Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Challa Recipe

I could not let the month of June go by without any activity. I'm trying to forgive myself for not writing, and I hope you do too.

This challa recipe has evolved over the last few years. I originally got this recipe from my mom who got it from my sister-in-law Miriam. This is the version my family likes best. Let me know what you think.

  • 3 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 4 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup sunflower oil or grapeseed oil
  • 18 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in water and add the liquids. Mix well and add the flour. It's best to add flour about 1 cup at a time and mix continuously. When 1/2 the flour is mixed into the dough, add the salt and continue to add flour. When the dough starts to hold its shape, slow down the flour addition to 1/4 cup at a time. You may not need all the flour. You may need a little more.Too much flour can make your dough tough, so go easy with it.

Also, when working with spelt flour, minimal kneading is best. With wheat, particularly whole wheat, the longer kneading makes the dough softer and the bread lighter. With spelt flour, knead it just long enough so the ingredients are well combined. This will keep the dough light and the bread less crumbly.

When the dough is no longer sticking to everything, transfer to a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 hour and punch down. Allow to rise for another hour before shaping.

Shape the dough and place on baking sheets. Leave lots of space in between. Allow to rise for an additional 1/2 hour - 45 minutes before brushing with egg. You can sprinkle tops with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for approximately 25 minutes for rolls and 35-40 minutes for big loaves. Start checking on the smaller ones at 20 minutes and the larger ones at 30. Challa is done when the bottoms sound hollow when tapped and the tops have a golden hue.


  1. Chana, where do you get spelt flour? It it supposed to be 10$, 18 cups is like 2 bags no? Your Challa was delicious!

  2. Thank you Chana for this recipe, and the clear directions. The Challah was delicious and light, and not at all crumbly. I added some crushed basil on top of one of the Challos and it was a special treat. Thanks again!

  3. So glad that worked for you Batsheva. Basil makes for a great topping.

  4. Is this recipe for whole spelt or white spelt?

  5. How much lbs is 18 cups?

  6. Hi chana! I was referred to this page to try your challah recipe. I hear it's great! Is there any way you can tell me what the measurementstatus would be for only 1-2 lbs flour? Thanks!

    1. Hi Tiferes.
      I frequently quarter the recipe. It's easily divided.
      Just under a tablespoon of yeast
      1 cup water
      1 egg
      1/4 cup oil
      3 tablespoons honey
      4-5 cups flour
      1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  7. Is the recipe 18 cups of sifted or unsifted flour?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Thank you! Looking forward to using this recipe! Good Shabbos!