Honey Butter Challah

Last updated:
Overhead shot of three wven challah breads sprinkled with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flaxseeds.
Close up shot of half of a Honey Butter Challah

Honey Butter Challah

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups flour, more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons milk powder
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds for coating (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1¾ cups room temperature water. Add a tiny bit of the honey.
  2. Using the dough hook on your hand mixer, whisk the melted butter into the yeast mixture, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining honey and salt. Gradually add flour. Once the dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. You can chose to continue ‘kneading’ the dough with dough hooks for about 5-10 minutes or do it with your hands, on a clean, floured surface. The dough will be smooth.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, grease the bowl, grease it, and then return dough to bowl. Cover with a clean, moist kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Once the dough has almost doubled in size, punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.
  5. Now, to shape or braid your dough you have a multitude of options. I recommend watching videos on youtube for visual explanations, it makes it so much easier than reading instructions.
  6. If you prefer a whole loaf without any braiding, simply tuck the ends under the dough and lay it down on a parchment lined baking tray.
  7. For a regular braided dough: Split the dough into two chunks, this will be two separate sizeable loaves (if you want one very large loaf skip that step). Now cut one piece of dough into three chunks. Shape each chunk into an oval shape (doesn’t need to be precise). The roll each one out using a rolling pin so that they’re long and oval shaped. Gently roll the dough into thick strands length ways. Now stretch it out into thinner strands by rolling over the dough with your hands, making your way across the entire strand.
  8. Repeat with second chunk of dough (if you separated it initially). Now, braid the dough as you would braid hair.
  9. Place the loaves on a parchment lined baking tray and cover with a clean, moist kitchen towel to rise for about one hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 175 C.
  11. Beat one egg, add a tiny splash of water and a generous pinch of salt and brush it on loaves. Coat the loaves with seeds as desired. If you’re looking for accuracy, it helps to dip your finger into the egg wash, then dip it into the seeds, and then directly apply to the loaf.
  12. Bake in middle of oven for about 30 minutes (if baking two loaves) or about 45 minutes (if baking one large loaf), or until golden. Turn the tray around halfway. Cool loaves on a rack.
Overhead shot of three wven challah breads sprinkled with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flaxseeds.