Most helpful positive review
Alright. Here's the deal. I've made challah a bunch on times, mostly using James Beard's recipe from "Beard on Bread"--a must read for the aspiring baker--and it never came out tasting this good. Virtually fail-proof... The dough turns out smooth, kneading was a pleasure. I used rapid rise yeast, yet Sy's estimated rising times still held (although I always recommend just eyeballing it instead of sticking to a rigid timetable). A little extra sugar for my tastes (probably about 1/3 cup instead of 1/4) made this bread sweet, but not a "sweet bread." I had it with my eggs this morning. I would advise you give the braided loaves all the time they need to really double in bulk. I thought my bread was ruined because right when I was ready to put it in the oven, some sensor inside the stove failed and it would not get hot. Luckily my aunt lives nearby and I drove the loaves over. So it probably rose an extra 25 minutes over what I anticipated, and there was no yeasty smell or taste to the finished product which has happened to me before with overrising. And I don't know what people did wrong to get a poor crumb. The texture of this bread is impeccable. And remember, challah is meant to be torn, not cut! BAKE IT. EAT IT. LOVE IT.Read More
Most helpful critical review
This was ok, but it came out a bit crumbly when I did it. I did, however, let it rise overnight in the refrigerator, so that could have been the problem.Read More
Alright. Here's the deal. I've made challah a bunch on times, mostly using James Beard's recipe from "Beard on Bread"--a must read for the aspiring baker--and it never came out tasting this good. Virtually fail-proof... The dough turns out smooth, kneading was a pleasure. I used rapid rise yeast, yet Sy's estimated rising times still held (although I always recommend just eyeballing it instead of sticking to a rigid timetable). A little extra sugar for my tastes (probably about 1/3 cup instead of 1/4) made this bread sweet, but not a "sweet bread." I had it with my eggs this morning. I would advise you give the braided loaves all the time they need to really double in bulk. I thought my bread was ruined because right when I was ready to put it in the oven, some sensor inside the stove failed and it would not get hot. Luckily my aunt lives nearby and I drove the loaves over. So it probably rose an extra 25 minutes over what I anticipated, and there was no yeasty smell or taste to the finished product which has happened to me before with overrising. And I don't know what people did wrong to get a poor crumb. The texture of this bread is impeccable. And remember, challah is meant to be torn, not cut! BAKE IT. EAT IT. LOVE IT.
OH MY GOD! This was by far the best Challah bread EVER! I nearly peed myself at wonderfully this bread turned out. SO GOOD! Try it, you won't be sorry! Hey SY! Do you have a bagel recipe?!
I always get raves with this bread. Since it takes so much time, I tend to make it for special occasions. One of my friends requests it any time we plan a dinner party. This is worth the extra time to make.
SUPERB challah, Sy...made one with poppy seeds the other with sesame seeds. Crust was perfect, inside soft, with a lovely texture...Thank you, thank you!!!
Thanks, Sy! This is delicious. My kids love it and our congregation looks forward to the beautiful loaf.
This was my first time baking homemade bread. It was surprisingly easy, not nearly as intimidating as I'd feared it would be. I used my kitchenaid mixer and followed the well written directions and it came out much better than I expected. The loaves look beautiful and professional even though I had no clue what I was doing, and though they looked small after braiding and letting rise, they grew considerably while baking. I will be making again.
I made this in my bread machine and it was truly PERFECT. It makes a ton of dough, too. From 1 batch, I got 1 braided loaf, 3 LARGE dinner rolls (Shaped like bunnies, for easter dinner) and 9 big fat cinnamon rolls. I used the bread to make french toast for dinner and it was the best french toast I've had in my whole life. The cinnamon rolls with this bread were outstanding as well!!!
Great bread...beautiful loaves...yummy taste!
I've made this bread a few times now, following the recipe for the most part, sometimes adding some honey, and it is delicious! Golden crust on the outside and moist on the inside. Always a treat for my guests! I will make this again and again. A beautiful and easy bread!
This was ok, but it came out a bit crumbly when I did it. I did, however, let it rise overnight in the refrigerator, so that could have been the problem.
