Abby's Challah

Liz Soldwish-Zoole


I like a sweet, dense, rich challah - this is a combination of several different recipes I found on-line and tweaked until I had just what I wanted. This recipe makes one loaf.

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5 Hr
40 Min


2 1/2 tsp
active dry yeast (1packet)
2 tsp
1/2 c
very warm water
1/2 c
liquid (i like oj or apple juice if using honey for the sweetener, coffee is good if using maple syrup)
1/4 c
fat or oil (melted butter, olive oil, etc.)
1/4 c
honey or other thick sweetening syrup (maple syrup, etc.)
large eggs
1 1/2 tsp
kosher or sea salt
4-4 1/2 c
bread flour (can sub in up to 2 cups whole wheat, if desired)


1/2 c
raisins or other chopped dried fruit


egg beaten with 1 tbs water, brushed over surface of braided, unbaked challah before putting in the oven, or
1/4 c
mayonnaise rubbed over the surface of the braided, unbaked dough before putting in the oven, or
1 Tbsp
and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or coarse salt


1First, proof your yeast: Dissolve the sugar in the warm water in your mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Within 5 minutes, it should be bubbly and frothy.
2Whisk the juice, oil or cooled melted butter, honey, eggs and salt into the yeast mixture. Add the raisins here, if desired.
3Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing with each addition. The dough will get thicker but will still be a little sticky when you're done.
4Turn our onto floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes, until elastic and smooth. Add flour to the surface very sparingly - better too sticky than too dry for this dough!
5Put your dough in an oiled bowl, cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and place in a warm place 1-2 hours to rise until doubled in size.
6Punch down, repeat. The second rise won't take as long.
7Turn your dough out onto a flat surface. With a sharp knife, cut into six equal pieces.
8With your hands, roll each piece into a strand about 14-15 inches long.
Place 3 strands parallel to each other. With the other 3 strands, form a simple over-under-over lattice.
You will now have a checkerboard lattice in the center and an 'X' of dough strands coming out the sides a few inches.
Braid each 3 strand set coming off the center until you run out of dough, tuck the braid UNDER the lattice center.
Carefully place in an oiled pie dish and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
9Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
10Before placing your challah in the oven, you may brush the surface with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water using a pastry brush. This will give a dark, shiny, stiff crust. I prefer taking a big plop of mayonnaise in my hands and gently rubbing the surface of the dough - not shiny and pretty, but yields a very tender crust.
If desired, sprinkle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or a coarse salt.
11Bake 35-40 minutes.
12Remove from the oven, let cool about 10 minutes, then gently turn out of the pie pan to cool on a rack.

About Abby's Challah

Course/Dish: Sweet Breads
Main Ingredient: Bread
Regional Style: Jewish