Traditional Challah



  • 5 pounds sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces fresh yeast
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 4 1/4 cups warm water (add an additional 1/4 cup for softer dough)
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks


Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of sugar.


When bubbles rise, the yeast has activated.

In your mixer,combine the salt,2/3 of the flour, oil, sugar, yolks, water and the activated yeast last.

Set the machine on medium for 12 minutes.

When you see the dough begin to form, add the remaining flour into the mixer and continue mixing.

Transfer the dough to a very large well-greased bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 to 3 hours or until double in bulk.

(Optional: punch dough down after 1 hour and let rise again)

Separate the challah and make a blessing. Form the dough into a braid or whatever shape your family has traditionally used.

Six Braid Instructions             Three Braid Instructions

After you have formed your challahs allow them to rise for 20 minutes in greased baking dishes. Paint the challahs with beaten egg yolks and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for the first 15 minutes then, reduce to 350 degrees for another 30 to 45 minutes.

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