How to Make Challah Bread
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • (3/4 + ⅛) cups lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl (I used olive oil)
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg for brushing
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon table salt
  • (4 + ¼) cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup raisins (about 70 grams) per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained (optional, I skipped raisins)
  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling (I used sesame seeds good amount around 2-3 tbsp)
  1. In a large bowl, mix yeast with water and ½ tbsp sugar. Let it stand for good 5-10 minutes until it starts to bubble.
  2. To it, add oil while stirring. Add 2 eggs one at a time and add ¼ cup sugar and salt.Add flour and mix. Once the dough comes together, it's time to knead. You can knead it in a mixer (I used my kitchen aid mixer or knead by hands) on a floured surface until smooth. Clean the bowl and spray with some oil. Transfer the dough ball and cover and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour until double in size.
  3. After an hour, punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 minutes. Cover and let it rise for another 1 hour.
  4. Now if you are using raisins, this is the time to incorporate them inside the dough.
  5. As seen in pictures and the video by Joy of Kosher, braid it into a long braid and make a know and twist the edges underneath to get a round crown shaped challah bread dough.
  6. Now transfer it to a greased baking sheet or pan. Break remaining egg in a bowl and brush egg wash on top of the shaped dough. Let it rise for another hour in a warm place.
  7. Brush another coat of egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds if using.
  8. Bake in a 375F preheated oven for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350F for another 20-30 minutes until the top gets nice golden brown.
I used Smitten Kitchen's Challah bread recipe which is adapted from Joan Nathan's Challah bread recipe. I watched Joy of Kosher's video to help me learn the basics of kneading, braiding and shaping the dough.
Recipe by Naive Cook Cooks at