Easy Braided Challah Loaves

    3 hours 10 minutes

    This is a quick and easy recipe for braided Challah loaves. I have tried countless combinations to finally get it right. It uses quick rise yeast to save you a bunch of time. Enjoy!

    74 people made this

    Serves: 32 

    • 4 (7g) packets quick-rise yeast
    • 4 cups (1 litre) warm water
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 3/4 cup (185g) white sugar
    • 1 cup margarine, melted
    • 4 eggs
    • 12 cups (1.5 kg) bread flour, or as needed
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, divided

    Preparation:40min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:2hours rising  ›  Ready in:3hours10min 

    1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a large bowl and stir gently to moisten the yeast. Stir in salt, sugar, margarine and 4 eggs then beat well. Gradually mix in the flour 1 cup at a time, up to 12 cups until the dough becomes slightly tacky but not wet. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
    2. Grease baking trays or line them with baking paper and set aside.
    3. Cut the bread dough into 4 equal-sized pieces (or 2 pieces to make 2 large loaves). Cut each piece into thirds for 3-strand braided loaves. 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 remaining loaves.
    4. Place the loaves onto the prepared baking trays and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
    5. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Whisk 1 egg with vanilla essence in a small bowl and brush the loaves with the egg wash. Sprinkle each loaf with about 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are shiny and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

    Recently Viewed

    Reviews and Ratings
    Global Ratings:

    Reviews in English (96)


    Best challah I've ever eaten. Very easy too! A few tips: don't mix dough in a metal bowl. When I do this, it doesn't rise as well. Not sure if it's because it dissipates the heat from the hot water and doesn't active the dough as well? Also, use "rapid rise" dry yeast, not just the regular dry active. And, if you 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe, err on the side of having more sugar, rather than less, so you're sure to get the yeast active. Also if you halve or quarter the recipe, add the flour in 1/2 cups at a time, rather than one cup at a time - it will be easier to work with. I have also found that you can actually allow the loaf to rise TOO much before baking - if this happens, the loaf will be flatter, and you wont get that impressive doming of a 6 braided loaf. An hour of rising time is plenty.  -  28 Dec 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This is phenomenal! I cut the serving size to 8 as I only needed one loaf. I also used my bread machine to mix the dough. The resulting dough was wonderful to work with and easy to braid. The finished bread has a light, airy texture and the crust has just the right amount of bite. This is truly amazing! Thanks for a great recipe! Update: I used the leftover bread to make the best French toast I've ever eaten! Delicious!  -  01 Jan 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    OUTSTANDING! We celebrated the Jewish New Year at a popular Jewish Deli called Herald's last Thursday evening with my husband's extended Jewish family. I am Episcopalian, so have been learning about the Jewish Holidays and foods over the past 10 years that I've been with my husband. My five year old tried Challah for the first time and liked it. This being the case, and also wanting to thank my in-laws for babysitting, I tried to attempt making Challah from scratch for my daughter to eat and to give a loaf to my in-laws. I have never worked with yeast before. I just followed the directions and it came out outrageously fantastic! The whole house smelled great, my in-laws and sister-in-law loved it and best of all, my five year old declared, "This is much better than it was at Herald's!"  -  13 Sep 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)