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This homemade challah is a family favourite, and makes great braided loaves or rolls.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Proofing Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: bread, buns, challah, challah bread, dinner roll, knot, knots, parve, roll, rolls
Servings: 8 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


To Activate Yeast:

  • 3 packets active dry yeast (3x 0.25 ounce packs) (21g or 2¼ Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ cup warm water

For Challah:

  • cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used oat, water is also fine) (350ml)
  • ½ cup vegan butter (1 stick - 113g)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (52g)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (52g) (or honey)
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 whole eggs, beaten
  • cups bread flour (690g - plus more, in case of sticky dough, or for dusting) I like Bob's Red Mill. Depending on the humidity where you live you may find you need significantly more flour. Here in Colorado I can sometimes go to 6½ or 7 cups of flour, depending on the day! The dough should be slightly sticky / tacky but should be able to be handled easily.

For Top of Bread:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • sesame, poppy, or nigella seeds; or za'atar, for topping


Activate the Yeast:

  • In a large bowl mix your yeast, teaspoon of sugar, and warm water. Let sit for ten minutes. After the ten minutes your yeast should be fluffy / foamy - if not, discard, and use different yeast.

For the Challah:

  • In a saucepan add your milk (or water) and vegan butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted. Set aside.
  • In your bowl with the yeast add your sugar and brown sugar (or honey) and salt. Ensuring the milk and butter mixture isn't too hot, add to the bowl and stir to combine. Now add your flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is still a little sticky but can be handled.
  • Knead for 8 minutes, and then place the dough in a greased bowl and covered with a clean towel in a warm place to proof for 40 minutes.
  • After 40 minutes, punch down the dough which should have doubled in size. Divide into pieces using a kitchen scale. For two three-strand loaves, divide into six, for two four-strand loaves into eight, for two six strand loaves into 12. For hamburger sized buns divide into 20 pieces of about 100g each, for dinner rolls, divide into 36 pieces of about 50g each.
  • Roll each piece into a rope and either braid the loaf or tie a knot. Place onto a lined baking sheet or baking stone, and cover with a clean towel for 60 minutes.
  • As your second proof is finishing, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Using the last egg, use a pastry brush to glaze the dough with the egg wash. If desired, add sesame, nigella, or poppy seeds, or za'atar to garnish.
  • Cooking time for loaves is roughly 40-50 minutes, or until a tap on the bottom makes a hollow sound and the tops are golden brown. Rolls take between 15 to 20 minutes depending on size.