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Honey Wheat Challah recipe

Honey Wheat Challah recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Yeast bread

This is a wholemeal version of the classic Jewish, sweetened egg-enriched bread. It's relatively simple to make and the resulting bread is really yummy.

14 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 3 loaves

  • 2 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
  • 500ml warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 135g bread flour
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons honey or more to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 270g bread flour or more if needed
  • 360g wholemeal flour or more if needed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds

MethodPrep:35min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:2hr proofing › Ready in:3hr15min

  1. In a large bowl, mix yeast, warm water and 135g bread flour into a thin batter. Let stand until the mixture shows frothy bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in vegetable oil, honey, 3 eggs and salt until well combined. Beat in 270g of bread flour and the wholemeal flour, alternating flours, until the dough is too stiff to stir in more flour.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed to form a slightly sticky dough. 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 plastic bag and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough, knead it a few times to remove some of the bubbles and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Cut the first piece into 3 equal parts. Set the rest of the dough aside under a cloth to prevent drying out while you braid the first loaf.
  4. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 15cm 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 2 loaves, place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl and brush the egg mixture over the braided challah loaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are a deep golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack before slicing.

If you need to slow down the rising process, say, you make the dough on Wednesday evening, but want to bake it on Thursday evening, after you've placed the dough ball in the bowl, refrigerate it until Thursday morning. This should slow the yeast's growth so that you can leave it out on the kitchen surface until it's ready for the next stage in late afternoon or early evening.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(14)

Reviews in English (9)

by Lori

This bread was easy to make and very flexible in it's rising time which is nice! The only tip I have is begin braiding in the middle of thethe loaf and braid out to each end (I find it easier to make a good looking loaf this way!) My only complaint was that the bread was denser and heavier then I expected Challah to be but that is because of the whole wheat flour... I shouldn't have been surprised Thanks for adding a good whole wheat bread recipe that is pretty enough to grace any dinner table!-02 Dec 2009

by tamara

This is our favorite challah! I only made two other types before but once we found this recipe, well, it's always a winner. Sure, it's dense because of the wheat but it's SO tasty. I like to add some extra honey and sometimes add honey to the egg wash.-26 Jan 2011

by nina518200

Absolutely delicious and healthy too! I wouldn't change a thing. Makes great French toast and croutons, but trust me, it won't last that long. Thanks for sharing!-29 Jan 2011


Honey Whole Wheat Challah

Inside the Jewish Bakery can be purchased on the Inside The Jewish Bakery website, on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, or at your local bookseller.

Thank your for posting this recipe, Floyd!

It looks very nice challah!

First time I hear about it. how many challahs do you get? i' m a bit impressed by quantities. but perhaps in your family everyone's very hungry :-). Happy baking from Quito

To make a long story short, I burned the transmission out on my KA pro making bagles. :-( I would love to do this bread this weekend but is it possible to do with the french fold method and how would I change the process to account for the longer ferment times required by this method of kneeding.

I made this recipe, by hand(over a year ago, during the authors' test baking trials).

I don't recall it as being so tricky or sticky as needing to resort to "French folding", although that term may mean different things to different people. During the normal course of hand kneading though, I often do a few "slams and stretches" of the dough on the counter. If you think the dough is still not developed enough after 15 minutes or so of kneading, you can do a couple of additional "stretches and folds" at 20 min, and 40 min, during the bulk fermentation.

So actually, the directions mention hand kneading if one desires to do it that way. I do usually withold about half a cup of the (white)flour called for to use during the hand kneading.

My results pictured below:

mrfrost- Please let us know what type of braiding that you did for your challah, and is the challah pictured made from the full recipe or just half of the dough as the recipe specifies? It is truly impressive!! I have been inspired, and I have been making challah for years.

As stated, the version I made was from the test trials. It made only one loaf and called for virtually half of the ingredients listed above(looks like some very slight changes may have been made, not very significant though).

The braid is a 4 strand method. In the trial recipe, pretty detailed instructions are given on how to do it. Being far from an expert Challah maker and/or braider, I was still able to get something done there. As usual though, I'm sure I looked at several Youtube videos that looked close to what was being called for.

Thank you so much. I can't wait to try this, and then show some of my friends how to as well.

I've made challah quite a few times, but this is just breathtaking. Thank you for posting the pictures!

I'm ready for my book to get here! That's gorgeous.

At a pound and a half each, I would say that it would make a nice 6 strand challah (which looks really impressive and is pretty easy IMO). The 4 strand looks really nice though. I can't wait to hear reviews on this book. I like how the instructions are given very precisely and are easy to understand. Do all the recipes have oz, gr, and baker's percentage (as well as volume. lol at 1/2 an egg)? I hope so as that is so helpful.

