Wholemeal Challah

    3 hours

    Here's a great wholemeal challah (braided Jewish bread) recipe. Warm and light, fresh out of the oven with butter and salt sprinkled on top, it's irresistible!

    50 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 4 cups (500g) wholemeal flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) honey
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
    • 1 cup (250ml) warm water
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup raisins, to taste

    Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:2hours rising  ›  Ready in:3hours 

    1. In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, yeast and vital wheat gluten until well mixed. In another bowl stir together the honey, olive oil, water, eggs and raisins. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it forms a dough.
    2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a round shape. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough over a few times to oil the surface. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
    3. Punch down the dough, knead it a few times to remove some of the bubbles and cut it into 2 equal-sized pieces. Set 1 piece of dough aside under a cloth to prevent drying out while you shape or braid the first loaf as desired.
    4. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 30cm long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time until the loaf is braided and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look. Repeat for the other loaf, place the braided loaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
    5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm for best flavour.

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    Reviews in English (52)


    I made a half recipe, just in case I wasn't crazy about it, and took it to my synagogue this morning (Saturday) for our small Sabbath service (our big one is Friday night). Everyone went CRAZY when they tasted this! It is super good, moist, very flavorful, with a nice chewiness to it. They asked me to make it again, and often!! I make challah for my husband (and me) every week, and he told me I could switch to this one! I did use the wheat gluten, and I didn't use raisins, since I knew there would be people this morning who don't like raisins. I will make it next Friday for our home challah WITH raisins, since my husband loves them. Thanks so much for this!!!  -  12 Jun 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I had been looking for a whole wheat bread machine challah recipe for a while. I tried various recipes, without much luck. Finally, I decided to look for a regular whole wheat challah recipe and make the dough in my bread machine -- I tried this recipe, and it turned out great! I substituted agave for the honey and left out the wheat gluten and raisins. The bottoms of my loaves ended up a little dark; I might reduce the baking time a little. I know I will make this over and over again.  -  02 Jun 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This was absolutely delicious! By far the best and sweetest whole wheat Challah I've made! I'll definitely stick with this recipe.... I didn't use the vital wheat gluten or raisins.... It also didn't rise out of the oven much, and took longer than 30 mins in the oven but it came out to be lighter and sweeter than most whole wheat breads! Thank you! UPDATE: If you first proof yeast with water and then add it when you mix both dry and wet ingredients, It rises much more..... I make this every week for shabbat dinner and have gotten many many requests for the recipe!  -  16 Apr 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)