This rich Challah Bread recipe is made by braiding homemade bread dough into a design that makes it instantly recognizable. It results in a bread that’s dense and rich with a unique flavor that’s all its own.
Easy Challah Bread Recipe
This golden Challah Bread is a fantastic special occasion bread to make. It’s a tasty choice for serving along with any of your favorite soups and stews, too! It makes amazing French toast and it’s full flavored. To make easy Challah Bread:
- Flour – Bread flour has more gluten than all purpose flour which makes it especially suitable for making this dense bread.
- Oil – I typically default to vegetable oil for challah but you could use olive oil, if that’s your preference. Each one lends a slightly different flavor with olive oil being more pronounced.
- Yeast – Rapid Rise yeast is quick acting and takes less time to activate in the bread dough.
- Sweeteners – Granulated sugar and honey.
- Eggs – Challah is an “eggy” bread. This recipes uses two large eggs plus one egg yolk in the bread dough and then one egg yolk to brush the bread prior to baking to give it that golden hue.
How to Make the Best Challah Bread Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Challah: Bread flour, rapid rise yeast, granulated sugar, vegetable oil or olive oil, honey, large eggs and salt.
- Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer fitted with a dough hook. measuring cups and spoons, a large sheet pan for baking, mixing bowls and a whisk for sifting together the flour and salt. You’ll also need a pastry brush to apply the egg wash prior to baking.
- You can use vegetable oil or olive oil for this bread recipe.
- Honey can often have subtle nuances and variations in flavor depending on where it’s harvested. Use a variety or brand of honey that you enjoy.
- Challah can be braided into more than 4 strands, if you wish to do so. The rule of thumb is that you should begin the braiding process with all of the strands the same size for the prettiest outcome. This is also important for even baking.
- Storing Challah: I highly recommend wrapping this bread tightly and storing it chilled in the refrigerator for the longest shelf life.
- You can store Challah Bread chilled for 5-7 days.
- You can freeze Challah for up to 2 months.
- How to serve Challah Bread: You can enjoy challah simply warm slathered with butter alongside your meal, cut into slices to make savory sandwiches, dipped in egg and transformed into french toast or turned into bread pudding and casseroles. You’re certain to find a way to enjoy it with any meal from breakfast and brunch to supper.
More Southern Style Bread Recipes to Make
- Dollywood’s Famous Cinnamon Bread is a pull apart sweet bread everyone will love.
- My recipe for Fluffy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits is a must-make.
- Enjoy this Cheesy Garlic Bread for your next Italian night at home.
- Dutch Oven Artisan White Bread is perfect for dunking in a bowl of soup or turned into sandwiches.
- Pull Apart Italian Beer Bread.
- Start your day with this Bundt Pan Bacon Egg and Cheese Bread.
- Bagels Recipe from Skinnytaste.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 cup lukewarm water (110-115°F)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature, divided use
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 4 1/2-5 cups bread flour plus additional for dusting work surface
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- To make the Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand 5-10 minutes until frothy and the yeast has bloomed. Meanwhile: In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 1/2 cups flour and salt.
- With mixer on low speed add remaining honey, oil and 2 eggs plus egg yolk to the bowl mixing until fully combined. With mixer on low speed gradually add the sifted flour. Increase speed and knead for 5-8 minutes or until the dough is smooth. (Add additional flour 1 Tbsp. at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured non stick surface and turn to coat with flour kneading by hand until smooth and it's no longer sticky.
- Lightly grease a large bowl, place dough into bowl turning to coat with oil. Cover and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Gently punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Pat into a circle about 1 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 4 even portions.
- Stretch and roll dough portions into 20 inch long ropes. Lay strips parallel with farthest ends slightly pinched together touching, fanning out the strips.
- Begin with floured hands, braiding ropes starting with the left outer braid weaving over, under, over. Repeat with the far right braid weaving over, under, over. Repeat until you come to the end of the braids, tucking the ends neatly under on both ends. You may need to stretch braids while braiding if they snap back. Pat with floured hands to shape.
- Transfer to a large parchment lined baking pan. Cover and let rise in a draft free area for 1-2 hours or until around 1 1/2 in size.
- To Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover challah. Whisk remaining egg then use a pastry brush to brush all over bread. (At this point you can sprinkle with more salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.)
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a deep golden color and an internal temperature of 195°F is reached.
- Cool on a cooling rack, slice and enjoy.