Honey Challah with assorted Toppings

Honey Challah with assorted Toppings

Of course I had wanted to get this post up before Rosh Hashanah, but it wasn’t meant to be. Still, most people continue to eat sweet round challah until after Succos, so I’m sure this recipe will prove useful (and there’s always next year!).

My sister-in-law Ruti used to make challah each and every Shabbos. She was always looking for new recipes, so I bought her Tamar Ansh’s challah book. After trying many different recipes, she came up with her own variation and my adapted version has been my go-to recipe ever since! I truly believe that delicious challah is a result of the love you put into it. If you just dump the ingredients into a bowl and mix it, the challa with turn out dense and heavy. For soft and fluffy challa, you need to take the care to sift the flour and knead the dough. I don’t have a bread machine, so I make my challah by hand. For me, it’s a labor of love. I’m happy to share Ruti’s recipe with you, but keep in mind that your altitude, humidity, and other factors all affect the dough.

Personally, when it comes to challah, I want to taste purely the bread. I don’t mind something sprinkled over the top, but I don’t play around with the dough. However, if you’d like to experiment, here are some filling ideas to mix into the dough before braiding:

– craisins and orange zest
– garlic and rosemary or sage
– raw or caramelized onions & poppy seeds
– fresh fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries)
– dried fruit (apricots, figs)
– raisins and nuts
– chocolate chips
– olives
– oats


– honey (see below)
– maple syrup (see below)
– sprinkles or nonpareils
– brown sugar
– cinnamon-sugar
– sweet crumbs (see recipe below)
– za’atar
– sesame seeds
– poppy seeds
– minced onion flakes
– minced garlic flakes
– “everything” (my favorite!) : sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, minced garlic, coarse salt

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99 thoughts on “Honey Challah with assorted Toppings

  1. This made some of the best challah I’ve ever eaten – am using this recipe from here on out. Thank you!

  2. Hi, Challah recipe sounds great – just to be clear, how many cups of flour should I use? (I’m in Israel, flour comes in 1 kilo bags.)

  3. Just made my challah for yom tov using your sweet crumbs…. Haven!
    It smells so good I am praying it will still be around for yom tov! self control….

      1. I love your recipe for challah! I tried making a orange cranberry one but it didn’t come out right. When would be the best time to add the orange zest and cranberries?

          1. Do you freeze it before rising & braiding, or after? Does it matter?

            Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Good morning…shana Tova….quick question…I am making the dough now and would like to bake a loaf today and then another tomorrow and the next day…..should I refrigerate the dough after the first rising or do you suggest a better time?

    1. I freeze this challah very successfully so if I were you, I would make everything now and freeze the extra. Take it out of the freezer a few hours before serving and warm in the oven.

  5. This challah looks delicious! Did anyone try making this with instant dry yeast? Tips? I can’t find rapid rise in stores here in Israel.

  6. Shavua Tov
    Wanted to try this next Shabbat but 6 challahs are too many:)
    Could you rewrite it for 2?
    Thank you
    Debbie Ohayon

    1. It can’t be divided completely evenly but here is a rough recipe:

      1 packet yeast
      1 1/2 tsp sugar
      8oz. water
      heaping 1/3 cup honey
      1 1/2 tsp salt
      1/3 cup oil
      4-5 cups flour
      1 egg, optional

      1. How is this half? Shouldn’t it be 2 packs of yeast and so on?? Confused? I made it by dividing all ingredients in half and the dough was too sticky and limp. I ended up adding more flour but we will see. It’s in the oven.

        1. I divided it for 2 challa’s as per the comment.

          It’s normal for dough to be sticky, depending on the temperature and humidity and where you live – they always need to be adapted accordingly by adding a bit more or less flour.

      2. How much water? The original recipe asks for 4 cups warm water total. In this smaller version, should we cut the water total?

  7. Hi there! If I wanted to cut this recipe in half, should I keep the one egg as is, or beat the egg, weigh it, and only use half?


  8. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Can you use a bread maker for this recipe? Also, my daughter is a vegan (no eggs or honey), did you adjust anything when omitting the egg? What do you use for an egg wash? Thank you.

