Traditional Challah

  • prep time1 min
  • total time 45 min
  • serves 16

A Jewish braided egg bread, challah is most commonly eaten during Friday night's Sabbath meal. However, the bread resonates with deeper meaning at the Jewish New Year, when it is traditonal to sweeten food with honey in the hope that the next 12 months will be sweet. On that occasion, challah is shaped into a crown, and the addition of sweet raisins is an extra guarantee of a special and lucky year.

30 Ratings
Directions for: Traditional Challah


Traditional Challah

2 tsp granulated sugar

½ cup warm water

1 Tbsp active dry yeast

3 ½ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

¼ cup liquid honey

2 egg, lightly, beaten

2 egg, yolk

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup butter, melted

¾ cup golden raisins


1 egg, yolk, lightly, beaten

1 Tbsp sesame seeds


Traditional Challah

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. In large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water.

3. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.

4. With wooden spoon, stir in 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour and salt; stir in honey, eggs, egg yolks and butter until dough forms.

5. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding enough of the remaining flour as necessary.

6. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over.

7. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

8. Punch down dough; knead in raisins.

9. Let rest for 5 minutes.

10. To make crown: Roll dough into 30-inch (76 cm) long rope.

11. Holding one end in place, wind remaining rope around end to form fairly tight spiral that is slightly higher in centre.

12. Transfer to lightly greased baking sheet.

13. To make bread: Divide dough into quarters; roll each into 18-inch (45 cm) long rope.

14. Place ropes side by side on greased baking sheet; pinch together at one end.

15. Starting at pinched end, move second rope from left over rope on its right.

16. Move far right rope over two ropes on left.

17. Move far left rope over two ropes on right.

18. Repeat until braid is complete; tuck ends under braid.

19. Cover crown loaf or braid loaf with plastic wrap.

20. Let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.


1. Stir egg yolk with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) water; brush over loaf.

2. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

3. Bake in centre of oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

4. Let cool on rack.

5. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices.

See more: Rice/Grain, Winter, Hanukkah, Vegetarian, Bake, Fall, Eggs/Dairy

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