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Shabbat Foods, Food; Eating, Challah


  • 5 pounds sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces fresh yeast
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 4 1/4 cups warm water (add an additional 1/4 cup for softer dough)
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow to activate, which means until you see bubbles rise. In your mixer combine the salt, 2/3 of the flour, oil, sugar, yolks, water and the activated yeast last. Set the machine on medium for 12 minutes. When you see the dough begin to form, add the remaining flour into the mixer and continue mixing.

Transfer the dough to a very large well-greased bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 to 3 hours or until double in bulk. (Optional: punch dough down after 1 hour and let rise again)

Separate the challah and make a blessing.

Six-Braided Challah

Divide the dough into 4 parts to make 3 large challahs and 6 small challah rolls. To make a six-braided challah, divide one large part into 6 small sections. Roll each section out to a 12-inch strand. Connect the strands on top and place two strands to the right, two to the center and two to the left. Pull the center left strand up and the center right remains down. Grab the inner center right strand and the inner left strand and pull the outer left strand under. Pull the center left strand up and the center right strand down and then grab the center right strand and the inner right and pull the outer right strand under. Pull the center left strand down and the center right strand up and grab the inner center left and the inner left and pull the outer left strand under. Repeat "down and up and under" until you reach the end. Then take your six strands and tuck them neatly under the challah.

Three-Braided Challah

Divide a large piece of dough into 4 parts. From 3 parts roll out three 12 inch strands. Divide the fourth part into 3 and roll out three small strands. Braid the large strands as if braiding hair until you form your challah. Then braid the smaller strands into a mini challah. Place the mini on top of the larger challah.

After you have formed your challahs allow them to rise for 20 minutes in greased baking dishes. Paint the challahs with beaten eggs and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for the first 15 minutes then, reduce to 350 degrees for another 30 to 45 minutes.

© Copyright Chabad of West Brighton.
Note: The laws of Shabbat rest mandate that all cooking and baking be done before Shabbat, and regulate food preparation done on Shabbat in other ways as well. For more information, see Food Preparation on Shabbat.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
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Marsha Surad San Antonio December 28, 2017

Yellow Challah I would like to know how bakeries get their challah to be yellow inside. 40 years ago, I was an American Air Force wife living in Germany. I baked my own challah. I never got it to be yellow colored inside like bakery challah. It certainly was not a question of the number of eggs used, as I tried that. Do you know the secret? Reply

Samantha Leon Mountlake Terrace January 6, 2016

Braiding Mantras You use "Down and up and under," which looks really nice. "I use "Second one over, first one in middle, alternate between sides," which is easier to remember. Reply

RachelP Coral Springs September 23, 2014

That is a HUGE food processor. You call it a Magic Mill, which I had never heard of, but just looked up. What model is it? I don't think my 14-cup Cuisinart food processor or my 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer could handle 5 lbs of flour at a time! But I also don't think I can spend $700 for another machine. Which would you recommend I use to make this dough? I'd probably have to make 1/2 recipe. Reply

Zacchariah Miami, USA via November 9, 2012

Packet Yeast Each Rapid Rise Yeast Packet is 1/4 oz or 2.25 teaspoons.
Because a tablespoon is three teaspoons, buy four Yeast Packets to provide 9 teaspoons which is just right for 3 tablespoons. This would match the other ingredient values shown in this recipe. Reply

Yardanah Weiss Bluefield, WV July 20, 2011

Challah/diabetic How would one that is diabetic make challah without the sugar? Can a sugar substitute be placed in the dough instead of pure sugar? Reply

in response to Yardanah Weiss:

If you are diabetic you should not eat bread made from wheat. Wheat is a starch that turns to sugar in the digestive process. If you desire a sugar substitute use Stevia. You can buy the white granulated not the green leaves. It's very sweet, but has a slight bitter after taste. Try to find a substitute flour. They have substitutes. Try to get nonGMO and organic. Don't eat as much as you normally do and follow an alkaline diet found online. You will balance your glucose levels, but you must be committed. It's foolish to take a pill and eat as you are accustomed to and expect to rid yourself of diabetes. You have to control your
eating habits. Doctors manage your illnesses. You can cure yourself, but you must believe you have this power. Reply

Edith Toronto, Canada June 14, 2011

Challah Can anybody give the recepie of a plain "water challah" No eggs and sugar! Reply

Taschja Centurion, South Africa September 6, 2010

Challah recipe Thank you so much for this recipe! We have to drive a long way to buy our challah bread, but now we can do it ourselves! Reply

Rebecca Shreveport May 6, 2010

packaged yeast Most packaged yeast is 1/4 oz a packet, (I'm assuming dried yeast here) and each packet is equivalent to .6oz, I use 3 packets with this recipe with good result Reply

Chani Benjaminson, March 11, 2010

Yeast I believe you'd use about 6 tbsp of dried yeast. Reply

Anonymous March 10, 2010

How much yeast If I use the packet of yeast how much do I need to use? Reply

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