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Spelt Challah Recipe


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Spelt Challah Recipe


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Spelt Challah Recipe

It is no wonder the public often thinks there is no way to enjoy a delicious slice of spelt challah or bread, as it always comes brick-heavy in stores: Mine is light and delicious, and I hope you make it before the austerity week sets in!


  • Prep Time : 20 active min
  • Cook Time : 45 min
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 5 min


4 challot


  • 4 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup honey, sugar or sucanat
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 cups spelt flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1/4 cup water
  • Sesame or poppy seeds (optional)


Mix the yeast, water and honey or sugar in a big bowl, and let the mixture bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, oil and salt, and beat. Add the flour, and mix thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a lightly-floured flat working surface, and knead for about 15 minutes, turning the dough a quarter of a turn every 2-3 minutes and punching it down often to eliminate any air pockets (or transfer the mixture to the bowl of a dough maker. Set for 10 minutes of kneading). Transfer the kneaded dough into a big mixing bowl (remember, it will expand). Sprinkle flour all around the dough. Let rise, covered with a cloth, in a warm draft-free area for 2 hours.

Shape the Challah: divide the dough into 4 pieces. Divide each piece into thirds and roll each third into a long thin rope. Pinch the 3 ropes together at one end to hold them in place. Braid, and place the braid on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the loaves well apart in the pan (you might need more than a pan: Bake one at a time). Brush each loaf with the egg-and-water mixture, and top with seeds if desired. Bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Raisin Challah: Served on Rosh Hashanah. Add two cups of raisins to the dough, shape it into 4 round loaves (for each loaf, make a long thin rope, and roll it into a coil)


Levana Cooks

About Levana Kirschenbaum


Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Levana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after thirty two years), and the pioneer in Kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, and gets countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking. She gives weekly cooking demos, and gets cooking demo engagements around the country. She has published "Levana's Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone", "Levana Cooks Dairy-Free!”, and a book-dvd set based on her demo series called "In Short Order”. She has just published her latest cookbook: “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple”. She is launching a line of all-natural spelt desserts, called, what else, Lévana. Her weekly cooking demos take place at her apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Get ready for dinner and a show! Go onto her website to find out more about her demos, cookbooks, desserts, and entertaining stories at www.levanacooks.com




23 Responses to Spelt Challah Recipe

  1. avatar says: chaya

    would it taste the same if i made it with half of everything?

  2. Of course :-) ))

  3. avatar says: Maya

    Is 12 cups of spelt enough to make a bracha?

  4. avatar says: Rachel G.

    THis was by far the worst recipe I have ever followed. 12 cups of spelt flour was NOT ENOUGH to get a consistency going. I had to put 20 cups + to be able to knead the dough. I had to keep adding flour throughout the kneading and shaping!

    • avatar says: Devorah

      If you check Levanna’s website, you will see that she explains that making bread with low-gluten spelt requires different rules. It will be sticky, until the end when it bakes into a light, well-formed loaf. Her advice: Resist, Resist, Resist adding more flour.

    • Rachel, I am so sorry I must tell you, my spelt challah recipe is tried and true, I can’t tell you how many peoople make it every week. I’m afraid you are outnumbered. If you put 20 cups of flour, it must have felt like a ton of bricks. I highly recommend you use the amounts listed, adding just a little flour if you must, always using the golden rule of bread making as your guide: RESIST the temptation to add flour!

    • says: Amal

      I had to add two morte coups of flour!!!

    • says: Amal

      Sorry about the typos. I meant I had to add two cups of flour.

  5. avatar says: Carolyn

    I made just one loaf. I used my mixer so I used the exact amount of flour. I will do this many times in the future. Thank you for sharing this with us. Blessings!

  6. am very interested to learn more about holy meal. thank you. Shabbat shalom

  7. How can I make this using whole spelt?

  8. avatar says: Daphna

    I made this challah this past Shabbos and it came out perfect! I took the advice to resist adding flour, and I used organic lite spelt flour. It rised so beautifully and came out delicious, one of the best challahs I ever made. thanks so much!

  9. Is it possible to do this recipe successfully without any sweetener added at all? and is it possible to do a water challah recipe with whole spelt? I have a wheat allergy so this would be great since now I eat spelt matzah for shabbos. thanks so much!

  10. avatar says: Abby

    I cut the recipe in half and used whole spelt. It came out great.

  11. avatar says: Shoshana

    Amazing. I made them today… First time I have been able to have challah (wheat allergy)but spelt is fine. They are amazing they look, smell and hopefully taste exactly like real challah. I am in awe, thank you so much for sharing :) !

  12. says: Amal

    I agree with Rachel G. It Wash impossible to handle and knead the dough if I had not added the flour. The recipe needs to be modified.

  13. avatar says: Jennifer

    How many LBs of flour is 12 cups?

  14. avatar says: Mia

    Can I substitute and use rice flour instead? I can’t have spelt.

  15. avatar says: Sarah

    I made half the spelt challah recipe for Shabbos and it was amazing. My guests were quite impressed. My loaves looked just like the photo. I have tried using spelt in the past, but I was never able braid the loaves because of the loose consistency of the dough. Thank you, Levana

  16. avatar says: rr

    I made half the recipe and by mistake didn’t have the oil or sugar and it was so easy to handle- barely had to knead and it was enjoyed by all!

  17. avatar says: Devorah

    After I braid the challah am I supposed to let it rise again?

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