Honey Challah with assorted Toppings

Written by chanie on October 5th, 2011

Of course I had wanted to get this post up before Rosh Hashanah, but it wasn’t meant to be. Still, most people continue to eat sweet round challah until after Succos, so I’m sure this recipe will prove useful (and there’s always next year!).

My sister-in-law Ruti used to make challah each and every Shabbos. She was always looking for new recipes, so I bought her Tamar Ansh’s challah book. After trying many different recipes, she came up with her own variation and it’s been my go-to recipe ever since! I truly believe that delicious challah is a result of the love you put into it. If you just dump the ingredients into a bowl and mix it, the challa with turn out dense and heavy. For soft and fluffy challa, you need to take the care to sift the flour and knead the dough. I don’t have a bread machine, so I make my challah by hand. For me, it’s a labor of love. I’m happy to share Ruti’s recipe with you, but keep in mind that your altitude, humidity, and other factors all affect the dough.

Personally, when it comes to challah, I want to taste purely the bread. I don’t mind something sprinkled over the top, but I don’t play around with the dough. However, if you’d like to experiment, here are some filling ideas to mix into the dough before braiding:

– craisins and orange zest
– garlic and rosemary or sage
– raw or caramelized onions & poppy seeds
– fresh fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries)
– dried fruit (apricots, figs)
– raisins and nuts
– chocolate chips
– olives
– oats


– honey (see below)
– maple syrup (see below)
– sprinkles or nonpareils
– brown sugar
– cinnamon-sugar
– sweet crumbs (see recipe below)
– za’atar
– sesame seeds
– poppy seeds
– minced onion flakes
– minced garlic flakes
– “everything” (my favorite!) : sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, minced garlic, coarse salt

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24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Laura says:

    Wow . . . great ideas! So many possibilities . . .

  2. joe says:

    Love these toppings.. They are so so YUMMY! Thank you

  3. Rivki Locker says:

    What marvelous ideas. Shana tova!

  4. Julie says:

    This made some of the best challah I’ve ever eaten – am using this recipe from here on out. Thank you!

  5. Elana K says:

    Hi, Challah recipe sounds great – just to be clear, how many cups of flour should I use? (I’m in Israel, flour comes in 1 kilo bags.)

  6. Elana K says:

    Thanks! I just made it this morning – and braided it like this: http://kosheronabudget.com/how-to-braid-a-round-challah-for-rosh-hashana/ – can’t wait to try it

  7. Shuli says:

    Just made my challah for yom tov using your sweet crumbs…. Haven!
    It smells so good I am praying it will still be around for yom tov! self control….

  8. Michal says:

    Did you ever try this with whole wheat? Is it good?

  9. Melissa says:

    Just to verify… The crumb topping goes in before baking?

  10. Micah says:

    Does it freeze well even with the crumb topping?

  11. Yafit H says:

    Hi, can I use dry yeast for this recipe and if so how much? Thanks and Shana Tovah!

  12. Michelle says:

    Good morning…shana Tova….quick question…I am making the dough now and would like to bake a loaf today and then another tomorrow and the next day…..should I refrigerate the dough after the first rising or do you suggest a better time?

    • chanie says:

      I freeze this challah very successfully so if I were you, I would make everything now and freeze the extra. Take it out of the freezer a few hours before serving and warm in the oven.

  13. shaina says:

    This challah looks delicious! Did anyone try making this with instant dry yeast? Tips? I can’t find rapid rise in stores here in Israel.

  14. Looks great! If you’re ever in San Francisco, please stop in and try out our Challah for Rosh Hashanah. shana tova!

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