from Dr. Charles Levkoe, Conversations in Food Studies

This is a recipe for challah, a special bread made especially on Shabbat (Friday nights) and other Jewish celebrations. It is a traditional recipe that we have been using in my family for some time. The bread is sweet, braided and brushed with egg wash before baking, so not only is it beautiful but delicious as well. 


1 tsp white sugar

1/2 cup warm water 

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp salt

2 eggs

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water


1. Dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

2. Add oil, warm water, sugar, salt, eggs, and half of the flour. Mix well. Gradually stir in the rest if the flour.

3. Knead for about 10 minutes, Add more flour if needed (but not too much).

4. Cover dough and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).

5. Punch down. Cover and let rise again until doubled (about 45 minutes).

6. Divide dough into three equal parts and roll into long strands (like snakes). Braid loosely and pinch ends tucking them under. 

7. Cover and let rise until doubled (60 minutes). Brush with egg glaze. 

8. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown. 

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: I used my bread machine to do all the heavy work and then baked it in the oven. So tasty – perfect with a soup on a cold winter’s evening. And then made French toast the next day. Perfect for both sweet and savoury meals.

Contents and images used with permission by Dr. Charles Levkoe.