Expert challah tips and tricks. Join Challah Bytes today!

Tag Archives: challah recipes

I have a special treat for you: a sprouted wheat challah recipe from one of our readers, Chava Dumas!

Here it is, in Chava’s own words:

These humble healthy challahs look so heimish to appear alongside Tamar’s elegant professional looking challahs, but indeed they have an incredible taste from the sprouted wheat kernels.

When I first started making them, my kids said, “Wow, Imma what did you put in these challahs?” And you know, coming from kids (teenagers!) this is a BIG TIME compliment!

Sprouted wheat– Challah made from the flour of ground sprouted wheat has the extra benefits of greatly increased nutritional value, plus the germination of starch into easier to digest natural sugars. An amazing special flavor!

Challah topping– Decorated with a combination of different colored seed toppings, these challahs can remind us of the manna we received for forty years in the wilderness after we were liberated from Egypt.

This is our “Dumas family” recipe!

Sprouted Whole Wheat Challah

Ingredients

4 cups warm water (or more)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon sea salt
12 cups (~1.5 kilo) sprouted whole wheat flour (or sprouted spelt flour)

Directions

Combine warm water, honey and yeast.
Add flour, one cup at a time until dough is soft and springy. Begin to knead until dough does not stick to your fingers, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a cloth. Let it rise for about 1 or 2 hours, until doubled.
Punch down, knead again.
Divide into balls to roll into ropes for braiding.
Place in oiled bread pans (or use baking paper). Let rise for about 45 minutes.
Brush with whisked egg. Sprinkle with a variety of toppings: white and black sesame seeds, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, or chopped almonds.
Bake in a pre-heated over 350 F. (175 C) for about 30 minutes.

This recipe makes approximately four loaves the size of what you see in the photo below.

sprouted wheat 2

Chava Dumas is an educator, certified doula, women’s health advocate and cancer support counselor. Read more special tips in her life-changing book Prepare for Pesach B’simchah! 40 Lifesaving Lessons to Help you Make it to the Finish Line a book that helps everyone celebrate the gift of life every day!

Onion-Filled Hamantaschen Challah

First, prepare a good challah dough. If you need a recipe, check www.aTasteofChallah.com where I’ve posted many challah recipes, as well as my “Incredible Challah Dough Recipe” card that can be downloaded free from the site as well!

Ingredients

Challah dough
1/4 cup oil for smearing
1 egg for glazing
2 onions, sliced and sautéed
3-4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup challah bread crumbs
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Method

Filling: Slice 2 onions into half rings. Sauté some onions. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, plus several tablespoons of challah breadcrumbs.

Assembly:

Cut challah dough into sections that are between 6-7 tablespoons in size. Shape each piece gently into a ball.
Roll out each ball so that it resembles a flat circle.
Place a spoonful of the onion breadcrumb mix into the center of each flattened piece. Sprinkle some poppy seeds if desired.
Pick up the first side of the flattened circle and pinch it together; do the same on the second and third side.
Place the filled challah face down on the lined cookie sheets. This keeps their Hamantaschen-shape and prevents the challahs from opening up as they rise and bake.
Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C.
Let the challahs rise for 20 minutes. Brush each challah with a beaten egg.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or lightly browned.

Recipe for One Loaf of Challah

As a new challah maker, I’m afraid to use all of those ingredients and have it come out poorly. I’d like to try with a smaller batch so I can perfect my skills without so much waste. Thank you.

If you don’t feel ready to make a full batch of challah, here’s the amount for one larger challah or two smaller ones (or maybe about 4 little ones)… but there is no mitzvah of hafrashas challah and certainly no bracha on this amount.

