snowy mountain

Challah Bread

Challah bread is a great bread for ending the week. Slightly sweet and easy to digest, I also love it for a Friday night carbo load before a big weekend (and then spread with almond butter for ride or run fuel). I like adding a ½ cup rye flour sometimes–I feel it gives it some depth–but it’s super good with straight white flour!

Total time (including rising): 4 hours (can extend to 9 hours if desired). Makes one very large or two medium loaves.

Materials: Mixing bowl; sheet pan; wooden spoon; measuring vessels; dishcloth. Missing materials or ingredients? Look here.

Ingredients (Substitutions):

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 packet Red Star Organic Instant Yeast (0.32 oz) or Red Star Organic Dry Active Yeast (0.25 oz)
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp any oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ~5 cups (~720 grams) bread and/or all purpose flour
  • Optional: sesame seeds


  1. Combine 1 packet of yeast with ½ cup warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes to activate.
  2. Add 1 cup warm milk (can use water instead for kosher–I would add a tbsp of oil and a scant cup water but haven’t tried this). Then add 4 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Whisk 4 eggs in a separate bowl. Add all the egg except about 1 tbsp (for washing the top later) and stir or whisk to combine.
  4. Add the 1 tsp salt, 3 tbsp maple syrup (or 2 tbsp sugar) and the flour slowly, mixing with a spoon and then kneading with your hands.
  5. Knead about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed, until dough is soft and barely sticks to your hands. This is where some people may over-knead and end up adding more flour than necessary, so pay attention to the texture of the dough (keep it soft and it’s okay if it’s sticky — see my video below!).
  6. Oil the bottom of the bowl, toss the ball of dough around until it is covered in oil, then let the dough sit, covered, in a warm place for 2-3 hours to rise. (I have not tried this but one could try, alternatively, allowing the dough to rise for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge, then bringing it to room temperature 1 hour before continuing.)
  7. Braid the dough onto a flat baking sheet. (There is an excellent tutorial here from blogger Tori Avey on all the different types of braiding.) Let rise 30 minutes while the oven pre-heats to 350˚F. Paint with leftover egg and decorate with sesame seeds, if desired.
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is browned. Optional to paint again with egg halfway through the baking.

It’s soft and slightly sticky! It won’t stick to the bowl when you let it rise because you’ll coat the bowl gently with olive oil beforehand.

Greetings from our kitchen!

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