A surprisingly sweet, yet light, challah that makes any night special. Feel free to knead some raisins into the dough if you like.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
45 mins
additional:
1 hr 55 mins
total:
3 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
20
Yield:
2 loaves
Advertisement

Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a small saucepan, combine water and margarine in a small saucepan. Heat until margarine is melted and very warm, but not boiling.

    Advertisement
  • In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, white sugar, brown sugar, yeast and salt. Add water and margarine mixture; beat well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  • Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and form into long 'ropes'. Braid the pieces together to form two large loaves. Place the loaves on two lightly greased cookie sheets, cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Brush the risen loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Nutrition Facts

253 calories; protein 7.8g 16% DV; carbohydrates 39.7g 13% DV; fat 6.8g 10% DV; cholesterol 46.5mg 16% DV; sodium 421.7mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (122)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2010
I've made challah almost every week for years and this is the best one yet! I put the ingredients in in a different order, as I've learned they should be added. Here's what I did: 1. Mix the yeast with 100 degree water and the white sugar and allow to bloom for 5 minutes, or until VERY foamy. 2. Mix in brown sugar, eggs and margarine. 3. Mix in flour and salt From there, I followed the recipe as normal. The challah was done after 30 minutes, so make sure you watch it closely. Cooking it for the 45 minutes the recipe suggest would ruin it in my oven! I added sesame seeds on top instead of poppies. It was just great! Read More
(157)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/21/2012
Followed the instruction and I have a few comments. It took more than 7 cups of flower to get the dough elastic enough but not sticky. Secondly while it has risen to twice its size the first and the second time (after braiding it), it came out flat like in the picture. I am used to a bigger challah so I am not sure if baking powder or different type of yeasts were needed. Baking time was and should be less than 45 minutes or the temp recommendations here are incorrect. The bread came out slightly darker than the picture after 38 minutes. Lastly, while the house filled with wonderful scent of baking, the flavor was not that great. Somewhat sweet but nothing else. I would stick to white sugar only and probably more than a 1/2 cup to give it a slightly sweeter note. Read More
(6)
166 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 137
  • 4 star values: 21
  • 3 star values: 8
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/08/2010
I've made challah almost every week for years and this is the best one yet! I put the ingredients in in a different order, as I've learned they should be added. Here's what I did: 1. Mix the yeast with 100 degree water and the white sugar and allow to bloom for 5 minutes, or until VERY foamy. 2. Mix in brown sugar, eggs and margarine. 3. Mix in flour and salt From there, I followed the recipe as normal. The challah was done after 30 minutes, so make sure you watch it closely. Cooking it for the 45 minutes the recipe suggest would ruin it in my oven! I added sesame seeds on top instead of poppies. It was just great! Read More
(157)
Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2009
An outstanding recipe by itself. After experimenting, I tweaked it a bit for a presentation-quality crown challah with the following: 1. As others, used half milk and half water 2. Increased both sugars to 1/3 cups 3. Increased salt to 1.5 TBS 4. Added 4 yolks to the 4 whole eggs (color and taste) 5. Added 1/4 Cup honey 6. Added 1 cup golden raisins (soak and drain if dry) 7. Lastly, to ensure height for the crown, last rise and baking was in a 12" round flat bottom pan with a 1" or higher side. Also found that by stretching the braids to long ropes gave an excellent stringy texture when pulled apart for eating Read More
(62)
Rating: 4 stars
04/04/2004
I think this is a very good challah--it turns out light and feathery, but I can't give it 5 stars because it too isn't as good as Challah I in my opinion. Challah I is more dense, but it's soft and has terrific mouth feel. If you want a lighter challah though, this is certainly one to try and it's very good. I sprinkled poppy seeds on top--very pretty. Read More
(42)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
01/22/2009
Our family bakes bread twice weekly and I'm fairly versed in both egg and yeast-only breads. This bread is as light as cotton candy and yet tastes rich on your tongue. It makes great french toast once it has gone stale. Just perfect. The only downfall is that it takes 3 packets of yeast. However yeast comes in a 3 pack and yeast is cheap so I guess that's not a big deal either. Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2011
Oh sooo good!! There is nothing like the feeling you get when a recipe makes you feel like a pro!! This is fool proof. I did add a little honey to mine and halved the brown sugar.(it was still sweet) I did everything in my kitchen Aid with the dough hook, (kneaded for 6-7 minutes) it couldnt have been easier. The dough was really sticky like others said but I just used a couple tablespoons extra of flour and a floured surface to form the braided loaves, dont worry about the sticky texture. It turns out beautifully. Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2003
OY is this a wonderful and different way to make a challah Read More
(15)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
03/29/2011
One of the best challah recipes I've used-- the loaf was 6x the dough height and had a great sweet but not too sweet texture. It also worked very well in density for the day after french toast. I did change the order I added the ingredients as another reviewer suggested (e.g. yeast 1 c. warm water white sugar wait 5 min then add brown sugar 1 c. water eggs and slowly add in flour and salt.). Read More
(14)
Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2011
I love this recipe. I was raised on Zopf as is eaten in Germany and this is so very much like it. I will add perhaps another quarter cup of sugar and some raisins the next time I make it to make it taste even more like the Zopf I'm used to. It's great with coffee as a light breakfast. But eat it up quickly as it is best the first day...after that it becomes a little stale. Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
04/13/2009
I just finished making this Challah (my very first one) about an hour ago. It's beautiful & fluffy although not as sweet as I thought it would be with the 1/2 cup of sugar. I thought I screwed up because it was still sticky when I let it rise. I was so paranoid about adding too much flour making it stiff and kneading it too much which would make dense. I was able to make 3 loafs out of this batch. I think my converted jewish brother-in-law would be proud of me. Next time I won't be too afraid to add a little more flour or to knead it a little more. Read More
(10)
Rating: 3 stars
02/21/2012
Followed the instruction and I have a few comments. It took more than 7 cups of flower to get the dough elastic enough but not sticky. Secondly while it has risen to twice its size the first and the second time (after braiding it), it came out flat like in the picture. I am used to a bigger challah so I am not sure if baking powder or different type of yeasts were needed. Baking time was and should be less than 45 minutes or the temp recommendations here are incorrect. The bread came out slightly darker than the picture after 38 minutes. Lastly, while the house filled with wonderful scent of baking, the flavor was not that great. Somewhat sweet but nothing else. I would stick to white sugar only and probably more than a 1/2 cup to give it a slightly sweeter note. Read More
(6)
Advertisement