Miriam's Not-So-Secret Challah Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Miriam's Not-So-Secret Challah Recipe
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Miriam’s Not-So-Secret Challah
See how to make a light and airy challah. See more
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Miriam's Not-So-Secret Challah

Recipe by  

"A surprisingly sweet, yet light, challah that makes any night special. Feel free to knead some raisins into the dough if you like."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 loaves Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    3 hrs 10 mins


  1. In a small saucepan, combine water and margarine in a small saucepan. Heat until margarine is melted and very warm, but not boiling.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, white sugar, brown sugar, yeast and salt. Add water and margarine mixture; beat well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and form into long 'ropes'. Braid the pieces together to form two large loaves. Place the loaves on two lightly greased cookie sheets, cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Brush the risen loaves with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 08, 2010

I've made challah almost every week for years and this is the best one yet! I put the ingredients in in a different order, as I've learned they should be added. Here's what I did: 1. Mix the yeast with 100 degree water and the white sugar and allow to bloom for 5 minutes, or until VERY foamy. 2. Mix in brown sugar, eggs and margarine. 3. Mix in flour and salt From there, I followed the recipe as normal. The challah was done after 30 minutes, so make sure you watch it closely. Cooking it for the 45 minutes the recipe suggest would ruin it in my oven! I added sesame seeds on top instead of poppies. It was just great!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 21, 2012

Followed the instruction and I have a few comments. It took more than 7 cups of flower to get the dough elastic enough but not sticky. Secondly while it has risen to twice its size the first and the second time (after braiding it), it came out flat like in the picture. I am used to a bigger challah so I am not sure if baking powder or different type of yeasts were needed. Baking time was and should be less than 45 minutes or the temp recommendations here are incorrect. The bread came out slightly darker than the picture after 38 minutes. Lastly, while the house filled with wonderful scent of baking, the flavor was not that great. Somewhat sweet but nothing else. I would stick to white sugar only and probably more than a 1/2 cup to give it a slightly sweeter note.

Oct 05, 2009

An outstanding recipe by itself. After experimenting, I tweaked it a bit for a presentation-quality crown challah with the following: 1. As others, used half milk and half water 2. Increased both sugars to 1/3 cups 3. Increased salt to 1.5 TBS 4. Added 4 yolks to the 4 whole eggs (color and taste) 5. Added 1/4 Cup honey 6. Added 1 cup golden raisins (soak and drain if dry) 7. Lastly, to ensure height for the crown, last rise and baking was in a 12" round flat bottom pan with a 1" or higher side. Also found that by stretching the braids to long ropes gave an excellent stringy texture when pulled apart for eating

Apr 04, 2004

I think this is a very good challah--it turns out light and feathery, but I can't give it 5 stars because it too isn't as good as Challah I in my opinion. Challah I is more dense, but it's soft and has terrific mouth feel. If you want a lighter challah though, this is certainly one to try and it's very good. I sprinkled poppy seeds on top--very pretty.

Jan 22, 2009

Our family bakes bread twice weekly, and I'm fairly versed in both egg and yeast-only breads. This bread is as light as cotton candy, and yet tastes rich on your tongue. It makes great french toast once it has gone stale. Just perfect. The only downfall is that it takes 3 packets of yeast. However, yeast comes in a 3 pack, and yeast is cheap, so I guess that's not a big deal either.

Jan 18, 2011

Oh sooo good!! There is nothing like the feeling you get when a recipe makes you feel like a pro!! This is fool proof. I did add a little honey to mine and halved the brown sugar.(it was still sweet) I did everything in my kitchen Aid with the dough hook, (kneaded for 6-7 minutes) it couldnt have been easier. The dough was really sticky like others said but I just used a couple tablespoons extra of flour and a floured surface to form the braided loaves, dont worry about the sticky texture. It turns out beautifully.

Mar 20, 2003

OY is this a wonderful and different way to make a challah

Mar 29, 2011

One of the best challah recipes I've used-- the loaf was 6x the dough height and had a great sweet but not too sweet texture. It also worked very well in density for the day after french toast. I did change the order I added the ingredients as another reviewer suggested (e.g., yeast + 1 c. warm water + white sugar, wait 5 min, then add brown sugar, 1 c. water, eggs, and slowly add in flour and salt.).


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  • Calories
  • 253 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 39.7 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol
  • 46 mg
  • 16%
  • Fat
  • 6.8 g
  • 10%
  • Fiber
  • 1.4 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 7.8 g
  • 16%
  • Sodium
  • 422 mg
  • 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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