Honey Challah

Updated On: Apr 01, 2024

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Making Honey Challah is simpler than you think. It just takes a little patience and a warm resting spot for your dough and you’ll have a delicious loaf in no time. This recipe for Honey Challah is sweetened with honey and not cane sugar and makes this loaf incredibly tasty and luscious.

honey challah recipe

I have been jonesin to make Challah now for a few weeks.  Pronounced: hallah.  It’s a sweet, eggy bread that is delicate on the inside and rich and glossy on the outside.  I have a few recipes for it, but I’m always on the lookout for the B.B.D. – No, not Bell, Biv, Devoe – the Bigger and Better Deal.  I just dated myself, didn’t I?  Ok, anyway, today I asked Pinterest if it had any great Challah recipes to which the out pour was fantastic. There are recipes that had a dozen egg yolks and others with lots of sugar and even one with lemon.  This recipe is my interpretation of many recipes combined.

Step-by-step instructions to make Challah bread

what kind of yeast do you use to make challah bread?

Start out by adding 1 cup of warm tap water to the bowl of your mixer.  Add 2 packets of active dry yeast, or 4 1/2 teaspoons if you have it in bulk (yes I use a lot of yeast) and a teaspoon of sugar.  Give it a quick stir and then let the yeast get jiggy wit it.

do you use salted or unsalted butter to make challah bread?

You need a stick of butter at room temp.  Or if you’re like me and don’t ever ever ever think ahead, you can remove the cold stick from the fridge and with the wrapper on, mash it down on the counter a couple of times, flipping it over after each mash.  It works.  Trust me.

how many eggs are in challah bread?

You’ll need 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of honey, 3 eggs, 2 teaspoons salt and 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour.  Get them all ready as you’ll add them all at once to the blossomed yeast.

resting dough for honey challah bread

Look how fast the yeast blooms.  Yeast + Sugar = Love Forever

honey challah

Add the butter, flour, salt, sugar, honey and eggs and put on the dough hook.  Let the hook do the work for about 5 minutes.  You don’t want a dry dough, so don’t add more flour.

what does the dough look like for challah bread

Slightly sticky and elastic is what you’re going for here.

challah bread

Drop the dough out on to a lightly floured board and give it about 5 turns and then add it to a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm draft free spot for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

how long does challah bread need to raise?

I usually warm up my oven for a few minutes on the lowest setting and then turn it off.  Leave the light on and let the dough proof for 2 hours.

sweet challah bread

Punch the dough down and turn out onto a light floured work surface.

how to divide challah bread

Now is the moment when you decide how you want to braid.  I am braiding-challenged, so I just do the 3 braid.  Challah is typically braided with 6 braids, but like I said….challenged.  Divide the dough into 3 or 6 pieces.  Whatever floats your braiding boat.

how to braid challah bread

Roll them out to about 14 inches long on the lightly floured surface.  I use the silicone mat from Pampered Chef.  I love that darned thing.  Well, except when it’s time to wash it.  Then it’s 2 feet of slippery silicone and it’s not so fun to handle.  Enough of that.

can you braid challah bread with 3 strands vs 5?

Braid it up pretty.

honey challah

Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  I know, I didn’t use parchment, but only because my supermarket was out of it.  I probably bought all they had last time I was there.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another 45 minutes in a draft free area.

egg washing challah bread

Beat up one egg in a small bowl with a fork.  Brush the egg over the entire Challah.

glossy challah bread recipe

I love how it glistens at this point.  Gorgeous!  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

light and fluffy challah bread

Now, don’t go get out the jam and butter right after the Challah comes out of the oven.  Ok, go ahead.  I couldn’t wait either.  My son and I had a little afternoon treat of mixed berry jam, Amish roll butter and warm from the oven Honey Challah.  It was heaven!

honey challah
honey challah sliced

Honey Challah

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Raising Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 14 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons
  • ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature (1 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting up to 5 cups
  • 1 egg beaten for the egg wash

Instructions
 

  • Add the warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.  Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Stir briefly and allow to blossom for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, honey, butter, 3 eggs, salt and 4 1/2 cups flour to the bowl.  Starting on the slowest setting, mix with the dough hook until the flour is mostly incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, but not completely dry.  Add more flour if needed to make a soft craggy ball.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 turns.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.  Using your hands, roll out each piece to a 14 inch rope.  Pinch the three rope ends together and braid loosely.  Pinch the other ends together and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another 45 minutes in a warm draft free place.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the entire surface of the dough.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

You can use this recipe to make smaller dinner sized rolls just monitor the cooking time.
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see what you made!
Mention @farmgirlgourmet or tag #farmgirlgourmet !