This was my first attempt at making challah and it turned out great! I baked a little more than half of the dough in a loaf pan so we could use it for sandwiches and made a smaller braided loaf with the rest. The bread baked up beautifully and has a wonderful texture. The only changes I made were substituting extra virgin olive oil instead of the vegetable oil and I proofed the yeast with only the water and sugar, then added the oil and salt and continued with the recipe as written. This will definitely become one of our regular breads. Thank you!
I made this yesterday. The recipe reads wrong. Don't add the salt into the yeast mixture. It will inhibit the foaming process. I learned this the hard way and wasted two batches of yeast. Once I got it going, the rising took forever, even with rapid rise yeast. I stayed with the amount of sugar posted but added about 1/4 honey with the beaten eggs. It is tasty, but I am not sure it is worth all the effort. Sorry, Sid. I wanted to love it.
I was totally pre-occupied with an essay while making this recipe, so I managed to try to screw it up twice. It barely rose at all during the first hour, so I considered throwing it out and starting over, but decided to instead let it sit in a warm oven for an hour. This was not totally helpful, but I braided and baked it anyway. And then I forgot to put on a timer. I pulled it out at exactly 35 minutes just a little toastier than I would’ve liked, and it was still wonderful. Any recipe that still tastes good after failing to rise and nearly burning gets five stars.
I have a hard time with yeast breads but this turned out rather well for me. My husband said it is the best bread I've made so far. I was worried about adding the salt in with the sugar/water/oil/yeast so I proofed my yeast without the salt. When it foamed, I continued with the recipe as stated. However, I did forget to add the salt so I sprinkled some Kosher on top of the raised loaf after my eggwash and prior to baking. Next time I will remember to add it to the ingredients because it definitely needed it. When the bread was freshly made it was nice and soft, however it did lose that umpf the following day. I recommend eating this bread the day it is baked. This recipe made a beautiful braided bread! I was so impressed - looked like a pro made it!
Absolutely fantastic challah. I highly recommend this recipe - no need to change a thing! I used my Kitchenaide stand mixer for the entire mixing and kneading process. I used "best for bread" flour and about 1/3 cup sugar. The end result is superb.
Fantastic bread! Makes lots of dough and 2 nice sized loaves. Will use it for cinnamon buns and raisin bread next time. I used my bread machine to make and let it sit in the machine for the second rising. I also used bread flour and added additional vital wheat gluten. This definitely shortened the rising time! Will be using this often!
A very easy recipe and quite tasty. It makes a beautiful bread. I would also recommend adding the salt a little later in the process--at the same time as, or right before you add flour.
Incredibly delicious challah! Takes some time but it is well worth it. I used 1/3 cup of sugar to make it a little sweeter. It tastes awesome sliced and toasted with butter. Excellent!
I'm sure this is a good recipe if the directions to mix the yeast is altered. I tried twice and neither time did the yeast foam up. Both times the liquid mixture was definitely warm enough, but I think the salt inhibits the yeast. The second time, I actually mixed in flour, but the dough didn't rise.
I made this bread about three weeks ago, and it turned out great, even though I did not follow the directions correctly. Syd is right: you simply cannot make a bad bread with this recipe...very forgiving, I know :)....now I am off to make another batch.
Two words: absolutely perfect.
made the dough in my bread machine and used it to make cinnamon rolls. dough was very good and easy to work with. will make again.
This came out perfectly! Exactly like I expected it to be and it was so easy. Highly recommend especially for beginners in yeast bread making like me!
Absolutely outstanding! My yeast died (my fault) and I had to mix in another few packets, and it was very forgiving! The only thing, and I think it was my oven, was that the bread was ready in 15minutes. Don't wait for the bread to get dark brown: as long as it is mostly light golden on top, it's amazing! My husband ate half a loaf out of the oven before i could stop him! I did add the extra 1/4 cup of sugar, and it made all the difference. It's sweet, without being a sweetbread. SO GOOD!!