Ingredients

1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1/2 tablespoon/ 1/2 ounce dry yeast
4 – 4 & 1/2 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon salt

Method

Place the ingredients in your mixer bowl in the order listed. Using your dough hook, turn the mixer on a low setting and knead this for 10-12 minutes. You may need to add a bit more oil and water while it is kneading. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water; if it is too sticky add a bit more oil and another 1/4 cup of flour. When the dough is done kneading it should be coming away from the sides of the bowl (if not, add a bit more oil) and it should be smooth, elastic, and just a bit sticky. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Knead again for just 3-4 more minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer. Place it in a large bag to rise, covered by the bag.

Note: You can do the same in a large bowl, if you prefer the hand method or do not own a mixer.

Have a great time with your challahs!

Spelt Bread or Challah

Spelt flour is a very nice alternative for those who are wheat sensitive. It is healthy and quite tasty, so it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Spelt flour can also be purchased as whole grain spelt flour – which is darker, or as white spelt flour – which is lighter. The challahs depicted here are made from a half-half mixture of both of these spelt flours.

Ingredients

For 6 large or 8 medium sized challahs:
65 grams / 2.4 ounces fresh yeast
820 ml / 5 and a bit more cups warm water
260 grams / 1¼ cups light brown sugar
5 lbs. / 2 ¼ kilo/ 17 cups spelt flour
35 grams / 1½ T. salt
230 ml / 1 cup canola oil

Method

Crumble the yeast into the mixing bowl. Add 500 ml / 2 cups of warm water and ¼ cup of sugar on top of it. Cover the bowl and let it start to activate for 5–10 minutes.
Add half of the flour, all the salt, and the oil. Mix and knead with the dough hook until it resembles a thick batter. Let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Knead again while adding in all the rest of the flour. Add the water a bit at a time until you have a smooth and pliable, slightly sticky dough.

Separate challah with a blessing.

Turn the dough out into a large, well-oiled bowl. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic and then a large towel and allow it to rise for 40 minutes. If you will not have time to shape and bake right away, place the dough, covered well with plastic, in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Important note:

Spelt dough rises differently than wheat dough. It is lighter, and therefore should not be left to rise as long as wheat dough, especially once it has been shaped. Rise for only half the time instead. Best results are achieved by using loaf or ‘challah’ pans with sides to hold the challahs so that they will not flatten out or lose their shape while rising and baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C while you are shaping the loaves. Add a tray of water to the bottom rack of the oven to add moisture during the baking process, since you won’t be using an egg glaze.

Punch down the dough and start to shape the loaves. When rolling out the strands, let them rest for only 2 minutes before rolling out and braiding them. Shape and allow the challahs to rise for 35 minutes. Do not let the dough rise too much or the bread/challah will fall flat when it is baked.

Spray the challahs with a thin film of clear water and sprinkle on seeds of your choice, if desired. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until dark golden brown on top. Place on a wire rack to cool. Freeze in good quality freezer bags until use.

Small Dough Egg Challahs
For those who wanted a small quantity dough recipe, here’s a really successful one…

My 11 year old daughter makes these all by herself! Since she is not 12 years old yet, ie, bat mitzvah age, in any case she cant do the mitzvah of hafrashas challah on her own, and she likes making ‘her own dough’…

For those who just want to make 2 larger challahs or 3 small challahs quickly, this is a nice exact recipe that yields a wonderful dough whose consistency is smooth, pliable and very easy to use. Just grease your hands with a small amount of oil, smear a small amount on your working surface as well, and you’re all set to shape.

Ingredients

1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 oz. of fresh yeast (OR 2 & 1/2 – 3 teaspoons dry yeast)
6 cups of sifted flour, plus a bit more if needed
2 medium sized eggs
1 & 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 – 1 cup golden sultanas/ raisins
1 egg for glazing later on
Seeds of choice for sprinkling on top of finished challahs

Method

In a large mixing bowl (you can do this by hand or in the mixer, whichever way suits you best), pour in the oil. This will lubricate the bottom of your bowl by putting it in first.

Add in the sugar, warm water, and yeast of choice. If you used fresh yeast, cover the bowl now with a towel or a plate and let the yeast activate first.