Well, had my first baking weekend of the season. I had planned on doing a tripple batch of Potato Rosemary Bread from BA and the honey whole wheat Challa from here. The Potato Rosemary bread came out great but the Challah, not so much. Right from the start it was very stiff. I am one of those people who follow the directions closley the first time to see what the result will be without making adjustments. In this case the dough never relaxed. It is supposed to bulk ferment for 60 minutes or untill doubled, in my case it took 3 hours to double. ( I bulk ferment in my proofing bucket with a lid. I set the dough outside on my patio where the temp yesterday was about 85 degrees) While dividing them into the balls they were so dry that they wouldnt even stick to themselves. It was more the consistancy of playdough than bread dough. Needless to say when I went to make the strands for the braid there was no elasticity. The strands would just tear once they got past about 8 inches in length. I am going to try it again this weekend but I am going to have an extra cup of water on hand during the mixing to make sure the hydration is high enough to actually get some streach in the bread this time.

I agree. I had to add quite a bit of water to get a proper dough consistency. Result was excellent! Although my braids looked horrible, it tasted pretty good.


Honey Wheat Challah

For those that can tolerate wheat in their diets, this recipe has honey, whole wheat flour, and flax seeds. Anything honey-baked in the kitchen sounds and smells instantly gratifying. After several attempts in baking challah, I have realized that recipes sometimes do not specify the type of yeast to use. Generally speaking, it is common to buy nutritional yeast especially from Trader Joe’s. However, this is not active yeast nor fast yeast for baking. This non-active item has a wild variety of nutrients and vitamins – it is “very B vitamin-ful” …. (See number 6!) and is best used as a thickener in soups and as a dry cheese-grainy flavor add on into salads. Super yummy! See below the recommended yeast for challah!

Check out below tips in the image slideshow as well as these links.

  • Final Products!
  • Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast with Salt… Most important ingredient.
  • Mix and mix, either with a handheld blender or manual or in between.
  • Keep kneading the dough about 10-15 times, until it becomes one mass all intact.
  • Final shape.
  • Place and ready for 1st rise with a damp paper towel for 4 hours.
  • Could not believe how fast the dough was expanding. It is SO much fun watching the dough rise and rise. What such chemistry!
  • So much activating in the first rise. This dough is rising higher than the ledge of the mixing bowl.
  • Need to punch once in between the 4 hours of 1st rise to let some of the air bubbles out or else it will just explode! You want to keep the puffiness inside, evenly.
  • And we rise again.
  • Braid work begins after you break the dough into three balls with a dough slicer or knife. pull the strands and weave them gently up and down to distribute the weight throughout. Can easily rub each one in between your hands.
  • 2 whole eggs with a pinch of salt with honey.
  • Egg wash apply. Seed apply.
  • 2nd rise, covered with moist paper towel or in a plastic container with lid. For about an hour or so.
  • And we stare through the oven light.
  • Challah needs to reach temperatures between 170 to 190.

Honey Wheat Challah

This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over and tips from the cookbook A Taste of Challah by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads. Ruth also suggested we check out The Challah Blog featuring challahs like stuffed pizza challah, nutella challah, and pumpkin challah.

I was super pumped to participate in a challah challenge (should that be called a challahenge?) because I love bread, and for whatever reason, I’ve been thinking about challah all year. The bread must have been something I considered tackling as part of a baking resolution, but I never got around to it until now.

As someone raised in the Methodist church, the only thing I knew of challah was it is a braided bread associated with Jewish tradition. Ruth’s instructions informed the Daring Bakers that challah refers not to bread, but to the portion of the bread that, in the days of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, was set aside as an offering to the high priests. The braid symbolizes the coming together of separate pieces into one combined entity, like the everyday and the holy, and the coming together of family and friends.

It wasn’t until I was in graduate school studying for my social work degree that I really started to consider the privileges I enjoyed in society simply because my faith celebrated Christmas and Easter. A classmate who was vocal about her Jewish faith made it clear those of the Christian faith had an unfair advantage in the workplace because employers recognized Christian holidays like Christmas and Good Friday, but not Jewish holidays like Chanukah or Passover. I will always remember her discussing how she felt it unfair she had to take a day off for Christmas, a holiday that held no meaning for her, yet she had to use her vacation time for Yom Kippur. I am grateful that hearing her story allowed me to consider the structures I had always known in a different light.

I made a traditional three-strand braid and a four-strand braided round. Ruth explained round challah is traditionally used on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) as an example of the cycle of life and the cycle of the year. I needed no help with the three-strand braid, but I found the video Ruth shared about how to make a four-strand braided round invaluable.