One word: YUM. I made these for Shabbat today and got 2 absolutely perfect loaves. I even forgot them on the counter and went shopping for 2 hours. When I got home I brushed on the egg wash and put them in the oven with no problem at all. The only thing is that next time I'd add another teaspoon of salt to the dough. Thank you so much for this!
Great recipe! Simple with amazing results! The crust came out nice and golden brown and the inside was fluffy and moist with just the right amount of egg flavor. I used 1/3 cup of sugar to make the bread a bit sweeter. Delicious!
Having never made challah before I was looking for a well reviewed basic recipe. This was it! I did not need 24 servings so I reduced the recipe by about half. I used quick rise yeast and it still required more time than the recipe called for, but that could be me who knows. I also added 1/4 cup honey to make it sweet. It was amazing.
I'm an American living in China and was looking for a little taste of good, homemade challah bread like my mother made back home. I found this recipe and loved it! I did make a few changes though. Thy are as follows: I halved the recipe. I don't have an actual oven here, so I baked it in a toaster oven. I made the halved recipe with two eggs and also used 1/8 cup white sugar and a about 1/8 cup and 2 tablespoons honey. So for the full recipe, that would be 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup and 4 tablespoons honey. I added the honey because I read some of the other reviews. The honey sweetened it up just enough, but not too much. I omitted the poppy seeds (I can't find them here in China). I also only let it rise twice in stead of the 3 times that the recipe calls for. Just before I baked the bread, I brushed the top with egg yoke. My North American friends loved it. It was excellent! I will definitely make this again!
This bread was pretty good and very appealing to the eye. Be forewarned it makes two healthy sized loaves. French toast the next day was out of this world!
I have tried many recipes, this one tops them all. I substitute two cups of whole wheat flour and it still comes out GREAT. Thanks Sy for this fabulous recipe.
Fantastic recipe! I made one loaf plain and carmelized sweet onions for the topping on the other....I will be making this one again!
I made it last night and it turned out great! I added 1/4 cup more of sugar and it still wasn't super sweet. I used food processor and first added "dry ingredients", started food processes and slowly added "wet ingredients" mixed together (according to the recipe). I raised it 3 times, as Sy recommends and it was beautiful and amazing! My were done in 30 min on 350F. I froze one and other one wrapped in plastic and put in the nylon bag. I tried it today - and it is still fresh and tasty. If yours is a little bit dry - try to turn it to the French Toast! Thank you for sharing, it is an amazing and easy recipe!
Amazing challah! Light, tender, and absolutely gorgeous presentation. My whole family loves this bread!
The dough was silky smooth and incredibly easy to work with. More than doubled with all three rises. Came out of the oven after 30 minutes perfectly brown. This is my new go-to recipe for challah.
I followed the instructions, and it produced the prettiest and tastiest loaves. Always wanted to make braided bread, but never knew how. My first time making bread myself, without the bread machine. THANK YOU Sy for the great recipe.
This made an AMAZING bread! Some tips: mix the salt with the flour instead of mixing directly with the yeast - salt inhibits yeast, so you'll have a harder time proofing the yeast. I doubled the sugar and it had just enough sweetness. I plan on adding an extra egg or egg yolks for an eggier and yellower bread (and maybe decreasing the water so it won't be too wet). Make sure you do three rises - it results in a great crumb and an incredibly soft bread; the third rise took about 1 hr and I covered with plastic wrap for the third rise because a damp paper towel stuck to the bread too much. I kneaded this dough for 15 sec between each rise to properly distribute the yeast; I was worried that it would make a tough bread, but it didn't! Do two egg washes for that lovely crust: once when you just braided the loaf and one right before you bake. I sprinkled with sesame seeds. Maybe it's my oven or because the loaves I made were tiny, but 1/4 of this recipe took ~13 min at 350°F in my oven. Bake til the crust is lightly browned (keep an eye on it since it browns easily!) or to an internal temperature of 190°F. Use a serrated knife to cut this delicate bread. I'm currently making cinnamon buns with this dough, and I'm planning on trying to make Chinese buns with this dough. This took so much time, but I think it was definitely worth the effort. Thank you for sharing, Sy!
