Braided Challah Bread

By Chef Chaminda Hiwandadra

This recipe of baked, braided perfection can be enjoyed on the Sabbath, or any other day…

2 hr prep time

3 hr cook time

Serves 12

Why we like it

Although it’s traditionally served on the Sabbath, as well as during other Jewish celebrations, the special joy of tearing into a freshly baked challah can be enjoyed by anyone any day of the year.

What truly sets challah apart from countless other breads is its egg-enriched dough, often braided into intricate designs, then baked to a beautiful golden crust.

The combination of richness, tenderness, and sweetness also makes challah an ideal choice for French toast and many of your favourite sandwiches.


12 servings

Preparation Notes

It is a long-standing Jewish custom to braid a challah, and that its signature braids (which look like arms) are intended to symbolize love and unity.

Some challahs are made with three, four, six, or even more braids, and to the novice baker, this task can be intimidating.

To keep this recipe simple, we've opted for a four-strand braid, but if this is your first challah making attempt, we highly suggest watching the 'Making The Recipe' video below for guidance...

Making the recipe

  1. Step 1


    • In a stand mixer, combine the flour, egg, milk, butter, salt, yeast, and sugar.
    • Using the dough hook attachment, mix on a low speed for 4 minutes to combine, then on higher speed for another 4-6 minutes to build up the gluten.
    Next step
  2. Step 2


    • Remove mixture from the mixing bowl, then divide into 4 even portions.
    • Roll each portion into a ball and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
    Next step
  3. Step 3


    • Shape each dough ball into a rope about 10-12 inches long.
    • Line one baking sheet with damp paper towel, and another sheet filled with sesame seeds.
    • Dampen each dough rope by rolling onto the paper towel, then roll over the sesame seeds until completely covered.
    Next step
  4. Step 4


    • Arrange the dough ropes into an ‘X’ shape, similar to a compass, with the ends of each rope connected in the centre. With damp fingertips, pinch the connecting ends together to attach.
    • Start by crossing the ends of both the ‘north’ and ‘south’ ropes so that they point in opposite directions.
    • Repeat the same action with ‘east’ and ‘west’ ropes.
    • Continue braiding each set of ropes across each other until the entire loaf is braided.
    • Pinch the ends of the loaf together and tuck them underneath to seal the seams. Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof at room temperature, until the challah has doubled in size, between 1.5–2 hours.
    Next step
  5. Step 5


    • Pre-heat over to 375ºC.
    • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the crust has turned a dark golden brown.
    • Place on a wire rack to cool before serving.