Recipe: Challah

Challah, baked

Revised October 2022

This is my adaptation of the challah recipe from The New Best Recipe. I’ve made it pareve, because a dairy challah isn’t useful for us. I’ve adjusted it to make 3 medium-sized loaves with a simple, 4-strand braid. Finally, I’ve worked on the flavor, texture, and bake time so it’s tasty the next day, too.

Makes 3 medium loaves.



Egg wash

  1. In bowl of 6-quart stand mixer, combine sugar, yeast, and water, stirring to dissolve.
  2. Add eggs, yolks, and oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt, then pour flour mixture over liquid mixture.
  4. Using dough hook, mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Dough should clear the sides, but will stick to the bottom.
  5. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces (about 540 grams each). Place each piece in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
  6. With each piece of dough, remove from bowl, divide into 4 pieces, and roll pieces into 10-inch ropes. Braid ropes tightly (see below). Pinch ends and tuck under to neaten.
  7. Place the 3 braided loaves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour (until increased by one-third).
  8. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle and preheat oven to 325°F convection.
  9. Whisk egg white with salt and water. Brush egg mixture onto loaves. Coat thoroughly with seed topping if using.
  10. Bake 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Note: If you don’t have a convection oven, you can bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, but the loaf in the middle may be a little under-baked.

Braiding technique

Challah dough, braided

A simple three-strand braid works fine, but the loaves are a bit flat. I’ve learned a four-strand braid that’s easy for me and gives the loaves more height.

For the fall holidays, use this four-strand circular braid.