The no-knead beat goes on: easy challah


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to tell you again:

I’m LOVING no-knead breads.

Baguettes, sticky buns, pizza crust, crusty-chewy bread, a harvest loaf to die for – these are just a few of the recipes we’ve perfected in the past couple of years.

And the list just keeps on growing. No-knead challah – who knew?

The New York Times started the whole thing 3 years ago, printing a recipe from Jim Lahey of Manhattan’s Sullivan Street Bakery. Lahey’s recipe was simple enough: flour, water, yeast, and salt. But it was his method that took the baking world by storm: “Stir until blended.”

What – no kneading? Indeed, not only was the dough not kneaded, it wasn’t shaped, either. The sticky blob was basically allowed to rise, then plopped into a hot pot, covered, and baked.

The result? Chewy-crusty bread. Bread that makes you wonder how flour and water and salt and yeast could possibly taste so good.

Home bakers have jumped on the no-knead bandwagon in droves. And we’ve experimented with the technique a lot. It makes sense; if you simply let your dough rise long enough (18 hours at room temperature; up to a week in the fridge), the gluten actually develops itself; there’s no need to knead. Truly.

We’ve used Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François’ wonderful book, “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” as a jumping-off place for our recent no-knead efforts. The following is a spin on one of their recipes – and a new take on one of our favorite egg-rich, tender breads: challah.


This is a no-knead dough  – all you do is mix it up. Combine 33 ounces of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast, 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 4 large eggs, 1/2 cup honey, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter.

Why do we specify 33 ounces of flour? Because the flour/liquid ratio is key here. If you measure flour by dipping your measuring cup into the flour canister, filling it up, then packing/leveling it off – use 6 3/4 cups. If you fluff your flour in the canister, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, then level it off – use 7 3/4 cups.

Hey, kids – take a look at our video on how to measure flour. We’re hoping for an Oscar nomination –Best Live Action Short Film. We’ll be walking the red carpet next February.


Mix to combine.


Then mix at high speed for 1 minute. Everything should smooth out pretty nicely.


Notice how just that short, fast mix develops the flour’s gluten.


Grease a 6-quart dough-rising bucket or big bowl. Scoop the dough into the container. Cover the container, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.


As you can see, it’ll rise a bit, but not much. So, why did I need such a big bucket?


Take a look at how much the dough has risen after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Common fallacy: yeast needs warmth to grow.


And look at that gluten – beautiful!


Scoop out 1/3 of the dough – that’s about 21 ounces. Plop it onto a well-floured work surface.


Divide the dough into three pieces, and roll each piece into a 24” rope. As you first begin to roll, you’ll need the flour. But once the sticky dough has absorbed a bit of the flour, you can clean your work surface, spray it with a bit of non-stick vegetable oil spray, and work there.


Now we’re going to  make a braid. If you already know how to do a three-strand braid, you can ignore the following pictures. If you’ve never braided your daughter’s hair, read on…

First, pinch the three ends together.


Bring one of the outer ropes over the center rope.


Bring the opposite outer rope over the “new” inner rope (which used to be the outer rope). Get it?


Repeat, switching from side to side and always bringing an outside rope over the center rope.


Whoa, baby – that’s a long, skinny braid! Actually, it’ll be about 15” long, more or less.


Grease an 8″ cake pan that’s at least 2” deep. If your 8” cake pan isn’t at least 2” deep, use a 9” cake pan. Coil the braid into the pan.

Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F.


It’ll become quite puffy. Notice the hole in the center is starting to disappear; that’s OK.

Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cold water. Ready 3 tablespoons  sesame or poppy seeds, if you like.


Gently brush the risen loaf with the beaten egg…


…and sprinkle heavily with the sesame seeds.


Yes, heavily. As the bread rises in the oven, the space between the seeds will expand. If you don’t use enough seeds right up front, they’ll look sparse once the bread is baked.


See why you need to use a 2”-deep pan? Nice oven spring!

Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, till it’s golden brown.


