After many years of finding challah recipes from books, cookbooks, and online, I finally found the best recipe. My cousin Sally gave it to me a while ago, but I was skeptical to use a recipe that used an entire 5-pound bag of flour. It was worth it; everyone at the shabbat table loved it, and there were no leftovers.

  • 5-pound bag of flour
  • 3 tablespoons salt (i always use kosher salt)
  • 2 cups warm water + 2-1/4 cups
  • 3 packages of yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg+splash of water for eggwash
  1. Mix one bag of flour with 3 tablespoons of salt (do NOT use sour salt, as my mom once did, and ruined the entire batch)
  2. in a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of warm water, 3 packages of yeast, and 2 tablespoons of sugar – mix and let bubble
  3. In the flour mixture, add 2 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of oil, 2-1/4 cups warm water and the yeast mixture. Mix and then knead well, for 8-10 minutes. I kneaded the dough by hand, but you can use a stand mixer (ours came the next day). Shape into a ball and cover with oil, let it rise for 1-1/2 hours in a warm place.
  4. Punch down the dough and shape it, then let it rise another 1/2 hour – hour. Brush with eggwash and bake for 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  5. I like to braid my challah in 6-strand braids, i think it looks the prettiest. shaping the dough like this definitely takes a lot of practice. I found a lot of written directions on how to do it when i first wanted to learn, but couldn’t follow any of them. I finally figured it out by watching this video.

This recipe makes a LOT of challah, so it’s a good thing it freezes well. let cool completely, wrap in paper and wrap that with tinfoil, then freeze. Take one out every week, defrost, and warm in the oven (350 degrees for about 1o minutes), and you have a fresh challah for the dinner table. Challah makes the best french toast bread, so make extra large loaves for some sunday morning breakfast.

  • Evelyn

    You’ve enticed me to try challah for the first time. I’ll let you know how it goes (if i do it).

  • jess

    definitely try it! it’s pretty easy, just takes a while.

    • Evelyn

      I did it! Everyone loved it but I did notice that the best one was the first one I braided since that one sat to rise for longer. I also made chocolate babka out of it. SOOOO good. If you ever want that recipe, lemme know

  • steph

    Glad to hear that!
    We just made chocolate babka (just made, as in I just took it out of the oven), but we didn’t use challah dough. We’ll let you know how it turned out after we eat it.

  • Shani

    when u say 3 packages yeast, do u mean 1 packet of the active dry yeast which has 3 in it?

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  • How many challah does 5 lbs of flour make?

    • about six, depending on how big or small you make them.

  • How many challah does 5 lbs of flour make?

    • about six, depending on how big or small you make them.

      • blanco

        Exactly – one 3-pack of active dry yeast.

  • Lana684

    what is the equivalent of 3 packages of yeast in tsp or tbsp?

    • jessica

      each packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons

    • jessica matthews

      each packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons