Pumpkin and Olive Oil Challah – Thanksgivukkah Link up

thanksgivukkah challahThis year, Thanksgiving and Chanukah (or Hanukkah) fall at the same time. Everybody is really excited about Thanksgivukkuh, and we’re no different. Apparently, the two holidays won’t coincide for another 70,000 years or something! Of course Jewish Americans everywhere are eager to celebrate! 

There are two foods that we traditionally eat on Chanukah – latkes and jelly doughnuts. We eat them because of the oil. Now I knew people would be making plain old pumpkin latkes and pumpkin doughnuts, and wanted to think of something different. What better than celebrating the day after your Thanksgiving feast with a festive challah? Pumpkin is everywhere this season, and now it’s officially in your challah. I added olive oil, too, instead of a neutral oil, because that’s the oil that burned for eight days instead of only one, and the type of oil you have to use for your oil-burning chanukiah (chanukah menorah).

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So, happy Thanksgivukkah, everyone! And I hope you use this challah to impress all your friends either at your feast or the next night for a special shabbat treat.

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Pumpkin Olive Oil Challah


  • 2 packets yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 7-8 cups flour
  • About 2 additional cups flour to knead


1. Prep the yeast: Add sugar and yeast to lukewarm (110 degree) water and wait for the yeast to bubble.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, olive oil, salt, and water. Mix well.

3. Slowly add the 6 cups of flour until the dough comes together into a ball.

4. Knead on the counter, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch.

5. Allow dough to rise in a lightly oiled bowl until it doubles in size.

6. Punch down dough and shape your loaves. I made two big braids and two small rolls. You can probably make three average sized challahs with this recipe, four small ones, or two giant ones.

7. Either brush with an egg wash (since this is an eggless challah I skipped this) or drizzle with some olive oil.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, really it depends on the size of your loaves. You’ll know they’re ready when the bottoms are golden brown and they sound hollow when you knock on the top.

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Stay tuned for an amazing dessert recipe with some of the leftovers…