately. let us know how that works for you.

  58. avatar says: mushka

    how can i make this recipe whole wheat?

    • Hey Mushka – we have had great success with 50% whole wheat and 70% whole wheat. 100% will of course make it even more dense but that’s just the nature of whole wheat. EnJOY.

  59. avatar says: rivky

    HI, i see you use nonstick oval pans for the challah in your video…they come in many sizes so was wondering if you know which size you use?? Thanks

    • It all depends what I am in the mood for and now I also make free form challah which means I just shape my challahs and bake them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. But generally when I am using the oval pans I opt for the medium size – for large challahs and the small pans for small challahs/”rolls” – I find if you need a LARGER challah you are better off making it free form on a baking sheet bc that amount of dough in a large pan doesn’t have enough room to expand and the outside burns before the inside has had a chance to fully cook through. Whatever size you use don’t over stuff the pan bc of what I just described above – give your gorgeous challahs room to grow.

  60. avatar says: darlyne

    can you make your challah in a bread machine?

    • yes but you MUST HALF the recipe (so your don’t kill your machine and/or have you ingredients explode all over your kitchen – AHHHH!)

  61. avatar says: Briana

    I’m made this recipe a bunch of times, and each time everybody loved it! Thanks so much for posting! My question is whether the dough can be refrigerated over night (ie. Thursday night to be made on Friday) and if so, at what point during the process can it be refrigerated?

    • YAY YAY YAY AND YES! You can refrigerate it before or after rising. Either way you should take it out early Friday morning and keep it covered with a towel and in a bag in a warm cozy corner of your kitchen (I used to put it on the counter on top of the dishwasher and now I have a cover for my range this way the heat from the oven and/or dishwasher warms the dough). Point is you need to let it come to room temp before punching it down and shaping it. You can let it rise again once or twice if you have time but it’s not necessary – most important is that it’s at least room temp and not cold when you go to shape it. Also important: make sure you coat it with oil before it goes in the fridge and keep it covered in the fridge with at least a towel (bag is also good) and then when you take it out coat again with oil and cover with a towel and bag – this will keep the dough from forming a skin. Hope this makes your Friday Challah prep easier – come back and let us know. enJOY!

  62. avatar says: mk

    my 17 yr. old granddaughter made your recipe. When i asked her where she got the recipe, she said Jamie Geller.
    It looked so professional and the taste was out of this world.So,even though I’ve been baking for a long time. I decided to try it.I only had a 5 lb.bag of flour (Kemach) so I cut back a little on the ingredients.
    (I used 5 Tbls.of yeast)
    I got a tremendous yield of dough.
    I think putting it in a large bag was the reason.
    Can’t wait to taste it.
    BTW your potato kugel is out of this world.the secret? the pyrex dish!
    keep up the good work!

    • avatar says: mk

      I noticed that some people use some of the challah dough for baking Mezonos.
      But it’s really a Motzei.
      Maybe you should point that out.

    • WOW thank you so so so much!!! Please hug your 17 yr old granddaughter for me. As for challah cinnamon buns etc… you are right! Thanks for pointing it out. Hope you enJOYed the challah!

  63. avatar says: goodmand

    hi, living in Israel how many bags of 1kilo flour is this?
    thanks!!! cant wait to try

    • Shalom from Israel. 1 Kilo is 2.2 pounds. So it’s a little less than 3 bags – you should weigh the flour for accuracy.

  64. avatar says: Miriam

    Hi Jamie,

    thanks for your website and videos, it makes me willing to bake challahs every Friday :)

    though you’ve explained everything very detailed, could not guess the size of cup, could you please clarify how many ML or OZ you mean in one cup of water??


    • hi Miriam!!!! I am so thrilled to hear!!! 1 cup is the standard 8 ounces. Great luck – enJOY, enJOY, enJOY!

  65. avatar says: natalie

    Hello, I am planning to try out your recipe for rosh hashana. I normally make the challa dough a day in advance and let it rise through the night in the fridge until the next morning, can I do the same with your challa?
    Also, can you specify how many cups of flour you use? I can’t find a 5 or 6 pound bag.

