Challah (Egg Bread)

Challah is traditionally used during the Jewish Sabbath and festivals. It is an egg enriched and slightly sweet dough. Leftovers are delicious toasted, used for French Toast or the base for bread pudding.

Prep Time:
30 min
Cook Time:
45 min


  • 2 tsp ( 10 mL ) sugar
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) warm water
  • 1 pkg (8 g) or 2 1/4 tsp (11 mL) dry active yeast
  • ¾ cup ( 175 mL ) warm water (100°-105°F)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) honey
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL ) salt
  • 4 cups ( 1 L ) all-purpose flour


  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) icing sugar
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) butter, softened


  1. Challah Step1 013

    In small bowl stir sugar with warm water. Sprinkle yeast overtop and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

    In large bowl, stir together yeast mixture, warm water, eggs, vegetable oil, honey and salt.

    Stir in flour, one cup at a time, to make a soft dough.

  2. Challah Step2 020

    Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead dough until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Set in warm place; cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 ½ hours.

    Punch down dough. Divide dough into two-thirds and one-third.

  3. Challah Step3 027

    Using the larger piece, divide dough into three. Form each piece into rope, 14 inches (35 cm) long. Pinch pieces at one end and braid ropes.

    Repeat with smaller dough. Place larger braid on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

    Whisk egg with 1 tsp (5 mL) water. Brush over bottom braid. Centre smaller braid overtop and press lightly to adhere. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

    Streusel topping: In bowl, using pastry cutter or fork, combine icing sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Brush remaining egg wash over challah, sprinkle with streusel.

  4. Challah Step4 042

    Bake in 350°F (180°F) oven for 40 to 45 minutes. If challah is browning too quickly, tent with foil for last 20 minutes of baking time. Let cool on rack. Makes: 1 large loaf


Always check the best before date on your yeast prior to using.

For a traditional topping omit streusel. After brushing with egg wash sprinkle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds.