Hollah if you like Challah!

Last night I had some time to myself for a bit, and decided to make some Challah. According to Judaism 101, “Challah is a special kind of bread used for Shabbat and holidays”. I am not Jewish, but the bread looks beautiful and tastes great! This recipe comes from George Greenstein’s book, “Secrets of a Jewish Baker’.

First, grab yourself some basic bread making ingredients. I used:

  • 235 ml water
  • 14 grams yeast
  • 650 grams King Arthur organic bread flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 57 grams sugar
  • 17 grams salt


Put the water in your mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on until it starts to get bubbly (10 min or so). Add the rest of the ingredients (but only half of the flour), and turn the mixer on low with the dough hook, gradually adding the rest of the flour.

Turn up the mixer to medium and knead the dough for about 8 minutes.

Remove the dough and place it in an oiled container.

Let rise to about triple the size (about 2 hours). This thing rises a lot! Then divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.

Roll 3 of those pieces into equal length ropes. I did about 18 inch ropes. The last piece you divide into 3 more pieces to make the smaller top braid.

Make the first braid, by wetting the tips of the dough, sticking them together, then folding the tips under. Then do a simple 3 part braid, and do the same with the other tips. Next take the 3 small pieces, roll them out into very thin roes of the same length. Make another smaller braid with those pieces. Make an indentation in the large braid to cradle the smaller one.

Then place the smaller one on top. Now make an egg wash mixture with:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Brush some of the mixture all over the dough, then set in a warm place to rise for about an hour more (double in size). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I use parchment paper and terra cotta tiles in my oven for a baking stone. Wash the bread with the egg wash once more, and sprinkle some poppy seeds on top. Then throw that monster in the oven.

After about 30 minutes or so (half baked), pull it out and brush with the egg wash again. Put is back in and bake until bread is firm and 195 degrees internal temperature. Pull out and cool on a rack. Yummy.

Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Traditional Challah
  • 235 ml water
  • 14 grams active dry yeast
  • 650 grams bread flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 57 grams sugar
  • 17 grams salt
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Poppy Seeds
  1. Mix the yeast and the water in your mixing bowl.
  2. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add your egg, egg yolks, sugar, salt, oil, and half the flour.
  4. Mix together on low.
  5. Gradually add in the rest of the flour.
  6. Knead on medium with a dough hook for about 8 minutes.
  7. Rise in oiled container until tripled in size.
  8. Punch down, and divide into 4 equal sized pieces.
  9. Roll 3 pieces into ropes about 18 inches long.
  10. Braid together.
  11. Divide the last piece into 3 equal size pieces.
  12. Roll them into 3 18 inch long thin ropes.
  13. Braid together.
  14. Put small braid on top of the large braid.
  15. Make egg wash with egg and water, then brush onto the dough.
  16. Let rise for about 1 hour (double in size).
  17. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  18. Brush with egg wash again.
  19. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  20. Bake on parchment paper for about 30 minutes or so (half baked), brush with egg wash again.
  21. Bake until finished (internal temperature 195 degrees and firm to the touch).
  22. Cool on rack.


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