Add in the 6 cups of sifted flour, the eggs and the salt. Begin to knead the mixture. If you are using a mixer, use the kneading hook and allow it to knead until the mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl and is pliable and soft.

Tips!

If the dough is too soft or sticky, add in bits more of the extra flour and maybe a few drops more of oil. If the dough is too stiff, add in bits more of water and oil until it is smooth and pliable.
Turn off the mixer and take out the dough. Knead it by hand for another 2 minutes, adding in bits of oil or small bits of flour if it sticks to your hands or the surface you are kneading on. Once it is a pliable and smooth dough, stop kneading it. Place it in an oiled large bowl, turn it over once or twice so all the sides of the dough will be a bit oiled, and cover the bowl loosely with plastic to enable the dough to rise without drying out. Rising time is 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down all over, knead it a bit more by turning it over once or twice, and cover it again to rise for another 30-40 minutes.

After this second rise, punch the dough down and you are ready to “roll”!

This dough makes enough for 3 smaller challahs or 2 larger ones.

Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 190°C.

Braid challahs with three or four strands. Line a baking tray with parchment baking paper and allow the challahs to rise on the tray, covered loosely with plastic. This keeps the challahs from drying out while they rise. Rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Beat the remaining egg in a glass with a fork. Brush this beaten egg on your risen challahs with a pastry brush. Sprinkle the seeds of choice on them (I like white sesame seeds) and slide the trays into the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes until they start to brown, then turn down the heat to 350°F / 180°C and finish baking (about 35-40 minutes) until the challahs are browned on top as well as on bottom. Remove from the trays and allow the challahs to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately, or freeze in good quality freezer bags until the day of use. Just defrost them about 4 hours beforehand, and enjoy!

Quickie Whole-Wheat Challah

This is a great, easy Erev Shabbos/ Friday morning recipe that I developed only recently. If followed exactly, your challahs should come out light and fluffy, with a delicately golden and slightly crispy crust. It makes 6 medium-sized loaves or 4 larger ones.
(This size dough has the minimum amount of flour in it to create the “shiur”, ie, the amount of flour necessary to get the mitzvah for hafrashas challah. In order to be able to make the blessing and do the actual commandment of ‘separating challah’ one must have a dough with a certain minimum requirement of flour in it. )

Plus, this recipe only takes about 15 minutes to put together. They came out so perfectly that I didn’t have one crumb left over. For Rosh Hashanah, I simply braid them rounded instead of in long loaves, and add in the fruit of choice.

Ingredients

1 cup light brown sugar (For Rosh Hashanah, if you like your challas very sweet, add in an additional 1/3 cup sugar, even up to 1/2 cup for those with a real sweet tooth!)
2½ tablespoons dry yeast OR 75 grams fresh yeast
5 – 5 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 kilo very finely ground whole wheat flour (in Israel, it’s called meshubach)
1 kilo whole wheat regular flour
2 cups additional white flour, or finely ground whole wheat*
4 eggs
2 tablespoons salt
3/4 cup oil, divided

Method

(*This comes to 5 lbs.or 2.3 kilos of flour all together; ie, the minimum amount of flour necessary for the commandment of separating challah according to all Rabbinic opinions.)

Place 2 cups warm water, the sugar and the yeast in the mixing bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Add in the first 2 kilos of flour, the eggs, 2 more cups water, the salt, and most of the oil . Start to knead. While the mixer is kneading, add in the rest of the flour and the oil. If the dough is too firm, add bits more water to it until it is slightly sticky. To make it come away from the sides of the bowl, add in small bits of additional oil as it mixes.

If the dough is too wet and loose, it will make your challahs spread out when they rise, and it will be very difficult to shape them nicely when you are braiding. To avoid this, add in bits more flour until it is a workable consistency, even if you need to add a bit more than the recipe calls for when doing this. It will still work fine.

