Egg Yolk Bread Machine Challah

If you’re new to Kosher on a Budget, every week I pick a different theme or topic, and share one of my frugal recipes, and ask my readers to do this same. It’s great fun – kind of like a virtual Sisterhood cookbook!

You may recall an earlier challah-themed exchange, when I shared my Rosh Hashana apple challah. It’s very sweet and delicious, but definitely a once-a-year kind of endeavor.

This week, I wanted to reprise the challah theme in order to share our regular Shabbat challah recipe. And by “our”, I should clarify that I really mean my husband.

When we moved back to the United States in 2008, I had serious sticker shock at the price of challah at the grocery store. We’re talking over $5 a loaf! We quickly calculated that at a minimum for lechem mishneh, we’d need three challot – which would be $60 a month in challah alone. $60!!!!

Clearly, we were going to need to make our own. But I seriously could not imagine taking on the task. My husband graciously stepped up to the plate and did some experimenting before settling in on this amazing recipe.

He gets compliments on it all the time. It is sweet and doughy, rich and moist … and mmmm, just delectable!

I know everyone is partial to their own recipe, and I can’t wait to read about your favorite challah recipes, too. But really, if you ever want to change things up, please try Frankie’s bread machine challah. It’s Kansas City-renowned!


I can’t wait to hear about your favorite challah. Please eave your recipes in the comments section below.

Shabbat Shalom!


  1. I like the Whole Wheat Challah from Aish (scroll mid page)

    it always comes out really great. It takes a bit of extra time with this method, but i think it is worth it. i have used spelt and rye flour mixes with good results too.

  2. I found this same recipe online and quickly became a fan. If I make the challah early enough the boys get egg whites for breakfast or we make a Duncan Heinz brownies with the egg whites for dessert on Shabbos.

  3. I love the use of egg yolks in your husband’s recipe. I can imagine how beautiful the color of the challahs must be.

    What is the Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets thing I have to use to submit a recipe?

    • Julie – you can either leave a comment with your recipe, or, if you have a blog, you can link up to the page on your blog where you have posted your challah recipe (or challah braiding instructions…. or anything about challah!) It’s a way to help KOAB readers learn about other blogs that might be new to them. And for us bloggers to showcase our best work!

      • Okay. I was confused. I am blog-free, and I wondered if I wasn’t allowed to leave a recipe. Glad to know I can just leave it in the comment section. Now I have to figure out where that recipe is…

  4. Elana Gotkine says

    Here is my breadmaker challa recipe. It is not a very sweet challah, but always goes down well. I make it with 70% whole wheat flour.
    Here is the recipe:
    4 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2-2 tsp salt
    1 tbsp yeast
    1 cup lukewarm water
    1 egg
    ~1/3 cup oil (see method for details)
    Egg white
    Sesame seeds/poppy seeds

    Put the water into a measuring jug. It needs to be lukewarm. Put the egg into the measuring jug. Pour in oil until it reaches just below 400ml (14fl oz). Mix together well and pour into your bread machine.

    Add in the flour, then the salt, sugar and yeast as directed in your manufacturer’s guidelines. Put onto dough program. At the end, remove the dough and punch down. Divide into 6 pieces. Braid 3 pieces at a time to form 2 large challot. Or you can use it to make challah rolls, or 3 smaller challot.Transfer the braided dough to a warm place. Allow to prove for 30minutes-1hour. Brush the challahs with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Heat the oven to 180C (350F), I find these challot bake very quickly (10-20minutes), but we like them pale. Bake until they are golden brown, or as brown as you like. Remove to a cooling rack.
    These challot freeze very well.

    I prove my challot in the oven set to the lowest teperature (~50C). Then I turn the oven up to 180 and leave the challah in. This allows the dough to rise even more. Check the challah – it can go from not done to overdone very quickly.

  5. Here is one recipe I have been using. It is pretty good. I sometimes us part white whole wheat flour and it turns out good.

    Best Challah (Egg Bread)
    Adapted from Joan Nathan

    The secrets to good challah are simple: Use two coats of egg wash to get that laquer-like crust and don’t overbake it. Joan Nathan, who this recipe is adapted from, adds that three risings always makes for the tastiest loaves, even better if one of them is slowed down in the fridge.

    Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
    Yield: 2 loaves

    1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
    1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
    5 large eggs
    1 tablespoon salt
    8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup raisins per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained
    Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.

    1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

    2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

    3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

    4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

    5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

    6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

    7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.

    Note: Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.

    • Do the three risings make it lighter? I like Joan Nathan, so I might try this recipe at some point! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Is there a non-bread machine version of your challah recipe? I don’t have a bread machine but would love to try to make it!

    • Laura – I am pretty sure that the original recipe on ‘Zaar was adapted to use in the KitchenAid, but we unadapted it for the bread machine. Let me ask my husband, as this is really his domain!

    • Lovely post, Leigh Ann. I so like the idea of braiding with a strand for each member of your household – like lighting a candle for each of us. Hmmmm, I may have to adopt that, too! Your loaves are beautiful and golden.

  7. We started making our own Challah when we realized how easy it was so we asked my in-laws for a bread maker for our anniversary 3 years ago and have been making Challah ever since! We also make great loaves of bread too.

    Our recipe comes from our good friends in Toronto.

    1 cup warm water
    4 tablespoons of oil
    1 egg
    1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast

    put everything into the bread maker in that order

    after done – make into loaves and let rise another 30 minutes or so

    bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. optional – egg wash and sesame seeds

    we make two medium size challot from eah loaf of dough

    one dough is regular and one dough is whole wheat. for the whole wheat we use 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups of bread flour – we found it was too dense any other way

    happy challah baking!

    • The dough was extremely sticky ; it needed about 3/4 cup more flour. I wonder if the flour should have specified bread flour?

  8. Don’t know if you’ll get this today, but I thought I’d try. We decided to try your recipe for Shabbat tonight, does the dough tend to be on the sticky side? I’ve added extra flour, but it’s still quite sticky. I’m wondering if I need more flour or if it’s just a sticky dough. Thanks, Danielle

  9. Egg whites are good fried and put into a tortilla with salsa and cheese in a Mexican Juevos Rancheros type dish.

  10. I don’t have a bread machine but I’m thinking of investing in one…any advice?

  11. For those interested in less eggs, oil, and sugar in their challah- this is the recipe I use almost weekly in the breadmachine.

    1 egg + 1 cup 1tbs water mixed
    2 tbs sugar (sometimes I add honey too)
    3 tbs vegetable oil (canola)
    3 1/4 cups of flour
    1.5 tsp salt
    1 individual package of yeast

    after it rises in breadmachine, i braid it, let it rise, brush with egg yolk/water mixture, and then bake on 375 degrees 25-30 mins depending on size of challah.

  12. i actually made the susie fishbein recipe yesterday and it was horrible. after adding a ton more flour and still it not being workable, i just had to bake the bread in the machine. it was way too sticky, the proportion of liquid to flour was way off. i’ll try one of these other recipes though.

    • Oh no – I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. Over the years, I’ve actually taken on the task of making our challot, and I have realized that I need to use 5.5 cups of flour, rather than 4 1/4 cups, as my husband was using. That way it’s still a wetter dough, but not so much that you can ‘t handle it. We also switched to making it in the kitchenaid. I added those instructions above.

      I have been told that altitude and humidity can play a real role in how sticky the bread turns out.

  13. I have found this bread machine challah recipe works very well, so I wanted to share it with you and your readers:

  14. Mary Ruth Andrews says

    Dear Mara,
    I just purchased my first bread machine, the Cuisinart that was on KOAB a couple of weeks ago. I used your latest recipe, and the Cuisinart book says to use no more than 5 cups of flour in a recipe. It was so sticky it was unworkable, and I had to add quite a quantity of flour before I could braid it. I was wondering should I decrease the water amount? Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, and Shabbat Shalom!

    • Mara Strom says

      I’d definitely adjust the water down, since you’re using flour… but you may need to adjust the eggs, too. If it’s a 2 lb loaf, I’m surprised you can use 5.5 cups. You may want to “risk” it.

      My dough is usually a “little” sticky – I sprinkle my counter with flour to punch it down. If its crazy sticky, tho, then definitely adjust the recipe.

  15. could this recipe be successfully halved? Thank you

    • Mara Strom says

      In theory, yes, but the dough doesn’t do as well when it’s only half of a 2-pound mix. Maybe freeze half?


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