    • hi Natalie!!! I am so sorry I had been traveling like crazy and I am only getting to this now. Yes overnight rise in the fridge should work well here too. As for cups: 3 1/4 cups of high gluten flour equals 1 pound. But I have a scale and usually weigh my flour for accuracy which is ideal if you can.

  66. avatar says: Chanie

    Thank you Jamie! My tot and I watched your video and then followed the steps to make the challa dough. Right now we are ‘snacking’ on a yummy piece of challa! I better hide the rest of the batch quickly, if I want to still have some for yom tov!

    • Chanie!!!!!!!!!! TOO cute, too awesome, too adorable! I love your comment and am so thankful you baked challah together and took the time to write me here. PLEASE give you tot a squeeze for me!

  67. avatar says: fran

    Can you help me. I followed the directions but the inside of my challah is not done but the outside gets to dark what should i do?

    • oh Fran! I am sorry this is a dense challah. There are two options here 1) cover the challah loosely with foil to allow the inside to bake longer before burning the outside or 2) make smaller challahs in the future: Instead of having this recipe yield 4 extra large challah you can make 6 large or even 4 large and 4 medium sized rolls.

  68. Dear Jamie
    My Granddaughter and I do a lot of baking Pastry, Challah etc. Today we decided to use your recipe 6lbs of flour. I must say that it is a little different than most recipes we use, buttttt the 4 Challahs were the best we ever made. They rose beautifully, we actually could have made 6 challahs. We did not put them in the garbage bags. We did cover them in a damp warm cloth and kept them near a sunny window. We also added tumeric and egg washed it twice also we used 5 egg yolks
    Thank you
    Abe Baron (age 92) and my beautiful Granddaughter Suzanne(mother of 2 active boys

    • Abe and Suzanne!!!! First you should both be happy and healthy and baking together until 120!!! I can not apologize enough for not commenting sooner (I have been traveling like crazy leading up to the holidays and then took some time off to be with my family). I can not tell you how this comment warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I was especially close to my grandparents and when my grandmothers passed away I became even closer to my grandfathers. They were both amazing cooks (one was a gourmet chef and restaurateur and my paternal grandfather’s name was Abraham, a butcher by trade his nickname was actually “chef”). I wasn’t interested in cooking before they passed and I feel like I missed out on special time with them in the kitchen. To read about you and your beautiful Suzanne baking together is so super special and emotional for me. I am so honored that my recipe is one that you enJOYed together. I did just comment in the reply above that this recipe can easily yield 6 large challahs instead of 4 extra large challahs – and in fact that is what I have been doing of late (or even 4 large and 4 medium sized rolls). I love!!!! the turmeric idea and double egg wash. Please please please hug Suzanne for me and her boys. I am sure you treasure your time together both in the kitchen and out – but it’s worth noting that I now treasure this experience together with you (from afar). Lots of love, Jamie.

  69. Above see memo

  70. avatar says: Susie

    I am intrigued by all the reviews and want to give your recipe a try. Just want to confirm that you shape and bake immediately without another rise after they are shaped. Also, does the no rise before you bake help to avoid “oven spring” (when the braids look they have expanded too much)?

    • hey Susie! yes: shape and bake immediately, and yes: this does help to prevent oven spring BUT when I use whole wheat flour and/or am making round challahs I do let the shaped challahs rise again before baking.

  71. avatar says: Alana

    Hello Jamie.
    Thank you for posting your challah bread recipe. I tried it using King Arthur flour. I came out great.
    Q. where did you purchase your pans.
    thanking you in advance.

    • YAY!!!!!! The brand is called Magic Mill Non Stick Challah Pans – you can find them on amazon in all sizes. (I bought them in my local kosher supermarket in Monsey.)

  72. avatar says: asha2711

    Hi love your recipes,just a quick question,if I want to add raisan at what stage should I add it?

    • oh I am so thrilled! ok so… you can add raisins at one of two points 1) while you are kneading (this will give you the most even distribution) or 2) (if you don’t want to make the entire batch raisin) you can add when you are shaping – so if you make a pull apart add some raisins to each ball you form.

  73. I have made this challa before and its amazing, but everytime i make it the dough is very hard, it softens up a bit after the 15 minutes rest time but still, compared to other chala dough i have made this one is very hard to knead, hard enough that my stand mixer almost broke… weird enough it ends up being very tasty and great texture, but i don’t make it as much bc the process of kneading it is so challenging. What could i be doing wrong that its so hard?

    • OY!!! Natalie…. add another cup of warm water and it will lighten the dough and make it easier to work with all around :-)

  74. avatar says: Mary

    Thank you, dear Jamie for sharing your wonderful challah recipe! I’ve always had such difficulty with it…but today…BAM! Success! My husband is really enjoying it. Blessings & Shalom upon you and yours!!!

    • oh Mary!!!! I am thrilled!!!!!! So happy your hubby is happy! Blessings and Shalom back to you and yours!

  75. My family LOVES this recipe! Thank you so much for it! I had tried making challah before (a different recipe I found online somewhere) and you could tell everyone was just trying to not hurt my feelings while eating it because it just was not very good. I made this and now my family can’t wait until Friday night to have it!

    • OMG OMG OMG!!!!!! I am SO SO SO SO happy!!! Thanks for sharing – I really appreciate it!

  76. avatar says: Sunny

    Hi Jamie,
    I spent my entire Sunday watching your 3 videos (thoroughly enjoyed) as I have never made Challa, nor am I usually good in the kitchen unless I follow a recipe exactly. So thats what I tried to do. Within 15 min my yeast got so big it over-flowed my large bowl. And my dough was gigantic. I still tried to make the 6 braids with the giant braids. It cooked for an hour but outside was super dry and inside still doughy. The loaf weighed 8 pounds. Do you know what I did wrong? Thank you so much. 😃

  77. avatar says: Sunny

    Hi Jamie,
    Well now I am embarrassed with my last question. I followed you on your video without looking at the written recipe where it says it is fo 4 challas!! I had no idea. So, I split the huge dough into 6 braids…HUGE BRAIDS. No wonder it did not bake right!! I feel so lame. LOL

    • OH SUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SOOOOOOOOO sorry. But I thank you so much for watching and trying AND commenting back when you figured out what the issue was bc I couldn’t tell from your first comment what went wrong. OY VEY – I know Challah is a lot of work and I am sorry it didn’t come out for you the first time. I sure hope you will try again. Thanks for being such a great sport.

    • And BTW sometimes I even make 6 medium sized challahs from this amount of dough.

  78. Hi Jamie! thank you so much for all your lovely recipes B’H.
    When I went to buy flour the guy told me to get 00 flour. is that high gluten? he said it was for breads and that it was the purest. I live in Egypt so American brands won’t be avialbale

    • Hi Dina Bracha IN EGYPT!!!!!! (Where do you live there? What do you do there? Tell us everything!!!) – yes high gluten flour is also known as bread flour. Great luck!

  79. avatar says: Amy

    Hi. No matter what I do my challah does not rise. Please help. Thanks.

  80. Oh Amy! That is so frustrating I am so sorry. Most likely it means your yeast is “dead”. Have you checked it by proofing it first in a bowl? Did it bloom to twice the size? Also is your water warm? are you using enough water? is your dough rising under cover in a warm and cozy spot of your kitchen?

  81. I love the challah. Your recipes are luscious and the advice reassuring. I’ll be happy to get news from you.

  82. avatar says: Dana

    I love this challah recipe! I made it once a few weeks ago and have it rising now getting ready for Shabbos! Can I use a whole egg instead of two egg yolks? I never know what to do with leftover whites or yolks for a recipe that uses one or the other. Also, could I simply add all ingredients after making the yeast mixture? Is there a reason to do it in all the steps and with the well? Thanks!

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