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Challah bread is a traditional egg bread for the Jewish Sabbath. It's braided and topped with poppy seeds for a beautiful presentation.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
40 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
2 braided loaves


Original recipe yields 30 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pour warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle yeast over water. Let stand until yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 5 minutes.

  • Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until dough has pulled together; turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and knead each half for 5 minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep it from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into a long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as a braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving the braid into a circle, and pinching ends together. Grease two baking trays and place the finished braid or round on each. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid; sprinkle with poppy seeds.

  • Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before slicing.


Try adding 1 cup of raisins or golden raisins to the dough before shaping the loaves into round braids for Rosh Hashanah.

Nutrition Facts

165 calories; protein 4.3g; carbohydrates 30.3g; fat 2.8g; cholesterol 18.6mg; sodium 241.3mg. Full Nutrition