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By Ellen Fruchtman, President Challah is the bread of celebration in Jewish tradition, which among other things, symbolizes the joining together of family and friends. But you don’t need to be Jewish to love challah! It’s easy bread to make any time!


  • 1/2 cup honey, divided
  • 1 cup hot water (about 110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Poppy seeds or sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 TBS of the honey, hot water, and yeast. Mix by hand and let it sit for 3-5 minutes until foaming.

  2. Add the remaining honey, oil, and 2 eggs, and use the dough hook attachment on medium speed to combine.

  3. On a low speed, gradually add the flours and salt. Raise the speed to medium and mix until a silky soft dough forms for about 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer the dough to a greased medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until it approximately doubles in size.

  5. In a small bowl lightly beat the remaining egg. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

  6. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Popping any air bubbles. Roll and stretch each piece of dough into a 12” or so strand. (make them as equal as you can).

  7. Transfer the dough strands to the baking sheet. Then braid the strands, tucking each end of the loaf. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and let it sit and rise for 30 minutes.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  9. Brush the loaf again with some egg wash. Sprinkle with the poppy or sesame seeds and bake for 20 minutes.

  10. Brush any dry spots on the loaf with the egg wash again and continue baking for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. You can use an instant-read thermometer and it should read 190 degrees.

  11. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm. Once cooled the challah can be stored at room temperature in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. Or it can easily be well wrapped and frozen. It makes wonderful challah french toast!

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