challah recipe

Lonni's Challah

Similar to my grandmother's in both content and style, this is my dear friend, Lonni's tried and true recipe for challah. You can make it plain, with sesame or poppy seeds, or filled with cinnamon sugar. Braided for any shabbat or round for a sweet Rosh Hashanah.
Course bread
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 167 kcal
Author Beth Lee


  • 6 cups flour she uses regular flour, not bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs she usually adds 4 eggs, because she likes it eggier
  • 1/3 cup oil vegetable or canola
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 additional tablespoon sugar to proof the yeast
  • 1 additional egg to brush on before baking


  1. Add 1 Tblsp sugar to the warm water then add the yeast (do not stir). The yeast will bubble up in a minute or so, (if it doesn't then the yeast is no good)
  2. In a large bowl, add all the other ingredients, then add the water/yeast mixture
  3. Knead until smooth and shiny and springy. It takes me about 20 minutes to knead the dough by hand. I used to do it in the mixer, but I really like to feel the dough and put my heart (and muscle) into the process by kneading it myself!
  4. Cover and let rise until double in size. The time varies by the weather. You can also do this the night before and let rise in the fridge overnight.
  5. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide in half. Braid, or shape as you wish. I like to add cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Place prepared loaves on a lightly oiled baking sheet (I use silpat mat). Let rise 1 hour in a warm place. It is important not to let the second rise go much longer than an hour. After that the yeast begins to die and your challah will be flat and taste "yeasty"
  7. Heat oven to 350.
  8. Brush the loaves with egg.
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped.
  10. Remove immediately to a wire rack so the loaves don't get soggy on the bottom.