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+ servings


Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Dairy-free, Kosher, Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Keyword: Egg-free, Entertaining, Husband-approved, Make-ahead, Nut-free, Shabbat
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 48
Calories: 231kcal
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made for Shabbat and simchot (celebrations). These days, you can find this hearty bread on many NYC menus. It’s very popular for french toast because of its richness. :)
Print Recipe


  • Dough Cutter
  • Rolling Pin
  • Very Large Bowl


  • 5 lb High Gluten Flour
  • 4 TBS Kosher Salt
  • 5 Cups Water
  • 4 TBS Yeast
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1-¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg beaten (optional)
  • Seeds optional


  • Bring Water up to between 110-115 degrees
  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast and 1 TBS of the Sugar. Add 1 Cup of preheated water. Whisk to combine, then let stand for 5 Minutes.
  • While waiting for the yeast to bloom, combine the Flour, Salt and remaining Sugar in a very large bowl (20 qt is ideal).
  • Create a well in the flour with your hand and pour in the proofing liquid. Use a bit of the hot water to get the last bit of yeast from the small bowl and pour that into the flour. Mix by hand, adding all but one cup of the remaining water and mixing it thoroughly.
  • Set aside 1 TBS of Olive Oil. Add the rest to the flour mixture. Mix in by hand, using a punch and fold technique to knead thoroughly. Slowly add water from the last cup as needed. You may not need all of it. You will know the dough is the right consistency when it no longer sticks to your hands and all of the crumbs from the bowl are incorporated.
  • After the right amount of water is added, knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  • Cover the ball of dough with the reserved Olive Oil. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest in a warm area for 1 hour. The dough should rise up and fill the bowl.
  • Remove the plastic wrap. Knead the dough for 3-4 Minutes. At this point, you would perform the mitzvah of separating challah or L’Hafrish Challah. This link offers specific instructions.
  • Now, you can divide and braid your dough. Specific instructions for braiding in the video (coming soon). This dough will make 6 medium loaves or 4 large loaves or 24 challah rolls. The braided loaves can then be placed on a parchment-lined sheetpan or inside of a lightly greased oval challah pan or a lightly greased rectangular loaf pan.
  • After your dough is shaped how you like, cover again and let rise another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375.
  • After final rising, brush the tops of the challahs GENTLY with beaten egg and add any seeds you desire (or none!) This step can be skipped if you are sensitive or allergic to eggs. If you want seeds but cannot use egg, brush the tops with a bit of nut milk and then add the seeds.
  • Immediately bake loaves or rolls at 375 for 45 minutes. If you are baking two pans at once (using the top and bottom racks), then switch the pans half-way through cooking for even browning.
  • Finished challahs should be placed on a rack to cook as soon as you are able. Do not allow them to cool in or on a pan. If desired, challahs can be gently rewarmed by wrapping in foil and placing on a warming plate or in the oven. Only after they are completely cooled, challahs should be stored in an airtight plastic bag.



Makes 4 large Challahs, 6 medium challahs, or 24 Challah rolls (bilkelech). The bread will keep a couple of days at room temperature, 3-4 days in the fridge, or can be frozen for a few months and pulled out when needed.


Sodium: 282.5mg | Sugar: 4.3g | Calories: 231kcal | Fat: 5.2g | Protein: 5.3g | Carbohydrates: 40.6g