Friday, May 6, 2011

Basic Challah Recipe #1 - Small Batch Modified Update

This is a modification of our Basic Challah Recipe #1 with Honey and the Small Batch for Rolls. The only major tweaking from the small batch version is the amount of eggs -- 2 instead of one. While the roll version works great for what it's intended for (non-egg-washed dinner rolls), I was finding it a little lame for Shabbat challah. SO we added an egg. Now it's perfect.


3/4 c water
2 1/4 tsp active dry or instant yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 eggs plus 1 more for egg wash
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 c flour (I usually use bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour or a combination of the two)
1 1/4 tsp salt

The following instructions are copied from my Basic Challah Recipe #1 with Honey directions.  Because this recipe is on the small-side, expect to get two smallish challot or one nice big one.

Place very warm (but not hot, I usually let me faucet run for a bit) water in mixing bowl.  Add yeast and honey, mixing lightly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so... I usually do less... until you see little eruptions.
Add eggs and vegetable oil and mix with wood spoon.  
If you have a stand mixer, add flour and salt and beat with dough hook.  Remember: salt kills yeast. Don't put the salt in with the yeast.  Wait until you've added some of the flour.

If the dough is not holding together as a ball, add a bit more oil or water.  If the dough is very sticky, add more flour.  The dough is ready when it sticks together as a ball and is not sticky to the touch when you poke your finger in (5-10 minutes of beating).  Turn the ball out onto a floured work surface and punch a few times until very smooth.
Place in oiled bowl and cover in plastic wrap or a towel.

Allow to rise at least one hour, preferably more (usually about an hour and a half), until dough has doubled in size.  I only do one rise as a ball, but you can do more.  I'm not convinced it does much to the texture but some people swear by it.

Punch down the ball in the bowl and remove.  Punch out all air bubbles.  Braid in your preferred method.  Allow to rise 20-30 minutes. Top with an egg wash (I use the yolk and white) and sesame or poppy seeds if you like.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  (You can read about my oven temperature methods here... basically I put it at 375 for 5 minutes.  Then I turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes.  Then I rotate the pans 180 degrees and bake between 10 and 15 more minutes.)  You can use a bread thermometer (180-200 degrees) or poke at the seams.  If they seem doughy, give it more time.  You can always add foil if the top seems like its browning too fast.  I often have to foil five- and six-stranded challot because they're so much fatter.

Shabbat Shalom!



  1. following the recipe -my dough proved for an hour but did not change its size at all?! I baked them and they were a little bit delicious,( Im hoping that with practice they will get even more delicious! ) regardless of the dough not having risen - have I made a mistake somewhere?

    1. Look over this and reply to me if you still have questions!

  2. I followed the recipe almost to the word... I needed to add a bit more flour though. It's really the best recipe I've used so far..

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for the comment. I always keep extra flour around as I'm mixing as well... I think a lot depends on the humidity of your kitchen or even outside!

  3. We've just used your recipe again for this week's challah... My children wanted their own challah so we divided the dough into four. Also, I used appelstroop instead of honey (

  4. which made it all the more delicious. I've put your blog on my home page. Your are a true blessing. Thank you!)

  5. I tried this recipe yesterday and I just wanted to say it's one of the best loaves I have ever made. Wonderful stuff, thank you so much for sharing!

  6. delish! did it again for Sabbath dinner!

  7. This recipe is wonderful, thank you!

  8. We have a smallish community (about 25-30 of us) and I have been asked to bring the challah for Oneg on Friday Night. Will this loaf be the right size for everyone to tear off a piece? I've seen other recipes that looked huge - but I don't want to show up without enough...

  9. Ugh. Sorry to see the trolls visit you, too. :(
    You're my favorite challah resource but I admit most times I use the bread machine recipe with 5 yolks, adapted from Susie Fishbein. Here in COVID after Pesach, I am rationing my eggs, flour, and my stash of yeast! So I used this small batch recipe. I did NOT use the bread machine and I mixed it very much by hand - as in gooshing eggs between my fingers! My 3yearold just helped me shape the challah - I made a key, my son made a pancake. We made them with love and prayers. Perfect. Hope you and yours stay healthy through this crisis.

  10. making this recipe now, so far it looks amazing! was super easy to knead and is rising well

  11. can i use part whole wheat flour as I don't have a lot of white flour left...

  12. This was very delicious although I did have to add about a half cup of extra flour.