Challah Recipes

Gluten Free and Spelt Recipes

Challah Recipes

For the challah recipe I use. See below.
On the left you will find other recipes provided by some of the Challah group members.

  • 5 Lbs. of flour (I use King Arthur’s Unbleached Bread Flour)
  • 6 tablespoons of Yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast. It does not need to rise and saves time.)
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 5 eggs
  • 2.5 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 cups of water (filtered water is better)

How to make

  • Put approx. 1/3 of the flour in the bowl, add 2 tablespoons of yeast and mix.
  • Repeat this step two more times.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in the bowl (oil, eggs, sugar, salt & water),
    mix for about 12 minutes in a mixer, or 25 to 30 min, if kneading by hand.
  • If you have bread proofing mode in your oven, use it. If not, just put it somewhere warm,
    like under a light or close to the oven. Bread proofing mode is 100 degrees.

Tip: My good friend Mimi taught me to put the dough in a clean garbage bag (the ones without smell) and let it rise in there. You can recycle the bag for your trash later. This way you can immediately clean your bowl. If you let it rise in the bowl, you will need to divide the dough into 2 bowls as it grows a lot. If you use bowls, spray the top of the dough with pam, so it doesn’t dry up and crack, and cover with a towel. Also, if you use two bowls, you MUST remember to put all the dough back together before you make Hafrashat Challah.

After 1 hour of rising, punch a hole in the dough and let it rise for another hour. The dough is then ready for braiding. Smear 1 mixed egg over the challah and put the topping of your choice, such as: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sugar with flour mix, melted sugar, or nothing at all. Let it raise for another 45 min or so, if you have the time. Bake the challahs at 350 F, or 325 F convection, for 45 minutes. If you make big challahs, let them bake for another 5 minutes. Let them cool on a rack out of the pan.


Challahs freeze very well. I wrap mine in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap. It’s a worthwhile step as they come out tasting as fresh as they did when they came out of the oven. When I take them out of the freezer, I remove the plastic wrap and put the Challahs, still wrapped in aluminum foil, on the blech or warming drawer to defrost and warm them up.


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Wheat Challah
by Ayelet May

  • 3-4 pkgs. dry yeast (7-9 teaspoons if using the jar)
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 cup sugar (double the sugar for the really sweet challah that I usually give out)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 13-14 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use some whole wheat - abt. 4 cups)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water with some of the sugar.  Let it stand for about ten minutes. You should see a thick foam forming on the top, if not - start over! (the yeast is not activating). Mix sugar, salt, and half the flour in a large bowl. Add yeast and water. Mix well. Mix eggs and oil in separate bowl and add to main bowl. Mix well. Add the rest of the flour. Knead for 10 minutes. Let rise two hours. Say the bracha, separate challah, double-wrap the separated challah well and dispose of it. Braid the loaves. Brush with egg. Bake at 350 degrees. They’re done when you hear a hollow sound when you tap the bottom. (I usually get about 40 minutes but it probably varies with ovens, etc.)

Whole Wheat

  • 1 bag white whole wheat flour (King Arthur is best)
  • 3 T salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 C Sugar
  • 4 C hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons dry yeast or 4 packets
  • 3/4 - 1 Cup of oil 
  • Shabbat Shalom!

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Regular Recipe with Multiple Toppings
from Estelle Aryeh, Woodmere, NY
provided by Mimi Furst

  • 4 cups warm water (bet. 110-115 degrees)
  • 3 & 1/2 TBSP dry active yeast
  • 3 TBSP sugar (no substitute) Combine above together & allow to proof (bubble).
  • 5 lb bag of bread flour or high gluten flour
  • 2 cups sugar (I use Splenda)
  • 1 & 1/2 TBSP salt. Stir these dry ingredients until mixed 
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar & salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, eggs & yeast mixture. Mix with large wooden spoon & then knead by hand (for around 5 minutes). Place dough in lightly oiled garbage bag, twist loosely and let rise on counter for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. After first rise, do Hafrashat Challah & braid challahs, (see below for 3 optional flavors/fillings) and place in pans that were sprayed generously with Pam. Let rise a second time for 45 minutes to 1 hr(not more). Brush challahs with egg wash, (1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. sugar). Stir and baste challah and sprinkle on topping* (see below).