Remove the challah from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.

To avoid a shower of seeds all over the counter, turn the pan upside-down onto a damp dish towel. Remove the pan, and turn the challah right-side up. Place it on the rack; then simply shake the towel outside. The birds will love those exotic sesame seeds!


Cut in wedges to serve.

Now, what should you do with the remaining 2/3 of the dough? The whole recipe will make three challahs. But if you’re all challah-ed out, try this:


An easy, off-the-cuff coffeecake.


Add 1/2 to 2/3 cup each chocolate chips and cinnamon Flav-R-Bites (or cinnamon chips) to the remaining dough.


Mix till combined.


If you have 1/3 of the dough left,  pat it into a greased 9” x 9” pan. Two-thirds left, pat it into a 9” x 13” pan.


Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon-sugar.


Let rise for 90 minutes or so…


…then sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar.


Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the dough springs back nicely when you press it, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove it from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and serve warm.

As you can see, this is a good, easy, all-purpose sweet dough. What else can you do with it? Let me know. I’m thinking Pizza Hut Chocolate Dunkers…

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for No-Knead Challah.

Note: Due to the insufficient amount of flour, this recipe does not fulfill the mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Nature’s Promise Challah, $3.63/lb.

Bake at home: No-Knead Challah, $1.51/lb.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Don

    Hi there – nice recipe. I agree with you, am a huge fan of no-knead anything (though always found kneading to be good therapy when I was in the mood). Anyway, you might like to check out a video recipe my wife & I put together – think there’s even a shot of a KA flour bag in there somewhere!!

    Don, LOVE the video! I had to watch it twice; your wife has a lovely voice and presence. And I’m definitely trying that shaping method – never heard of or seen anything like it. Thanks so much for sharing! PJH

  2. Jennifer H.

    Oh boy! This looks fantastic! I have a hard time finding challah where I live, and I’ve always assumed it was difficult to make. I’m ashamed to say that the only round cake-like pan I own is a angel food cake pan – would that mess things up?

    Jennifer, an angel cake pan would be perfect! Go for it – PJH

  3. Mike T.

    Mmmm…. Challah. Great any way. Any time.

    Now I’ve gotta go try these… *sigh* 😀

    Mike, Mike… it’s a tough life, huh? 🙂 PJH

  4. Erin in PA

    I use this recipe from ABin5 most of all – I like to make 2 larger challah loaves, freeze one for later and use the challah as a base for my creme brulee baked French toast. I really like your suggestion of making it a round loaf, and of course no one can go wrong adding chocolate chips to the dough… 🙂 I also like to add a half tsp of fiori di scillia for a great flavoring!

    Erin, I’m drooling over your suggestions! Creme brulée baked French toast? MMMMMMMM…. PJH

  5. Alvara

    I love challah! This will make it so easy. I was thinking that it would bake very nicely in my stoneware ring pan. I love using that pan for baking coffee cakes. Whatever I put in that pan makes me look like a professional.

    Thanks again. I just love this blog. I get such good recipes to try.

    Alvara, you might possibly need to make the braid longer and skinnier to fit in the ring pan – take a tape measure and measure around the ring before you roll out the ropes, to see how long your braid needs to be. Sounds like a good pan for it, though – PJH

  6. Philip Goldwasser

    Love when you give us traditional Jewish baking. I make challah almost every week, but now I have something new to try! Usually I use bread flour for Challah, but you use all purpose here. Is there a reason? And I don’t always have instant yeast around, but always have dry yeast.

    Thanks in advance. Oh, yeah, I’m looking forward to stopping at the King Arthur store when I am in Vermont in 2 weeks!

    Enjoy your visit to Vermont, Philip! And I use AP flour instead of bread because it’s just as good a rise (in this application), and easier to get a soft, tender crumb. PJH

  7. Allan

    Love this recipe and will try it this weekend. The only thing is that I don’t have a stand mixer with dough paddles. I have the big Zo bread machine or one of the King Arthur dough whisk. Will those work? I’m also coming up to Vermont at the end of August. Can’t wait to see the store and take the class.

