The Shabbat Project: Challah

Sydney: #KeepingItTogether

This recipe first appeared in Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood (2011) and we are so excited to be sharing this recipe with over 2000 women on 23rd October at the massive challah bake in Sydney, Australia for the Shabbat Project 2014!

Chanie Wolff, the Rebbetzin from Central Synagogue, Sydney, was kind enough to share her mother in law Sonia’s much loved recipe: “Baking your own challah on a Friday is a special mitzvah (spiritual good deed) for Jewish women. I double the recipe and, before plaiting, remove a small piece of the dough and say this blessing, ‘Baruch ata adonai, elohaynu melech ha’olam asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu al afrashat chala.’ This is symbolic of the days of the temple and brings blessing to the home and family.”

The Shabbat Project: Challah

Challah from heaven, via Sydney, Australia.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Sides and Starters
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 2 loafs


  • 1 Kg Plain (All purpose) Flour (6 2/3 cups) plus 1/2 cup extra
  • 500 ml warm water (2 cups)
  • 6 teaspoons dried yeast (18 g or 3 sachets)
  • 170 grams Caster (Superfine) Sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 125 ml vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg beaten, for glazing
  • poppy or sesame seeds


  • Put 1 kg of the flour in a large bowl. Make a large well in the flour and add the warm water. Add the yeast and 1⁄2 cup of the sugar, stirring the yeast and water in the well until combined. Set aside for 15 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
  • Add the salt and remaining sugar to the well and mix. Wait another 5–10 minutes for the mixture to foam again.
  • Add the eggs and oil and mix with a wooden spoon. Gradually incorporate the flour in the bowl into the egg mixture in the well. Once combined, tip onto a floured surface and knead. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add the extra flour. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough, adding a little more flour if needed.
  • Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Set aside in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in bulk (2–3 hours).
  • When the dough has risen, divide it into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a plaited loaf (see below).
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the loaves on a lined baking tray and allow them to rise for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  • Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seeds. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden in colour. Remove from the tray and allow to cool. Makes 2 challahs.
  • Three-strand challah: The simplest way to plait a challah is to divide the dough into three long strands. Pinch them together at the end and plait as you would plait hair. Pinch together the other end to join and tuck under. See below for instructions to plait a six strand challah.


Six-strand challah:
To start, pinch the six strands together at the top and tuck under.
Take the two outside strands and (starting with the left) cross them to the opposite side.
Take the first from the right and place it in the middle.

Then start the mantra:
Second from the left across
First from the left to the middle
Second from the right across
First from the right to the middle

Repeat until the plait is finished.
Pinch the ends of the strands together and tuck under.

Check out the full braiding video here:



Want to see the #UltimateShabbatLunch video? It’s right here.

Want to see the #UltimateShabbatLunch video and recipes on one page? Click right here.

#UltimateShabbatLunch: Egg and Onion recipe

#UltimateShabbatLunch: Cholent recipe

#UltimateShabbatLunch: Cinnamon Apple Pie recipe

#UltimateShabbatLunch: Shopping List and Prep Sheet

Did you love this recipe? This recipe was first published in “Monday Morning Cooking Club” .

Check out our latest collection of recipes in “The Feast Goes On”.

Did you love this post? Want to keep up with the Monday Morning Cooking Club girls? Click here![/box]


  1. Janet Neustein

    Thank you for your inspirational recipe books….just the stories of the contributors are nourishing.

    And thank you for your fantastic contribution to the success of the Challah Bake which launched Sydney’s 2014/5775 celebration of the Shabbat Project.

  2. Joan Levy

    I have a recipe for 8 pounds for Challah dough if you would like it. When my husband was alive we made challah to sell at craft fairs and such. Our record for one day was 90 loaves made.

  3. Ellah

    Thank you for this recipe it was excellent

  4. MaikelZ is really interesting, but why it is on 18th place in google’s search results. It deserves to be in top 5. Many bloggers think that seo is dead in 2016, but it’s not true. There is sneaky method to reach google’s top 5 that not many people know. Just search for: pandatsor’s tools

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating