Leslie's Challah recipe

Celebrate Hanukkah with this classic recipe!




  1. Add yeast to 1/4 warm water in a one cup container. Add 1/4 tsp sugar and stir. Leave for a few minutes.
  2. Pour 3/4 cup of warm- hot water in a medium sized bowl. Add 2 tsp salt. Stir. Then add your oil (or margarine) followed by your honey or sugar. Stir again.
  3. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs and the white of the the third egg. (Save the yolk of the 3rd egg for egg wash). Stir well until all mixed.
  4. Pour in the bubbly yeast mixture and stir again.
  5. Begin by adding one cup of white flour. Stir until blended. Add a cup of whole wheat. Stir again. Add another cup of white flour. Stir. Add either more whole wheat or white flour. **
  6. Dough should be quite thick at this point. (Add raisins or cranberries at this point)
  7. Scrape dough off of your mixing spoon. Continue kneading the dough until well blended. Add more flour if dough too sticky.
  8. When dough seems about right, form into a ball and cover with a clean dishcloth. Leave for 60-90 minutes until almost doubled (more or less). You can push down during the rising period or not, as you wish. Try and keep the ball round like. This rising period is called resting or proofing.
  9. After 60-90 minutes, cut the dough into either 3, 4 or 6 pieces depending on how many braids you with to make. Check google on the pattern for 3,4 or 6 braids. None are too difficult once you get the pattern. Tuck ends of braided challah underneath.
  10. Leave for another 60 minutes or a bit more.
  11. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Mix a teaspoon of water to thin the egg yolk. Using a pastry brush, spread egg wash over complete challah bread. Then sprinkle with poppy or chia seeds.
  12. Bake for 25-27 minutes.

** Traditionally challah breads were only made with white flour, a special treat for our poorer ancestors. Nowadays, people mix white and whole wheat flour, or sometimes use only whole wheat flour. Experiment.

*** I sometimes use the same recipe and make 2 smaller loaves; then I bake about 20-22 minutes.