How to Braid a 5-Strand Challah

How to Braid a 5-Strand ChallahA couple of weeks ago, I shared this picture of my five-strand challah, all braided and ready to go into the oven. I braid five strands every week for Shabbat – one strand for each member of my family.

A few of you asked for instructions and I promised to make a quick video of me braiding the challah, since sometimes its easier to do something after watching someone else do it, rather than just reading an explanation (over, under, over, under from right to left).

Yesterday, I got out my iPhone to video myself (which is harder than you might think!) braiding our challah when my six year old daughter squealed, “I want to do it! I want to do it!”

I thought I was just humoring her, but it turned out so cute – and so good! – that I just had to share. And hey — you know that if a six-year old can do it, it really is as simple as I promised you.

The only thing I do differently than my daughter is I don’t pinch the tops of the challah at the beginning. I leave them open/loose and then I reverse the order (from left to right – under, over, under, over, under) to get the last few bits braided.

If you have any questions after watching this, please let me know in the comments – I’m happy to try to help you out!

Also, for those who have asked, I make my dough in the bread maker every week (actually, my husband makes the dough – I just take it out and braid it and bake it. Easier than going to the store – and much less expensive!)

bread maker challah

Personal note from a mom: I very rarely share photos – and have never shared videos – of my kids on the blog. I like to protect their privacy (even though they think their mom having a blog is totally cool and want me to feature them more often!). I’m a bit nervous to be sharing her in such a public way, so please be kind and don’t anybody turn into a stalker.

How to Braid a 5-Strand Challah


  1. I’m not Jewish but love your blog! Can’t wait to try this! Your daughter is adorable! Please tell her I appreciate the lesson! If it turns out I’ll give it to my best friend who is Jewish (though not Kosher). Thank you!!

  2. Thanks for sharing. She’s adorable! Will have to try this next Shabbat. I still use/love your round challah method.

  3. Beyond impressed with her braiding!!! Yay Mara’s daughter!

  4. Sooo adorable!! I can’t even handle the cuteness! Plus she is a real pro!

  5. She got so big! I can’t stand how cute she is! Good job on the braiding too!
    We miss you all!!

  6. Such a wonderful video, and a great kid. You must be very proud of her.


  7. So cute! And she is a real expert 🙂

  8. Wow, I’m impressed! Time to teach my kids (and myself) how to make challah!

  9. Rachael Smolow says

    Since my 4 year old is on summer vacation, we’re not getting challah from the nursery school each week. I decided to bake since my in-laws are coming over for dinner. I just followed your beautiful daughter’s instructions for braiding! Thanks!
    Shabbat Shalom! xoxo

  10. Helen Shapiro says

    I have just read this and watched the video. I love the way your daughter explained how to do a 5 strand braid. She made it all so clear. There is nothing like a child to explain something that could look so difficult and complicated. Thank you for sharing the video and you are right, better to keep the kids pictures off the internet but aren’t we lucky to have this video?

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