Challah Bread

Challah Bread

This braided Challah Bread is a delight to the senses, with its rich and distinct flavor and a wonderfully soft and chewy texture. It is a recipe has been generously shared from Leah Koenig's book, The Jewish Cookbook (Phaidon, 2019).

What You'll Need

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup (100 g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (240 ml) warm water

4 1/2-5 cups (630-700 g) All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup (75 ml) vegetable oil, plus more for bowl

3 eggs, divided

Sesame seeds for topping, optional


  1. Stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm water and let sit until foamy.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt.

  3. Add the oil and 2 of the eggs to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding up to 1/2 cup (70 g) additional flour, a little at a time as needed, until the dough is supple and elastic, about 10 mins. (The dough can also be kneaded in a stand mixer fit with a dough hook).

  4. Grease a large bowl with a little oil, add the challah, and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

  5. Deflate the dough and divide in half. Divide each half into thirds and roll each third into a long rope. Braid the ropes into two braided loaves (3 strands each), and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise until puffed, another 30 to 60 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Whisk the remaining egg in a bowl, and brush a layer of egg wash over each loaf. Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake until deep golden brown and cooked through (registering 195F on a digital thermometer), 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves.

Reprinted with permission from The Jewish Cookbook, by Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019). Find Leah on Instagram and her blog, The Jewish Table.

Shop The Recipe

All Purpose Flour


all recipes

Explore More


We promise to respect your privacy. Terms & conditions apply.

Add More Flavor To Your Feed