More bread recipes

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Buttermilk Cornbread

Easy No Knead Bread

Fresh Strawberry Scones

Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.

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  1. Standing in the Eleventh Hour says:

    I’ve used this recipe quite a few times, and it’s still my favorite.

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      Thanks so much!! It’s a definite keeper. And now I need to make some right away!! 🙂

  2. Teaspoons or tablespoons for the yeast? 2 envelopes of Fleischmann’s (which I always considered a standard size) equals 4.33 tablespoons… Dying for a response to make this 🙂

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      Hi Jessica – sorry for the delay, I was traveling without access to my site. Typical yeast packets such as Red Star or Fleischmans are 2 1/4 teaspoons so you will need 4 1/2 teaspoons of yeast if using bulk. Hope that helps.

  3. Rebecca B says:

    I just tried this for the first time and I’m looking for a little help. I’m not well-practiced in the art of bread-making so bear with me. I found that I needed to add quite a bit more flour to get the dough to a point of “workability”…it was too running for me with just 4.5 cups. Then after braiding, which looked great, and baking for 15 min…I saw that my braid sort of “broke open” down the center. Doesn’t look like the pretty braid in your photos…What can I do to prevent this next time? Thanks! Love your photos and instructions.

  4. PinkGranny says:

    Oh my….this looks fabulous. I can almost taste the jam on a slice!

  5. I bake challahs every week (it’s my specialty) – and yours is a lovely one!:)

  6. Nelly Rodriguez says:

    We’ll braid 6 braid Challah soon! Will make some next week and do a step by step. Here’s a hint: “Outside, Inside. Inside, Middle” Yeah….that’s the 6 braid! Just need to get on that 😛 Now I really wanna bakeeeee! 😛

  7. Lauren's Latest says:

    I’ve never made my own challah, but it’s so much tastier and cheaper than the store bought kind! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Anonymous says:

    You had me until butter…thought it was a challah.

  9. Carol Stevens says:

    Lovely! The jam sounds like a perfect match with the challah. Yum!

  10. Wow that bread is truly beautiful!

  11. Kimmy Bingham says:

    Oh I have to make this.

    In fact, I think I might make this today. I love challah, add honey, and I’m in heaven.

  12. Divya Yadava says:

    I’ve always wanted to make challah, but thought it was too hard. Love the step by step pictures – it really helps.

  13. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray says:

    Gorgeous! Love the step by step instructions.

  14. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    This looks amazing!

  15. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Gorgeous! A little butter and jam and I’m set for a prefect breakfast with this.

  16. foodwanderings says:

    Yay, Challah!! Like your version the texture and consistency inside look perfect!! Great job Heather!

  17. Wanna Be A Country Cleaver says:

    It’s beautiful. Okay now, I really am feeling the need to carbo-load. Dang!!

  18. Now I want to make Challah, LOL! I made Brioche for the first time, oh my Yum!!!! I just love love bread:-) Your Challah looks gorgeous! Hugs, Terra

  19. Denise Grant says:

    The challah is BEAUTIFUL! You’ve inspired me… I used to make challah all the time. As a matter of fact, often enough that my son (15y) knows how to make challah as well as I do. Nevertheless, you’ve inspired me to make a loaf. Which then can be enjoyed plain, toasted, as french toast (a personal favorite)… I could go on.

    Thanks for the recipe and the gorgeous step by step photos.

    Finally, your Farmgirl Gourmet logo gets mega points for logo-recognition. I came over to your recipe via Foodblogs and immediately recognized your logo as someone I follow on Pinterest. Go figure.

    Best.

  20. Oh I can’t wait to try this with my home-made Plum jam!!!

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