Although non-practicing, my friend Jenn is of the Jewish faith. It just so happened Jenn recently celebrated her birthday, so I gave her the braided round to enjoy for her new year. It made my day to receive her verdict, “The Challah is delicious!” Indeed.


Honey Whole-Wheat Challah (2 large or 3 medium loaves)by Gil Marks

As reported by Beverly Levitt in 2010 in Triblive, Gil's piece d'resistance for the High Holidays is his Whole Wheat Challah, which leaves out the eggs and extra fat, using whole wheat, and honey to provide moisture.

2 (1/4-ounce) packages (about 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast or 1-ounce cake (35 grams) fresh yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees for dry yeast 80 to 85 degrees for fresh yeast)
1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon table salt or 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
About 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Optional: 1 cup raisins or dried currants (or 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or dates)

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water. Stir in 1 teaspoon honey and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Blend in the remaining water, remaining honey, oil, salt, and whole-wheat flour. Add enough white flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a workable dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and springy, 10 to 15 minutes. (Lightly oiling your hands before kneading makes whole-wheat dough more manageable.) Knead in the optional fruit.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough. Divide in half or thirds. Shape into rounds, spirals, or crowns and place on greased baking sheets. Cover loosely and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool.


Whole Wheat Honey Apple Challah Bread

This is a great fall treat! Moist, velvety, rich just like a challah should be! Plus it is 100% whole wheat!

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cups Water
  • ⅓ cups Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ cups Honey
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • 4-¼ cups Whole Wheat White Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2-¼ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 whole Medium Apples (for The Filling)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (for The Apple Filling)
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon (for The Apple Filling)
  • 1 whole Egg For The Egg Wash

Preparation

First make your dough. I used my bread machine for this part of the process. If you have a bread machine it makes it very, very easy. To do this is a bread machine, put the ingredients into the bread machine bowl, in the following order: water, vegetable oil, honey, eggs (2 whole eggs plus 1 yolk), salt, flour, vital wheat gluten, and yeast. Then set the machine on the dough setting and wait for the cycle to complete (about 1.25 hours on my machine). This will also take care of the first rise for you.

If you are not using a machine, whisk yeast and 1 teaspoon honey into 2/3 cup warm water and let stand until foamy, a few minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast mixture, oil, remaining honey (1/3 cup), eggs and yolk. Switch to dough hook and add 4 1/4 cups flour, wheat gluten and salt. Use dough hook on a moderate speed until it pulls all of the flour and wet ingredients together into a craggy mass. Lower the speed and let the dough hook knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth, elastic and a little sticky. Transfer dough to a large oil-coated bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.

Once the dough is ready, mix your apples, lemon juice and cinnamon together in a small bowl and toss to mix.

Then lightly flour your counter or board and roll out your dough into an oval shape. Then add 2/3 of your apples to one side (one half) of your oval.

Fold the empty half of the dough over the apples then top 1/2 of that layer with the remaining apples. Then fold the ‘empty’ half over the second layer of apples.

You will have a triangle looking shape when you are done. Gently reshape the mound by tucking in the corners to make a round shape (don’t worry about making it perfect). Then cover it with a bowl (leave the round on your counter or board) and let it sit for another 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, divide your round into four portions. Don’t worry if any apples fall out, just press them back into the dough (gently).

Take each of the portions and gently form a long shape. Then gently roll it on the counter to form a 12″ long rope. Again, don’t worry if any apples fall out, just press them back in and reshape your dough.

Take your four ropes and lay them in a pound symbol (#) shape (laying two ropes out horizontally and the other two vertically) but as you are doing this weave each rope under the other. Do this on the baking sheet that you will cook the loaf on, lined with parchment paper.

Take the ends of your ropes and cross them over the rope directly next to it. Then take the ends of that cross and fold it around the outside of the loaf (you are kind of just tying everything into a round knot).

Make your egg wash by whisking an egg until it is completely broken into itself. Then using a pastry brush, brush it onto your loaf. Keep the leftover egg wash in the fridge as you will use it again.

Then, recover your loaf with the bowl and let it rise again for 1 hour.

Make sure you pre-heat your oven 45 minutes into the final rise to 375 degrees F so that the oven is ready when your loaf is ready to bake. Once the hour of rising is complete, reapply the egg wash to the loaf and then bake it at 375F for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on your loaf because it may brown too quickly. If it does start to brown to quickly, cover it with aluminum foil until the baking time is complete.