When the dough is soft but still firm and only slightly sticky, turn it out into an oiled, deep bowl or onto an oiled surface on the table. Turn it over once or twice so it is greased on all sides. Do the mitzvah of separating challah with a blessing and when you are finished and have disposed of the separated piece, cover the dough with plastic or place it in a large garbage bag to rise. After 30 minutes or so into the rising time, punch it down and let it rise for another hour or a bit more. It should more than double its bulk. This extra punching down and then re-rising activates the dough even better and will make a marked difference in the final product.

Line your trays with baking paper, and shape dough into rounded shapes as desired.

When the challahs are shaped, preheat the oven to 350 – 360 °F/ 190°C.

Let the challahs rise for 35 minutes, covered lightly with plastic wrap so they won’t dry out. Brush them with an egg glaze and slide them into the oven after they have risen a total time of 45 minutes. Over-rising them makes them too airy and they often fall, spread too much or lose shape when baking. Bake until golden brown top and bottom, about 40 minutes.

Tip!

For Rosh Hashanah, I like to add golden raisins to the inside of the strands after I have rolled them out, before rolling them up. OR, you can get creative and add in chopped dates…OR, even more fun, chopped up pieces of apples, and small drips of honey! The aroma this emits while baking is incredible.

Authentic Chassidic Challah

This recipe is from Rebbetzin Sarah Meisels

Biographical note:

Rebbetzin Sarah Meisels was raised in Brooklyn, NY, the daughter of the well known Chassidic Grand Rebbe, R’Shlomo Halbershtam, zt”l (obm). R’ Shlomo was a scion of the Bobover Dynasty, and led a large community of Chassidim in pre-war Europe, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. He, his entire family, and his whole community were taken captive by the Nazis and shipped off to be killed. He miraculously survived together with only one of his children, R’Naphtali, and through an incredible series of events, eventually landed on American shores. Despite losing almost his entire family, including his first wife and all his other children, as well as most of his followers, he started afresh, remarried, and built a new family. Known as “Bobover Chassidim”, his community numbers in the thousands today and has followers from all over the US, Israel, England, Canada and Belgium. Rebbetzin Sarah Meisels is one of his daughters from his second marriage. After his demise, his son Naphtali who survived the Holocaust alongside him, served as Grand Rebbe for a short time. He died only five years after his appointment. Today, Rebbetzin Meisels’ brother, R’Bentzion Halbershtam, carries on the Bobover tradition as Grand Rebbe.
This recipe makes 6 large loaves, and can easily be halved for those wishing to make less at one time.

Ingredients

5 ½ lbs. / 2 kilo 700 grams / 20 cups flour
½ cup oil
5-6 cups warm water
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
2 T. salt
1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups sugar (depends on how sweet you like them)
4 flat T. dry yeast

Method

Sift the flour and set aside.

In a very large mixer bowl, add the oil, 5 cups of the warm water, the eggs, and the salt. Mix this up a bit. Add in 10 cups of the flour and mix again. It should be a thin sort of mixture. Add in the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top of this. Let it sit for 10 minutes, preferably covered.

After 10 minutes, it should have activated somewhat. Start to knead in the rest of the flour in increments until it is all incorporated. If the dough is too dry, add in the rest of the water in increments as well. If you have been using your mixer, turn the dough out onto a clean surface or table to finish kneading it.

Grease your hands as well as the outside of the dough to keep it pliable and non-sticky. When the dough is smooth and elastic, cover it well with plastic. If you made the whole recipe, separate challah with a blessing.

Let the dough rise for 1 – ½ hours until at least doubled in bulk, while keeping it covered in plastic.

Shape as desired, and follow the steps for rising and shaping as directed on ppgs. 38-41 of the book for shaping, rising and baking.

