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Challah bread

Homemade Challah bread recipe that’s so delicious it will disappear in minutes. Everybody asks for this family “secret” recipe! 

homemade challah bread on baking sheet

My grandma makes this challah bread a lot for family dinners, and it always disappears very quickly.

Traditionally, you’re supposed to give 1 of the 3 loaves away as tzedakah (charity). But you better do it before you start eating or else you won’t have one left to give away.

In fact, when I was looking through the pictures I took for this post I realized there were hardly any to choose from… and then I remembered, I starting eating it as soon as it came out of the oven.

This recipe is really easy to make – it requires a couple hours for rising time, but it’s so, so worth it.

One thing I love about this recipe is that rarely do you need to add much, if any, additional flour to the dough when kneading.

Doesn’t it bother you when you follow a recipe perfectly, and then still have to add a ton more flour because it’s way too sticky and you wonder why they didn’t just tell you to add more flour in the first place?

Just me? Okay.

Anyway, the dough is really easy to handle, which is great because you’ll be braiding it together.

braiding challah bread dough into 3 loaves
three braided challah bread loaves before baking

Make sure you brush the dough with a whole egg (not just the egg white!) to give it the great color that makes everybody fight over it right away.

3 braided challah bread loaves after baking
close up of baked challah bread

You may want to save one of these challah (pronounced “hollaaa”, preferably loud and with a little attitude) to make extra special stuffing like I did!

Or just eat it all plain. Either way, I promise it will be gone before you know it.

Another version if you want to get fancy, is this honey apple challah!

Yield: 3 loaves

Challah bread

Homemade Challah bread recipe that's so delicious it will disappear in minutes. Everybody asks for this family "secret" recipe!

Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons quick rise yeast, (2 packes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, (divided)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 3 large eggs, (2 for dough, 1 for glazing)


  1. Prepare the yeast by mixing in with warm water and sugar. Once yeast starts to bubble, mix in 2 cups of the flour and a dash of salt.
  2. Let rise 1 hour.
  3. Slowly add in remaining (4 cups) flour and 2 eggs, using a dough hook to knead together.
  4. Let rise 1 more hour.
  5. Take dough out of bowl and knead well, adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into 3 sections,
  6. Take each section and divide again into 3 more sections, making long strips of dough for braiding. Braid 3 dough strips together each for 3 challah's. Dust each loaf with remaining beaten egg.
  7. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Note: turns out, the original recipe from grandma also called for 1/2 cup olive oil. I didn't discover this until years after making it without oil, so it tastes great either way. But if you want to include the olive oil, add it in before the final rise.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 loaf

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1130Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 227gFiber: 8gSugar: 34gProtein: 35g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically by an online tool at Nutritionix. It is not always accurate. Please use your own tools to check if you rely on this information.

Homemade Challah bread pin

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Friday 30th of April 2021

This recipe was amazing! I ended up only using 3 cups of flour after the original 2, as my dough began to get very dry (I ended up adding some water), but this double-rise method worked like a charm! Thanks so much for sharing!


Thursday 4th of March 2021

Hi I just looked at I bought the active dry yeast, not the rapid rise. Would it still work for this recipe?

Thank you.


Friday 5th of March 2021

You can still use rapid rise, but some people say to use 25% less of the yeast if you're using rapid rise - I haven't tested this, but I think this might be why sometimes people think a recipe turns out too "yeasty" if they don't decrease it. Technically rapid rise/instant you don't have to proof the yeast, that's the difference - but I still prefer to do it this way to ensure it's working. Hope that helps!


Tuesday 10th of April 2018

Just made this. Delicious! And easy. Next time I think I will cut the number of loaves to 1 or 2. My 3 were on the small size. Is there a third rising after forming the loaves?


Thursday 12th of April 2018

Cate - You could definitely make two larger loaves instead of 3 - it all depends on how well the dough rises! I don't do a formal third rise, I start to preheat the oven while I'm braiding the dough, so I guess it has a short time to rise while waiting for the oven to preheat. I'm so glad you liked this recipe!


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Hi there! I JUST pulled these out of the oven, and they smell delish!! BUT mine don't look as pretty as yours. Is there a trick I missed? I did the 2 rises, maybe I need to do a third? Because in the middle of the braids, it all pulled apart and looks weird, and not browned and gorgeously golden like yours. Any tips or ideas? I followed the recipe EXACTLY!


Tuesday 7th of April 2015

Sometimes the braid is a little tricky! If the dough is still sticky when braiding it can be difficult, so you can add more flour at that stage if it's a problem. Or if the dough didn't rise as much as you expected, it could be the yeast isn't working as well - if this happens to me I give it extra rising time in a warm place (sometimes I preheat the oven to the lowest setting, turn off the oven, then let the dough rise in the oven with that trapped heat.) It's okay to not braid it, too! The golden brown color mostly comes from the egg wash put on the dough before baking.


Monday 3rd of November 2014

I don't have a standing mixer, how do I knead the eggs and flour without one? Thanks!


Monday 3rd of November 2014

Savannah - you can just mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl by hand with a mixing spoon/spatula, and then knead it by hand on a clean surface for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to have a little extra flour out on the counter for sprinkling if the dough is too sticky! Let me know how it turns out!

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