Bake at 350 degrees till done. When Challas are golden brown, and when “tapped on” you should get a hollow sound. Remove challahs from pans to cool on cookie rack so they don't get soggy when cooling.

* Sugar Crumb Topping: 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 4 TBSP oil. Mix together & squeeze with hands to form large chunky crumbs.

* Everything" Topping: Mix together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion. Put in shaker container. Also available in kosher markets.

* Cinnamon:  Break off desired amount of dough for a challa, with a rolling pin, roll out a long and narrow strip, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon/sugar mixture, pinch ends together and again roll out into a single roll. Break into the amount of braids you will be using, pinch ends, and proceed to braid challas. When baked, this will end up being a cinnamon swirl and taste just like a Danish.

Chocolate chip: Substitute cinnamon, using chocolate chips.

Chocolate Babka-like, my all time favorite!! Break off desired amount of dough for a challa, with a rolling pin roll out a long and narrow strip, spread liberally with cocoa spread, (Hashahar H’Aole) pinch ends together and again roll out into a single roll. Break into the amount of braids you will be using, pinch ends, and proceed to braid challas AND ENJOY!!!

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Whole Wheat Challah
by Suri Steinberger

  • 4 tbsp yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Sugar
  • Wait 10-15 min until yeast is very bubbly
  • Add 8 oz of honey
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 more cups of water alternating with 5 pounds of whole-wheat flour

Let it rise 2 hours, then braid, then let is rise 1 hour.

Regular Challah

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 - 3 tsp yeast
  • Sugar

Mix until bubbles 10 min

  • Add 5 pounds flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 1/4-cup oil
  • 3 more cups water alternate with 5 pounds flour
  • 2 tsp salt

Let rise 2 hours, braid and let rise 45 min. Bake at 350 for 45 min or less.

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Honey Whole Wheat Challah
by Susie Berger

Give tzedaka- Ask for a specific prayer to be answered. Wash hands (alternating 6 times).
Light a candle and set in front of your workplace.

In a bowl, mix together the following 3 ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. Fleischmann’s Bread Machine Yeast
  • 6 tbsp. Sugar
  • ½ Cup Hot (not boiling) Water (water represents Torah)

Set this mixture aside for later.

In a separate bowl, mix together the following 3 ingredients:

  • 5 Eggs 
  • 1 Cup Oil 
  • ¾  Cup Honey or Agave Nectar

Beat and set aside. 

In a very large bowl sift (any combination of 15 cups total can be used)

  • 5 Cups Whole Wheat Flour and 10 Cups Bread
  • 3 tbsp. Salt
  • Add 3 Cups Warm - Hot Water to Flour

Combine egg mixture with yeast mixture and stir. Knead until dough is smooth. Let it raise.

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White Wheat or Whole Wheat Challah
by Varda Gewirtz

  • 7-8 cups white flour or white whole-wheat flour
    (King Arthur or Gold Medal are both good whole wheat choices)
  • 2 packets, or 1-1/2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast or instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2+ cups hot water for white flour, 2-1/2+ cups or more for whole wheat flour (start with recommended amount and add more if needed until dough feels as soft as baby skin – very important)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl in order listed and knead for eight minutes. Dough should feel moist and very slightly sticky. If dough feels tough and dry, slowly add more hot water. When well combined and kneaded, dough should feel soft and supple. Let rise for approximately half an hour or until doubled. Set aside a golf ball size piece of dough for the mitzvah of challah and either burn or throw out respectfully. Braid the rest of the dough into challot. Let rise on greased cookie sheet approximately half an hour. Mix an egg with a tablespoon of water and brush challah with a pastry brush.  If desired, sprinkle the challah with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, zatar, or everything spice.

Bake challah in preheated oven at 365 degrees for 30 minutes or until preferred color is obtained.  This recipe will yield 4 small, 3 medium, or 2 large challot. To make Hafrashat Challah you need to use 5 lbs of flour.

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Spelt Challah
by Matti Banon

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • Allow yeast to dissolve
  • 3/4 yeast c maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • Mix & add
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Mix & add
  • 3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • Mix & add
  • 5 lbs bag of spelt flour

Mixall together and let rise... About 6-8 hours or overnight.

When shaping, keep in mind less gluten so the less handling the better.

Optional: mix together finely diced fresh garlic, poppy, sesame seeds & olive oil.

Garnish generously. Bake on 325 about 30 minutes.

