Sy's Challah Recipe

4 stars
3.83 (13)
Sy's Challah Recipe
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
180 mins
Total Time:
Recipe by Administrator
Published on November 20, 2023

Learn how to make a traditional and fluffy homemade challah with this easy and foolproof recipe. This Jewish braided bread is rich, slightly sweet, and perfect for any occasion. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can create a loaf that will impress your family and friends. Whether you serve it with a smear of butter, use it for sandwiches, or enjoy it as French toast, this challah is sure to become a favorite in your home.


  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for the glaze)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Poppy seeds or sesame seeds, for sprinkling (optional)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, vegetable oil, warm water, and honey.
  3. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air bubbles.
  7. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope, about 16-18 inches in length.
  8. Pinch the three ropes together at one end and braid them together, tucking the ends under to seal the braid.
  9. Transfer the braided dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until puffed.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  12. In a small bowl, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash gently over the challah.
  13. If desired, sprinkle the top of the challah with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  14. Bake the challah in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  15. Remove the challah from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Interesting Facts

  • In Jewish tradition, challah is a significant bread eaten during Sabbath meals and holidays.
  • The braided shape of challah represents unity and the intertwining of family and community.
  • Challah is often used in Jewish celebrations, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs.
  • Challah makes excellent French toast because of its slightly sweet flavor and fluffy texture.