I have made Challah bread for several years. This is the very best recipe I ever made. I will not be looking for a new recipe for Challah. I put all ingredients to make one loaf in my bread machine and set the dough cycle. I then took it out and braided it. I let it raise and baked it. It was perfect! Best I ever had.
I forgot the oil in step 1. The dough climbed ALL OVER my mixer. I actually had to knead it by hand a bit. When I realized I had forgotten the oil, I put the mixer back together and added the oil. The dough then did not climb up the beaters but I had to help incorporate the oil into the dough with my spatula.
Great, easy bread. I do not have a bread machine, so I used the dough hook on my mixer. Turned out very good.
This turned out very good! Didn't make any changes other than the egg wash because I don't have a pastry brush...that's why my loaves aren't very pretty and shiny. Used it for french toast and it was awesome!
I have made this dish many times and it turns out perfect every time!
Thank you! It was the best recipe of challah I've ever used! Will never buy another loaf! It came out great! Ready for the picture session in any fancy food magazine. I've followed your recipe all the way, including double rising of dough and am now a firm believer that it is the key to this fantastic bread. Sorry, meant 5 stars, but accidentally rated as 1. :)
I've made this recipe loads of times and it always gets great reactions! In the rare occasion there's any left it's great for french toast!
Hey Your so right it was very ease preparation and a very good flavor.We love this bread,I will make this bread again,again.....Thank you so very much
My friend and I made this for the New Year. It was our first Challah experience. It did not rise well and turned out hard as a rock. I think this is because we did not mix the yeast/sugar/water separately in order to activate the yeast as I've done in other bread recipes. I also read that salt should be added with the dry ingredients so you don't end up killing the yeast. I am giving this 2stars until I make it again following the yeast directions from a different recipe. It was very disappointing.
I have never made such a tasty or beautiful loaf of bread in my life, this was awesome! It had a wonderful texture, was full of flavor, and I just loved the ooo's and ahhh's I got because it was just so beautiful! :) Great recipe!!
This was delicious and well received by my family for Thanksgiving. My nephew, age 5, was especially appreciative. :) NOTE: I did not add even a full cup of flour while kneading. I would have been too much and ruined the bread. Pay attention to the dough and call it quits when it looks right. For those of you who've never made this before, tear the bread, don't cut it when serving. Yum!
This turned out MUCH better than the other challah recipe I tried and was easy (just time consuming) to make. Next time, I'm going to double the sugar to make the bread sweet as suggested by Sy.
Like she said, not a very sweet challah recipe, but easy as anything! I liked the texture -- fluffy yet not too dry.
Very nice and tasty! A wonderful dough to work with. I also added 1/2 cup wheat germ and used butter instead of vegetable shortening.
For the first time EVER making bread this recipe was a dream! It's definitely not a quick process but the end result is well worth it. Thanks!
I use this Recipe almost every week for Shabbat. I usually make two- four loaves at a time, so it's time saving one week to the next. I don't add the poppyseed, but the bread is still great!
I love this bread..that's all I can say. VERY GOOD!!
Excellent recipe! One thing I do have to comment on is that if you live at high altitude you will need to work another 1/2 to 1 cup of flour in and also cut your baking time down to 25 to 30 minutes. Do let the dough rise a second time before shaping into the loaves. Makes for a great bread!!!! Super recipe that anyone can do!!!!!
This turned out great for me! It was easy, looks beautiful, great texture, and tastes great. I will definitely make it again and may even make several loaves to give as gifts during the holidays. Would be a really nice gift with a jar of homeade jelly. YUM. Try it!
I use a scale to measure my flour and have found that 840grams (7 cups by weight) works well for this recipe. In my variant of the recipe I used a 1/2 cup of sugar and added 1 tsp of vanilla flavour to the egg wash. Also, I only baked it for 30 minutes. This bread is great and it comes out nice and soft. The recipe works as it is written. Those who say the salt kills the yeast are simply wrong. I prepared the yeast with the salt in the mix and it has worked every time.
I thought this bread was delicious and so did my family. It was my first time making challah.
This is a much softer dough than I’m used to, it’s light and fluffy on the inside, with a good crust! I will DEF. Make it again!
