Learn how to make this homemade braided Challah Bun with this easy recipe. Making bread doesn't have to be scary and this recipe is the best way to make a fun bread that everyone is impressed with.
Challah rolls make the perfect bun for hamburgers, and sandwiches, or just dinner rolls. In our home, it has become a family staple and we make it for Sunday dinners and holidays like Easter and Christmas.
Brioche vs Challah
Both breads are rich and made with more eggs and butter. Brioche originates from France and is enriched with eggs, butter, and a touch of sugar, resulting in a slightly sweet taste.
Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, is typically made with eggs, oil, and water. It is dairy free. Its braided, golden crust is an easy way to tell it apart from brioche. It makes great sandwiches or is also tasty plain.
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- Warm water- Warm water is essential for getting this recipe to rise. Make sure the water is warm but not hot. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast. If it's too cold it won't activate the yeast.
- Yeast- Use regular bread yeast. In the warm water, it will activate and start to plume.
- Flour- Use all-purpose flour. Make sure it is loosely packed. You can weigh it instead and use 500 grams.
- Sugar- This will sweeten the bread slightly.
- Vegetable oil- Use vegetable oil for this recipe. We have also used avocado oil with great success.
- Egg- You need eggs for both the dough and then you will need it for the egg wash on top of the bread. That's what makes it shiny.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Challah Buns
Follow these step-by-step instructions for the best cooking experience. The braid is the iconic look of the challah roll and the pictures below can help you make the perfect braid.
- Proof the yeast by adding it to warm water and letting it bloom.
2. Add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, and oil into the bowl of stand mixer with the dough hook. Add the water/ yeast mixture and knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 40-75 minutes. See instructions for bread maker instructions.
Punch it down and divide it into 10 equal pieces.
3. With one of the divided balls, divide into two and make 10-inch long rolls. Pinch the two rolls together and twist. Form into an upside-down U.
4 .Cross one end over the other, leaving a small hole above where the dough crosses. Tuck the ends into the center of the roll.
5. Squish the ends together. Turn the bun over so the pinched ends are on the back.
6. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 18-23 minutes.
Hint: Getting the braid down can be difficult. Follow the step-by-step pictures for visual aid.
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- Sweet- If you want this to be a sweeter Challah Bun you can double the sugar.
- Honey- Substitute sugar for honey. It makes a tasty substitute but remember honey is not vegan.
- Stuffing- For challah stuffing, tear it up and dry it out, then make your favorite stuffing.
- Pretzel- Boil water with baking soda. Add the braided dough to the boiling water. After about 30 seconds, remove, and add the egg wash. Cook as directed and it will have a soft pretzel look and taste.
How To Serve Challah Buns
Add chocolate to this roll by cutting it down the center and spreading Nutella in it. We also enjoy them plain as a dinner roll.
These rolls makes a tasty French toast. Slice the rolls in half and dip into egg and milk. Cook as you would your favorite French toast recipe.
This makes an amazing homemade burger or sandwich bread. Simply cut down the center and add your favorite sandwich toppings or burger patty.
Learn From Us
When we first made this recipe, we didn't do the egg wash on the top. It didn't give the bread the same iconic look. Doing the egg wash makes this recipe authentic.
Getting the braid down took some time and a lot of recipe testing. After a lot of mistakes, we learned how to do it best. We have a video and picture aids to help with mistakes.
Storing Challah Buns
Store baked challah bun in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, eat at room temperature or reheat for 10 seconds in the microwave.
You can freeze baked buns in an air-tight, freezer-friendly container. Thaw and serve when ready to eat. They last up to 2 months.
It's important to wait the full rise time. Let the yeast proof for 5 minutes. Make sure the kneaded dough rises to double the size, around 45-70 minutes. It's worth the wait and makes sure the recipe comes out properly.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- ¾ cup warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour loosely measured, or 500 grams
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil I used avocado
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
Make the Dough:
- Start by proofing the yeast by measuring warm water (not hot!) and mixing in the yeast and a small amount of the sugar. Let sit until it starts to foam, about 2-5 minutes.
- Measure the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, and oil into the bowl of stand mixer with the dough hook attachment or into the bowl of a bread machine set to the "dough" setting. Add the water/ yeast mixture and press start if using a bread machine, otherwise knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. If using a stand mixer, transfer to dough to an oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 40-75 minutes depending how warm your kitchen is.
Form the Dough:
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 10 equal sized pieces. For best results, use a scale. Divide each of those pieces into 2 and roll them into 10 inch long pieces. Roll them in a very small amount of flour after- this will help them maintain their shape and definition while baking.
- Squish two of the 10-inch strands together on an end. (I highly recommend you look at pictures above for reference or the movie below for a great visual). Twist the 2 strands together then shape the whole thing into an upside down "u". Cross one end over the other, leaving a small hole above where they cross. Tuck the end on the bottom up an over the th other end and into the hole. Bring the other one around the back to meet the first end. Squish the ends together then turn the bun over so the pinched ends are on the back. Repeat until all 10 buns have been formed.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise until puffy, about 20 minutes for a warm kitchen and up to 30 for a cooler kitchen. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- When they're done rising, make the egg wash by whisking one egg + 1 Tablespoon water together in bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over each roll. Top with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes, until deep golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes and enjoy!
Challah bread is a traditional Jewish bread that is typically enjoyed on the Sabbath (Shabbat) and during Jewish holidays. It is known for its distinctive braided appearance and slightly sweet, rich flavor. Challah is made from basic bread ingredients, including flour, water, yeast, eggs, and salt. What sets challah apart is the addition of eggs, which gives it a golden hue and a tender, soft crumb, as well as a touch of sweetness.
You can typically find challah buns or rolls at a variety of places. Many local bakeries, especially those with a focus on Jewish or artisan bread, often offer fresh challah buns. Additionally, you can check with well-stocked supermarkets or grocery stores in the bakery section, as they may carry pre-packaged or freshly baked challah buns. If you prefer a wider selection, you can also explore online bakeries and retailers that specialize in delivering bread and baked goods to your doorstep, including challah buns.
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread known for its slightly sweet, rich flavor and distinctive braided appearance. It is made from basic bread ingredients such as flour, water, yeast, eggs, and salt, with the addition of eggs giving it a golden hue and a tender, soft crumb, as well as a touch of sweetness.
To braid challah, start by dividing your challah dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a long, thin rope, making sure they are of equal length, and then pinch the three ropes together at one end. Next, braid the ropes together by crossing the right rope over the middle one and then the left rope over the new middle one, repeating this process until you reach the other end. Finally, pinch the ends together and tuck them under the loaf to secure the braid, and let the braided dough rise before baking according to your recipe's instructions.
The word "challah" is typically pronounced as "HAH-luh." The "ch" is pronounced like the "h" in "hello," and the "a" sounds like the "a" in "father." The stress is on the first syllable, so it's "HAH-luh" with a short, soft "a" sound.
Challah is a type of enriched bread with Jewish origins, characterized by its slightly sweet flavor, soft crumb, and shiny crust. It often holds cultural and religious significance and is traditionally enjoyed on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays.
Challah bread is typically sliced before being served, and there are various ways to enjoy it. Many people enjoy it simply by spreading butter or a favorite spread like honey or jam on the slices. It's also commonly used to make sandwiches, especially for egg salad, tuna, or deli-style fillings. Additionally, challah makes excellent French toast or bread pudding due to its slightly sweet flavor and soft texture, making it a versatile bread for both sweet and savory dishes.