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Bread Machine Challah

Bread Machine Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, is easy to mix up and knead in a bread machine. This particular version is dairy-free and not overly sweet.

If you don’t have a bread machine, see the notes in the recipe for directions using a large stand mixer or making by hand.


Challah is said to hold rich symbolism in regards to the daily manna God provided for the Israelites in the desert. Personally, I am reminded of how God sent Jesus to be the bread of life that truly satisfies.

Have you ever wondered about the correct pronunciation of the name of this bread? You don’t pronounce the “ch” in the same way you would say church. The way I understand it, the first sound should be more of a gutteral “h.” You can listen to the correct (supposedly) pronunciation online.

Recipe Inspiration

One of my readers recently requested a recipe for Challah to make in the bread machine. That’s all the excuse I needed to experiment.

This recipe is loosely adapted from the Bread Machine Challah recipe in the wonderful paperback entitled More Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway.

A closer look at the recipe reveals that it’s quite eggy (recipe calls for 3 eggs) and rich. I replaced the sugar with honey in an amount that wouldn’t be quite so sweet.

How long will this bread stay fresh?

Not very long. This bread will stale quickly. What you don’t eat the first day will make good French toast or even bread pudding on succeeding days. Another option is to freeze what you don’t eat the first day.

How to make a braid with bread dough:

how to made a braid with bread dough

How do I get the beautiful golden shine on my Challah bread?

Don’t leave off the egg wash. It’s important to produce that lovely shiny, golden glaze characteristic of Challah.

By the way, some people make their bread with four ropes and some put an extra braid on top. I wish I knew how to braid four ropes. I plan to try it next time.

Click here to sign up for a FREE 6-day Quick-Start email course: “Make Fabulous Bread with Your Bread Machine.”

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Bread Machine Challah

Bread Machine Challah

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Bread Machine Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, is a golden, eggy, tender, and only slightly sweet yeast bread you can mix and knead in your bread machine. This is a dairy-free version.



  • 3/8 cup (75 grams)water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (52 grams) honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon (7 grams) table salt
  • 3 cups(360 grams) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7 grams) bread machine or instant yeast

Egg Wash Glaze

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch salt


  1. Heat water until warm and add to bread machine.
  2. Add remaining ingredients in order given using the lesser amount of flour.
  3. Select dough cycle. Check dough after it has been mixing for about 12-15 minutes. The dough should stick to the side and pull away cleanly. If dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. (I usually end up adding 1 tablespoon of flour to this dough.) It too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. See this post about the most important thing you should do when using a bread machine.
  4. At the end of dough cycle or whenever dough has risen to double its original size (open the lid and check), remove dough to a floured surface.
  5. Roll into a rectangle 8 x 14 inches. Cut into three strips. Use fingers to pinch long sides of each strip so you now have 3 cylinder-shaped pieces of dough. (See picture above.)
  6. Loosely braid strips, tucking each end under braid to make a neat loaf. Place onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or you could also spray pan with aerosol oil/flour like Baker's Joy.
  7. Cover formed Challah with a tea towel and allow to rise until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F about 20 minutes before you are ready to bake.
  8. Brush entire loaf with egg wash and place your oven rack in the lower middle of your oven. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cover after 10-15 minutes, if necessary, to prevent loaf from over-browning.
  9. Move loaf from cookie sheet to rack and allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

Egg wash

  1. With a whisk or fork, combine egg yolk, water and salt in a small bowl.


Alternate Mixing Instructions:

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand: 

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. Add 1/4 teaspoon extra yeast when using the active dry yeast. According to King Arthur Flour, there is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 1st of July 2020

The bread came out great I just have one qualm and that is “3/8 cups of water” I do not have a 1/8 cup I’m not sure that most people have a 1/8 cup. Use 1/3 of a cup of water +1 tablespoon gives you the right amount because trying to measure out 3/8 is stupid.


Thursday 2nd of July 2020

Hi Dominique, I like your system. Thanks for writing. Maybe that will help someone else who doesn't have a liquid measure that shows 1/8th increments. Glad your challah turned out good.


Friday 22nd of May 2020

I usually buy Challah and have it delivered with my shopping. It had never occurred to me that I could make it and certainly not using my bread machine. Now because of the Lockdowns the supermarket that delivers my shopping had limited me to ordering one type of bread, so I started looking online for Challah recipes, and this was the one I found with the most highly rated reviews, so I decided to try it. I was amazed first of all at how easy it was, and then at how good it looked and tasted. The first one I made came out perfectly and tasted amazing. I've since made more and added sesame and poppy seeds which were also great. Eating this Challah then reminded me I also love Brioche so my next mission is to make that too. I can't imagine having found this recipe though, that I'll ever actually buy Challah again.


Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Karen,

This is good news. Adding sesame and poppy seeds sound equally delicious. Thanks for writing.


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

I started baking bread again because of the coronavirus lockdown. Some things are hard to find including bread machine yeast. Will regular yeast work?


Thursday 16th of April 2020

Yes. There is a note at the bottom of all my bread recipes (I think) that tells how to do this. In a nutshell, dissolve the same amount of active dry yeast (as specified in the recipe) in about 1/4 cup of the liquid specified in the recipe. First, warm the liquid until it is lukewarm like bath water for a baby. Stir the yeast into the liquid (usually milk or water) until it dissolves. Let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. Add to the pan along with the remaining ingredients specified in the recipe and proceed as usual.

Happy bread-eating!

Lisa Reskey

Friday 7th of February 2020

It was wonderful!


Tuesday 11th of February 2020

Thanks for coming back to say so, Lisa.


Wednesday 3rd of January 2018

Paula, we are trying to stay away from refined sugar and so I was wondering if I could sub honey or maple syrup for the sugar? And if so, would it be the same 1/4 cup? Thanks!


Thursday 4th of January 2018

Hi Christine, I can understand the sugar bit. However, I have never tried substituting honey. It would probably work but you might have to make some adjustment in the amount of flour or other liquid since the honey is liquid.