I was looking for a sweet challah recipe with a high rating. Sy's Challah is pretty good! The texture is perfect......couldn't wait so tried a slice (or two) warm from the oven. De-lish! 4 stars...because this is a good recipe but, forme, a little too salty and not sweet enough. I did add 1/2 cup of sugar to the recipe but it just needed a touch more. I can't wait to try again!
Another wonderful Challah Bread recipe! The only change I made was adding honey to the mixture in lieu of the sugar. Fantastic and made the BEST French toast! Thanks Sy!!
This was my first ever attempt at making anything with yeast -- and it was so easy! I grew up with my mother making challah bread and I've been craving it fresh from the oven for years! Thank you so much for providing this recipe!
Made this for Easter. I added one egg yolk and used 1/2 cup of sugar. After braiding let it rise for 30 minutes and cooked for40-43 minutes
I substituted whole wheat flour and added extra water and oil to compensate for that. It came out delicious. The double rising is key.
I made this over the weekend and used it for french toast among other things. It was great and I made it as writte, no changes. I used my kitchen aid mixer and it was so easy. I have tried other Challah recipes, but could not get them to raise like this one did. It was wonderful and popular at my house. Thanks Sy!
This bread is delicious! The texture was smooth, and my whole family loved it. Both loaves were devoured in less than 24 hours.
Oh my gosh!!! I'm throwing out my quick challah recipe, this one is amazing! I prefer a less sweet, more salty challah- so I added a half teaspoon of salt, and WOW! MAKE THIS BREAD!
Ok I use this all the time. The only thing I change is I use milk instead of water. It reminds me of Grandpa
This was okay my family liked it. But I thought it lacked flavor. It did make beautiful bread though and was easy to work with.
Love this recipe. I did follow other suggestions and added the salt with the flour, and I added a little honey with the sugar. My family all love the results!
I baked my bread in loaf pans, but I followed all other directions exactly as recipe describes and it turned out great! The yeast doesn't really foam up because the oil is floating on top and holding it down. You can still tell when the yeast has dissolved and then it's ready to add the other ingredients. This didn't cause any problems for my loaves. Will use this recipe again.
It came out ok, but there were a few things that could have been more explicit as a new baker. For example, how long about does it take them to double in size once braided? or what speed to put the mixer. All in all, it created a yummy, albeit crumbly, challah
This turned out great. My family loves it when I bake this bread.
Loved this recipe and I will definitely be making it again. Made it for Friday night dinner and the entire family absolutely loved it! Both loaves were gone by the end of dinner. I followed the recipe with no changes and it made 2 very nice loaves. Soft on the inside, nice and crispy, golden brown on the outside. Delicious!
I followed the directions exactly and it was very easy to make. I did not have any problems with my dough rising. I used ? of a cup of sugar and it was still not sweet. Personally, I thought this challah was too doughy and not soft enough. I got a lot of compliments on it though with other people saying they liked it and both loaves were gone before the end of lunch. I probably won't make it again, but it was easy.
The texture of this bread is very good. I gave this 4 stars because the flavor was lacking a bit. I used a half cup of sugar and wasn't sweet at all. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, you cannot mix the salt with the yeast because this will prevent the yeast from proofing. I think this is a good base recipe, but for my taste I will have to tweek it a bit.
This recipe turned out great! Thank you Sy! I had to redo the part with the yeast and water. Using warm water wasn’t enough to help yeast rise, so I looked up temp. and I found out the water needs to be between 105 and 110 degrees. After that, I followed directions and “Happy Hannukah”!
Very tasty and a reliable recipe. It turns out great every time I make it. I use butter instead of vegetable oil. Also, last time I made it, I was schooled that true Challah is made as a 6 plait braid, and that 3 is not acceptable! So I learned to make the 6 braid.
This made an absolutely glorious loaf of bread, all I did was add a little bit more sugar. Easy, looked beautiful, tasted better. The family scarfed it down. Not a crumb left at the end of the day. Wonderful recipe, cannot thank Sy enough.
Know your oven as I did the 35 min but at 32 it was getting over done. Still delicious for a first attempt but 35 min was too long.
