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Braided Egg Bread

For Rosh Hashana, loaves of braided bread—also commonly called challah—are baked to symbolize continuity. Since I first made this bread some years ago, it has become a much-requested recipe. —Marlene Jeffery, Holland, MB
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf (16 slices)

Ingredients

  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat water and oil to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients along with eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Set a third of the dough aside. Divide remaining dough into 3 pieces. Shape each into a 13-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under.
  • Divide reserved dough into 3 equal pieces; shape each into a 14-in. rope. Braid ropes. Center 14-in. braid on top of the shorter braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, beat egg and water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Cover with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 134 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 123mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Kamie
    Nov 28, 2020

    Wonderful recipe! I use the dough cycle on my bread machine to make this super easy. I have a hard time with presentation of my food normally but this makes me looks like I am a pro.

  • Skarlet
    Mar 15, 2020

    I’ve used this recipe a lot before and it’s always turned out gorgeous and delicious!

  • Liza
    Jan 10, 2019

    My first successful homemade bread! I love how easy it is to make, and it tastes so good. I use my kitchenaid mixer to knead the dough (8 mins on medium speed, per another user suggestion). To save time, I usually prepare the dough the night before the day I intend to bake it, and I let the dough do its first rise in the refrigerator overnight. Then when I'm ready to bake, I braid the dough per instructions, and allow it to rise for the second time. It usually takes about 45-50 minutes to double in size on the second rise, on account of the dough being cold. Then I brush with the egg wash and bake oer recipie instructions. Comes out perfectly every time, and I've made it 4 times already. Fantastic recipe.

  • Kelly
    Dec 17, 2018

    No comment left

  • Drew
    Dec 3, 2018

    Looks great! But is rather tasteless. I will add more salt and possibly sugar next time.

  • Ann
    Jun 30, 2018

    Very easy and tastes great. I think it turned out well for my first try.

  • lynn in ma
    Jan 6, 2018

    This recipe is so easy and came out great. I let my Kitchen Aid mixer do the kneading (8 min. on medium speed). Everything was spot on except for the fact that the top braid was a little off center after baking. Is there any way to remedy that? Input appreciated as I will be making another loaf again very soon. Thanks!

  • Irascible_Baker
    Jul 30, 2016

    This recipe was a bit of an experiment for me because I was using a kneading mixer; in consequence, my dough had an odd, flaky-looking texture. When I tried to knead it together, it came out exceptionally dense and tough, and I was worried I had ruined it. I wet my hands and kneaded the dough briefly - this repeatedly until I had kneaded in just a bit of moisture that made it look a little more smooth but not really any more promising. But you know what? It worked. It came out great anyway and the braids look fabulous.

  • ArizonaLynn
    Mar 24, 2016

    Tastes absolutely delicious - any tips though on how to not have the top braid bake off center? Is there a way to adhere the top braid to the base braid? Help!

  • carolanne1210
    Sep 17, 2013

    This was so easy to make and so delicious! I'll be adding it to my cold-weather bread rotation.