Challah Bread

This challah bread is similar to brioche in that it’s marvelously rich, slightly sweet, and indulgently buttery in the best possible way. Perfect for Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah and family dinners and random homemade bread cravings. Shalom.

A loaf of braided challah bread on a baking sheet with a serrated knife

Always wanted to try your hand at baking homemade challah? Perhaps it’s time you do something about that. We’ve heard from several people that this recipe was their initial foray into bread-baking. This particular challah bread recipe turns out a loaf that’s rich, dense, and slightly sweet—hallmarks of a classic challah, yes, and yet these traits are even more pronounced than usual in this recipe. What results is a gorgeous and generously sized loaf that makes plenty for you to share with loved ones. Originally published September 10th, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Challah Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 4 H
  • Makes 1 ginormous loaf
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the New York Cult Recipes cookbook

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  • 20 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 ounces superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 4 3/4 ounces lukewarm water (just shy of 2/3 cup), plus more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 1 tablespoon egg white
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)


  • 1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. In a smaller bowl, beat together the water, eggs, egg yolks, and oil. Carefully combine the mixtures in a bowl or in your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead the dough, either on a lightly floured work surface with your hands or with the dough hook. Initially you will have a shaggy mess with a lot of dry flour but this will eventually give way to a dough that is very elastic (this ought to take 10 to 20 minutes). It may be necessary to add a touch more water if not all the flour can easily be incorporated—start by adding a tablespoon water, work the dough a little, and then if necessary add another tablespoon.
  • 2. When the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a smooth ball, place it in a large bowl slicked with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • 3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Using the palms of your hands, shape each portion into evenly shaped sausages about 12 inches (30 centimeters) long. On a rimmed baking sheet that’s lightly floured or lined with parchment paper, braid the dough. (For spectacularly helpful instructions on how to braid challah dough, check out this advice from the folks at King Arthur Flour on how to braid 6 strands of dough—without needing 6 hands.) Sprinkle the braid lightly with flour, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature until it has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • 4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • 5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and sugar and lightly brush it over the braid. Bake the challah bread for 25 to 35, minutes until the bread has risen considerably and is golden brown. Let cool slightly before slicing.

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