We Knead Bread: How to Make Challah

Cooking with family can be a great way to spend time together. In our latest cooking video, Skokie resident Amy Claver and Skokie Public Library patrons Sofia and Pedro show us how to make challah, a traditional bread in Jewish cuisine. 

Challah means portion, which comes from the ritual of separating a portion of the dough while making it and saying a special blessing. Challah is made from seven simple ingredients: eggs, flour, water, sugar, yeast, oil, and salt. This represents one ingredient for each day of the week. In Jewish culture, every seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, in which people rest. 

Find the recipe for challah below the video.

Challah Recipe


  • 3 packages rapid rise yeast (2 tbs plus ¾ tsp)  
  • ½ cup plus two tablespoons sugar  
  • 1-½ cup warm water  
  • 6 cups bread flour  
  • 2 eggs, plus one egg yolk mixed with water (egg wash)  
  • 3 tablespoons plus 
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1-½ tsp salt  
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds or poppy seeds 


  1. In a medium size bowl, place 3 packages of rapid rise dry yeast (2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon), 2 tablespoons sugar, and ½ cup warm water. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes.  
  2. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour with 1-½ tsp salt, and then make a well in the center.  
  3. To the large bowl, add ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs beaten with 3 tablespoons oil and 1 cup warm water, and the yeast mixture.  
  4. Mix well and knead for about 8 minutes, incorporating approximately 3 cups flour gradually until a soft dough is formed (separate a small piece of dough and say blessing if you wish).  
  5. Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl for one hour.  
  6. Punch down and shape the dough. Let sit on a parchment lined baking sheet for one hour. 
  7. Brush dough with egg wash and bake in a 350⁰ oven for approximately 30 minutes. 

Happy baking!