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Spelt Challah
by Leah Winner

  • 2 oz fresh yeast
  • 4 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups warm water

Pour the above into a bowl and put aside to rise.

Then in large bowl place:

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cup spelt flour
  • 3 cups warm water

Pour in yeast mixture. Then add about 12-14 cups spelt flour until dough isn't sticky.

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Spelt Challah
by Malky Grunfeld

  • 5 lb. white spelt flour
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 -3 Tbsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 3/4 to less than 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs

Mix ingredients together until smooth (10 minutes). Let rise.Shape and let rise again.

Bake on 400 for 10 minutes, then lower to 350 until done. Keep checking, as it requires less baking time.

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Glutten Free with Oats
by Leah Weintraub


  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 1 Tbsp
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey (85 grams)
  • 2 eggs (egg-free version: 2 tbsp flax seeds blended with 6 tbsp warm water until frothy)
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) grapeseed or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp xanthan gum (I do not use this)
  • 1 cup (140 grams) tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (200 grams) gluten-free oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes it, as does Cream Hill Estates)
  • 1⁄2 cup (40 grams) coconut, quinoa, brown rice, teff, or other gluten-free flour
    (note: if you use teff flour, you can reduce your xanthan gum to 2 tsp)


Place the yeast and honey in the bottom of the bowl. Cover with the warm water and whisk for 30 seconds to dissolve the yeast.

Let the yeast foam and bubble for a few minutes. Mix in wet ingredients first (eggs, oil, vinegar) and then add the flours, salt, and xanthan gum. Mix well. Add raisins if you like. Pour into a lightly oiled 9×5 loaf pan and smooth the top. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

15 minutes before it’s finished rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dishtowel and bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes out of the oven in the pan before removing. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool 30 minutes before slicing.

Gluten-free bread dough is usually a similar texture to cake batter, which is not braidable. I have this braided loaf pan to trick people into thinking I actually braided this challah. But any loaf pan will do!

*Note: There are some celiacs who cannot digest oats, so I realize this recipe will not work for those folks.

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Spelt Challah
by Devora Orlan


  • 1 small bag of spelt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of honey or agave makes no difference in taste
  • 1 tbl salt 2 small package of yeast


Mix it up then knead form a ball, this is all done by hand, cover rise for 1 hour only if you let it sit to long the challah comes out dry and crumbles knead 1 more time make s 2 medium challah and a small roll let it rise again 20 minutes then bake it is very filling sometimes I put in coconut oil however not everyone likes the coconut taste very healthy but distinctive taste, this is the recipe on the back of the spelt flour bag modified.

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Spelt Challah
by Deena Borzak


  • ½ c cornstarch
  • ½ c rice flour (white or brown)
  • 1 c oat flour
  • ½ c sorghum flour
  • ½ c potato starch or flour
  • 3 T almond meal
  • 2T xantham gum
  • 1 package quick rise yeast
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 T potato flakes
  • 1 c warm water
  • ¼ c oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 3 eggs


Activate yeast in warm water. Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Let rise

Bake. Makes about 16 rolls. Can add chocolate chips

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Gluten-free Honey Oat Challah


  • 3 1/3 cups oat flour (or 4 cups of gluten-free oats plus more for the top)
  • 2 scant tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup corn starch (or tapioca flour)1/2 cup rice flour (white or sweet white rice flour. Brown rice would probably work to but I haven't tried that yet)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs


If you're using whole oats, blend them in the food processor until they're pretty fine (as fine as you can get them). Meanwhile combine the yeast and water and let sit for a few minutes. Add the oil, honey, starch, flour, xanthan gum, and oats and beat until combined. Add the salt, cinnamon, and eggs. Beat for a few minutes until fluffy. Pour into a well greased 10 inch loaf pan and allow to rise for about 45 minutes until doubled. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sprinkle the top of the risen loaf with some more oats and cut a few slits in the top with a serrated knife. Bake for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.

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Oat Challah

  • ⅓ C sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp yeast
  • ¾ c hot water
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • ¼ C almond milk
  • ¼ C oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 C special GF oat flour
  • 2 tsp xantham gum

Note: Mix yeast water and sugar until foam appears, then add rest of the ingredients, mix slowly.

Let rise for at least 1 hour. Shape into buns (makes 8), or however you like. You will need a lot of oil on your hands to shape them. Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit, (for 25 minuets, if you are making buns), or until golden brown.

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