Puffed Matzo Bread Rolls

This is a great, easy alternative bread recipe that I got from my mother. It literally takes less than 10 minutes from start to bake, and for those who use matzo meal on Passover, you can make them on Passover as well! This also works well for those who cannot eat yeast…
Yield: 10-12 small rolls

Ingredients

2 cups matzo meal
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
1 cup hot water
½ cup oil
4 eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
Combine the matzo meal, salt, and sugar; set aside.

In the mixing bowl, add the hot water and the oil. Add in the dry ingredients. Start to beat it together, adding the eggs one at a time. It should turn into a thick batter.

My mother (from whom I learned this recipe) says to let the batter stand for 15 minutes at this point, before forming the rolls. However, I did it straight from the bowl and it worked just fine.

Make your hands slightly wet and form 10-12 small, oblong or round rolls. Lay the out on a lined baking tray, with a small amount of space between them. These rolls shape very similarly to regular kneidalach.

Bake for 50 minutes, until they are slightly cracked and golden brown, top and bottom. Let them cool on a wire rack.
Make a “HaMotzi” and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Olive Oil Challah

Yields: 2 large challahs or 3 medium sized ones

Ingredients

2-2 ½ cups warm water, start with 2 cups
5 ½ cups light or 70% whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups regular whole wheat flour
1/3 – 1/2 cup light brown sugar
½ T. salt, plus a bit more
¼ cup olive oil
1 T. dry yeast
¼ cup canola oil, maybe a bit more, for later use

Method

Put 1 cup of water in the mixer bowl. Add the light whole wheat flour, the sugar, salt, and the olive oil. Mix together. Add in the rest of the whole wheat flour, and sprinkle in the yeast. Knead in the mixer until it turns into a thick batter. Add 1 more cup of water. Mix again. If it’s too dry, add the rest of the water now. Turn off mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Start to knead the dough again, turning the dough over and over. If the dough is very stiff, add drops more of water to it. To keep it elastic, add in small amounts more of canola oil as needed, until the dough takes shape and becomes smooth, elastic, and easy to handle. Turn it over once again so that all sides of it have a thin layer of oil on them. Leave to rise, covered, for an hour.

Great tip!

To keep it from losing its shape once it’s shaped, don’t let it over-rise!! Let it rise only 10 minutes, and then start to preheat the oven at 350°F / 180°C.
Shape as desired. When risen, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with desired toppings. After the challahs have risen 40 minutes, slide them into your hot oven and bake them. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until browned on top and also on the bottom.

Tip!

Looks so great as a loaf challah, with black or green olive rings stuck into the dough all over.

Rich ‘n Tasty Mixed Wheat Egg Challahs

Makes 6 larger sized challahs or 30 small rolls

You may halve this recipe very easily if you prefer less for your family, or follow the storage techniques for extra challahs listed on page 42 of the book…

Ingredients

2 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup oil
5 eggs
1 ½ T. salt
1/3 cup honey
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 oz. / 50 grams fresh yeast
3 cups warm water

Method

Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water and a bit of the sugar. When it froths and bubbles, it is ready to use.

Mix these ingredients together until they form a batter. Let it rise for 1 hour. Punch it down and then add to it:

5 cups whole wheat flour
5 cups white flour
1 cup bran or wheat germ
1 cup warm water

Knead this into the first batter until you have a workable and smooth dough. If it is sticky, smear it with a bit more oil and then knead a bit more until it you reach the desired consistency.

Separate challah with a bracha.

Let this dough rise another hour, covered in plastic. Then shape and rise as directed in the book, Chapter Two, ppgs. 36-43.

Brush the risen challahs with a mixture of 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk + 1 T. sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F / 180°C until golden brown top and bottom, about 40 minutes.

Simply delicious!

  • Free Challah Recipe

    hafrasha card cropped hebrew small Free download when you sign up for:
    • Tried and true tips
    • Challah questions answered
    • Inspiration about the mitzvah

    Join hundreds of women worldwide on a challah journey!