    1. I’ve never tried this with a bread maker, but you can let me know how it turns out! You don’t need to make any adjustments if you omit the eggs. You can use honey or maple syrup for egg wash. Aquafaba should work too.

  9. tried the challah now by hand…was too much flour on the last step…wasnt mixing…put inside mixer and dough is ready to rise but feels hard..what should I do?

  10. I really want to try and make your challah but I only want to make 1-2 loaves. Should I just cut your recipe by more than a half, or can you recommend the correct amount of ingredients. Thank you!!

  11. hi chanie i just wanted to tell you … this is deff my go to recipe ! it was such a success , i have made two batches !!! thank you for sharing

  12. I hope all is well. I was wondering if this could be used as a sweet roll (danish) recipe (not challah). Do you have something similar with a smaller amount of flour for sweet rolls. . TIA

  13. Hello! I would really like To try and make your Challah but I would prefer not to make a recipe for six loaves. I know sometimes you can’t just half a recipe , do you happen to have a recipe for a smaller quantity for your Challah? Thank you!

      1. Thank you! Please ignore the comment I posted today on the same question then. Sorry I didn’t see your previous response until now.

  14. For the non-topping, non canola oil oil… what kind do you use? Olive oil? Vegetable oil? Also confirming you use bread flour not all purpose? Thanks!

  15. Hi, if I don’t have high gluten flour do you think bread flour can work? I believe it also has a pretty high protein. If yes, do you think I’d need to make any adjustments?

  16. Hi Chanie,
    Accidentally posted this comment to your French toast recipe:
    Can you make this challah the night before? Many recipes say you can make the dough and immediately start the rising process in the fridge overnight. I’m just not sure what to do once you take it out. Do you shape it, then let it rest again? Or just shape, egg wash and bake immediately?

  17. Hi – I can find “high-gluten flour” but I’ve never used it before… I am wondering – Is “bread flour” (like I usually use) considered “high-gluten flour”? I know it is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour, for example. For this recipe, what is the difference between bread flour and high-gluten flour? Would it be much easier to add “vital wheat gluten” to regular bread flour?

    Any clarification is appreciated as I build my bread-making skills! Thank you!

  18. I am making this now – a 1/2 recipe with 1 egg. I am anxious because I special-ordered the high-gluten flour! Is it ok to let it do a long first rise in the refrigerator? How long is too long?

  19. Hi Chanie.
    Could you please tell me how many milliliters is the 1 cup measurement you use? 236 or 240 or 250?
    I would like to try this recipe because it has such nice reviews.

  20. I am OBSESSED with this recipe – it is my no-fail go-to!! I have shared it with my mom and sister who both love it too. I have recently omitted gluten from my diet and am wondering if it’s even worth trying with a flour alternative like almond flour or gluten free all purpose flour. Do you know of anyone trying and succeeding a GF version?! Thank you!

  21. This made the most beautiful, delicious challah I’ve ever made. This recipe is a keeper that I’ll pass down to my daughter. Thank you.

  22. I love your recipe but it is only my husband and myself and I want to make challah rolls, using a smaller recipe. How do I convert the 5lb recipe to a 5cup one? Suggestions?

  23. Is it possible to scale this recipe down? I would love to make 2 decent-sized challot but I’m unsure how to scale this down (ie: do I use a fractional egg or just use a whole one as if the recipe were followed as-is?). Thanks so much!

  24. Have you ever added a chocolate or cinnamon mixture in the dough before baking (like a babka)? Would you sweeten the dough?

    1. Yes, I have used this dough to make babka and it turned out great without added sweetener. I do brush it with simple syrup during and after baking.

  25. Using your challah recipe, I bake challah rolls every week. How do I make the dough a little sweeter (like the bakery challah made by NJ’s Zaydie’s)? Thanks.

  26. I tried the recipe the other day, used sugar instead of the honey and King Arthur all purpose flour. After adding almost 2/3 of the flour, the dough became very tough and not sticky at all. How can I make changes for next time since the taste is delicious and I love the texture (I had it for the first time at a friends house over Rosh Hashana)

  27. Is there a recipe for just about 2 med challahs instead of 8? This is too much for my small family. I tried to quarter the recipe but I don’t know how to quarter an egg :) thank you!

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