Make sure to let your loaf cool for 10-15 minutes after baking or it will be extremely hot and may fall apart a little. This bread is absolutely divine with a little butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The apples and the honey are the perfect amount of sweetness to make this bread slightly sweet which also make this a moist and velvety bread…you have to try this one!


Honey Whole Wheat Challah

Challah, the delicious and beautiful braided bread traditionally served at the Friday night Jewish Sabbath meal, is made with the addition of whole wheat, and sweetened with honey. This slow-rise recipe is designed for flexibility, so split-second timing isn’t necessary. This is a wonderful bread for a first-time breadmaker. Braid with a 3 or 4-strand braid, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Original recipe makes 3 loaves

Ingredients

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 cup bread flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey, or more to taste
3 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bread flour, or more if needed
3 cups whole wheat flour, or more if needed

1 egg
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix yeast, warm water and 1 cup of bread flour into a thin batter, and let stand until the mixture shows frothy bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in vegetable oil, honey, 3 eggs, and salt until well combined. Beat in 2 more cups of bread flour and the whole wheat flour, alternating flours by cupfuls, until the dough is too stiff to stir in more flour.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed to form a slightly sticky dough. 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 plastic bag, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough, knead it a few times to remove some of the bubbles, and cut it into 3 equal-sized pieces. Cut the first piece into 3 equal parts. Set the rest of the dough aside under a cloth to prevent drying out while you braid the first loaf.
  4. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches 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 2 loaves, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl, and brush the egg mixture over the braided challah loaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are a deep golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 234 kcal
Carbohydrates: 37 g
Cholesterol: 47 mg
Fat: 6.9 g
Fiber: 3.3 g
Protein: 7.4 g
Sodium: 277 mg


Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah Recipe

From the day I started this blog, there’s one recipe that I’ve gotten request after request after request for. And somehow, the time never came to share said recipe. Until today.

Let me back-track. When I’m dieting carefully, one of the things I avoid completely is white flour, which means that I’ve eaten a whole lot of whole wheat bread over the years. After trying numerous kinds, I discovered that most whole wheat bread falls into one of two categories: either it’s not very whole (i.e. mostly white flour and/or loads of sugar) or it’s just…not that good. My quest for 100% whole wheat bread, especially challah, that tastes great and has a great texture led me to start baking my own bread, which in turn, helped me come up with this: The Ultimate Whole Wheat Challah Recipe. And today, I’ve partnered with Red Star Yeast to bring you this recipe, just in time for Rosh Hashanah and the rest of the holidays.

Here’s the thing about whole wheat challah: it’s often heavy. So instead of letting that bug me, I decided to embrace it, and created a slightly-heavy, almost-cakey, and absolutely delicious challah recipe, that’s super crusty on the outside. If you’re intimidated by making challah and other yeast-based treats, make sure to start with good quality yeast, which will help ensure success. I love Red Star Yeast, and use it in my own challah to get the best, fluffiest dough possible.

I often make whole wheat challah for myself (let the rest of the family eat white challah – I’m not so good at sharing!) in small loaves or even rolls, but when you find the whole family asking for your whole wheat challah, you’ll want to make big loaves instead. Either way, this challah is amazing. Life changing, even. I know you’re going to love it!


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 6 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, plus more for bowl and pans
  • 2 tablespoons soy oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat honey
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg white

In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 4 teaspoons sugar let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together boiling water, margarine, soy oil, salt, honey, and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar until mixture becomes lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Add 5 cups flour and wheat germ mix until combined. Continue adding enough of the remaining cup of flour until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto work surface knead until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes, dusting work surface lightly with flour if dough begins to stick.

Coat the interior of a large bowl with margarine transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, coat the interior of two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans with margarine set aside.

Turn dough out onto work surface and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, divide into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18-inch long rope. Braid ropes and transfer to one of the prepared pans, fitting into circle. Repeat process with remaining half or use remaining half to make a Cinnamon-Raisin Challah loaf (see next step).

Place currants in medium bowl add enough boiling water to cover, and set aside. Form remaining piece of dough into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Brush with egg. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar sprinkle over dough. Drain currants and sprinkle over cinnamon-sugar mixture cover with wax paper. Using a rolling pin, gently press cinnamon-sugar mixture and currants into dough. Remove wax paper and roll dough lengthwise, like a jelly roll. Shape roll into a round and transfer to remaining prepared pan. Using clean kitchen scissors, snip six 3/4-inch deep incisions around top of roll.

Let stand until dough is puffed and has risen above the edges of the pans, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water for challah or remaining tablespoon sugar and egg white for the cinnamon-raisin challah. Brush tops of loaves with egg mixture. Transfer to oven and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.