Made the dough in the bread machine and it turned out two beautiful loaves that I'm taking to a brunch tomorrow. Really easy and makes a nice dough to work with. And bonus...I'm at altitude in Steamboat Springs, CO and didn't even adjust for our 6800 ft. Turned out splendidly.
I’m hugely excited about my first two loaves of this beautiful, easy bread. I’ve been wanting to try to make Challah forever but kept chickening out. But the reviews of this and easy instructions got me started. It’s beautiful and so delicious!
This turned out better than expected. My yeast did not seem to work at first because the first step says to combine it with the salt, oil and sugar mixture. I dumped it and tried again but let the mixture sit for a longer time (over 20min) then it began to foam. I continued with my stand mixer and the rest was easy. I sprinkled salt and sesame seeds on one loaf and bagel seasoning on the second. It's a great recipe. I'll make it again.
This recipe is the best one I have found for challah. Thanks so much Sy. It is perfect!
This was good however too salty for our tastes. I will decrease the salt by a half teaspoon next time. Texture was very good.
We’ve made this for several years. Like others have said—fantastic and light. I’m not a fan of super dense challah and this comes out light and perfectly sweet. We add raisins for our taste. Like others have said, add the sale after the yeast foams. It does seem to inhibit the yeast.
Great recipe - lovely sweet dough when you use the extra sugar suggested
Nice challah recipe - made delicious traditional style bread, I upped the sugar to 1/2 cup of turbinado and dissolved a 1/4 tsp of saffron in the hot water before I hit the yeast with it. There isn't enough salt to inhibit the yeast but if you don't trust it you can add the salt after you proof the yeast - in the future I would add the oil at this stage as well because it made it hard to tell when the yeast was proofed.
I wouldn't give this 4 stars, but my family really liked it. It didnt taste much like challah, though, and i couldnt stand the crumbly type texture. It also seemed too salty to me. Challah is supposed to have a slightly honey taste, so this just didnt fit my criteria. i wont make it again, no matter how much they ask me too. sorry, maybe i messed up somewhere?
I couldn't find an old recipe for Challah that we used years ago, so I looked on this site and found this one. It is hands down the best Challah I've baked! As the recipe recommended, I let it rise twice before shaping it into braids, and that second rise was amazing to see. I think it made all the difference.
Great recipe. Simple, flavourful and it made two beautiful loaves. I did the 4 strand braid and it was gorgeous. I'll have to post the photo another day. I messed up and forgot to brush the egg on until five minutes in so that could be why it came out a wee bit dry. Or maybe it's because I bake on a stone. I intend to perfect it. Thank you for the recipe. I prefer this one to the one with honey because I use raw honey and it takes on a strange flavour when cooked.
Recipe turned out just fine. I would have liked it sweeter. It is a pretty bread. Used leftovers for french toast. Not sure that I will make again, I enjoy dinner rolls more.
I'll preface this by saying this was my first attempt at a yeast bread, so it could be user error, but my loaves came out dry. I followed every instruction to the letter and it went through all the rises perfectly, but the end products were beautiful, but dry loaves.
Followed directions, letting dough rise a total of 3 times. However, this recipe lacks flavor and the bread is more dense than typical Jewish bakery challah. Recommended bake time is slightly long, yielding dry bread.
This is absolutely the best challah recipe. For my second time every making challah it came out AMAZING. I added a little bit more sugar than the recipe said and think it needs a tiny bit more salt. I added about 1 1/2 cups of raisins and 35 minutes later my 2 loafs came out perfect I can’t stop eating it!
This was my first Challah and it turned out perfectly. Thanks for such an easy to follow recipe.
Jackpot! Great recipe, I followed the directions using my Kitchen Aid mixer and it came out perfectly. I did add the extra sugar. I find that the water can't be hotter than what you can stand with your finger standing in it. I do add the salt to the water and sugar mix and it gets plenty frothy/foamy in less than 10 minutes. My electric oven has a proofing temp so I have been using that. Two large loaves. I have made the recipe 3 times.
Truly excellent as written. 'Nuff said.