    Allan, just mix it all up as thoroughly as you can with the dough whisk. I use the mixer because I’m lazy!! But the dough whisk is just fine. Enjoy your trip to Vermont, and I’m sure you’ll love the class – PJH

  8. Joni M

    Erin in PA — please oh please could you share your recipe for your creme brulee baked French toast? My oh my, so humm, I could see using the KA creme brulee recipe and then just pour over slices of challah, soak for a little bit and bake?? Maybe some cinnamon sprinkled over the top…And then would the pan itself need to be in water bath like the ramekins do to bake? My mouth is absolutely watering over the thought…please share what you do!

  9. Erin in PA

    Sure thing Joni! I got this recipe from The Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle, PA (my hometown, although I no longer live there). I don’t really know when or why my mom had this recipe, but it is very simple and very decadent. I really only make it a few times each year just because of the caloric counts! It’s a great make ahead breakfast – I make it every year when we go to the beach. ENJOY!

    Crème Brulee French Toast

    1 loaf of Italian bread
    ½ cup butter
    1 c. brown sugar
    2 tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup (you can also use corn syrup or King’s syrup)
    5 eggs
    1 ½ c. half and half (although you can use regular milk too)
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 tbsp Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Amaretto (opt.)
    ¼ tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. baking powder

    Melt butter, sugar and corn syrup in microwave. Mix well and pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Slice bread and place in dish. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Pour over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight (8-24 hours).
    To bake: Pull out of fridge. Preheat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered for 35-40 minutes (internal temp should be 170).

  10. AJ

    This recipe has been nominated to go into our family bread recipes
    file. I especially like the coffee cake idea too. Would using something
    other than chips come out well in this…was thinking about maybe
    chopped walnuts and diced dried apples, hmm?

    Glad we made the “file of fame,” AJ! Absolutely, stir in any of your favorite enhancements – YUM! PJH

  11. Don

    Hi PJH,
    Glad you like the video so much – I agree, she’s great on camera (though I’m probably a little biased…). We’ve only just started doing them, so any feedback / suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Am LOVING the sound of Erin’s Creme Brulee French toast too… am sat in the office feeling hungry…

  12. kevin

    I have a great Challah recipe I have used for years. Could I use this technique of mixing and rising in the fridge with my recipe or is the technique specific to this recipe?
    You need to have a certain wet to dry ingredient ratio for this to work-so it may not work for your recipe. Joan@bakershotline

  13. Karen

    Thank you for all the no/less knead recipes lately. I’m 9 month pregant and usually bake all our breads, cookies and sweets. Lately, I just haven’t had the energy. This way my 5 year old can help mix up the bread in the mixer, and we have bread when we’re ready. I even froze two of the baguette loaves for meals after the baby comes home. The sticky buns were a huge hit on father’s day too – and we froze a few pre-stuffed to take out and bake later.
    We’ll have to try this one over the weekend.

  14. Anony Mouse

    Can the white wheat flour be used instead of all-purpose flour?
    I am sorry but we have not tested this recipe with whole wheat flour. But you may experiment if you would like and let us know how it turns out. Joan@bakershotline

  15. Ellen from Bartlett IL

    This sounds too good to be true, but I only have a 4 1/2 quart mixing bowl with my smaller Kitchen Aid stand mixer. . . will all of this dough be too much for my machine. . .can’t use my hands as I am quite arthritic and up there in age! Your other recipes have been a hit with my family so far only because I can use the mixer and make bread again! Keep the recipes coming . . and I will sure as heck try them. . .probably will gain weight trying. . .Thanks! Ellen

    Ellen, your 4 1/2-quart KA should handle the dough just fine. As for the weight gain – sigh… I’m with you on that. A moment on the lips – forever on the hips! 🙂 PJH

  16. Knead2quilt

    I think this looks great and I’d love to try it. But I think these no-knead recipes call for way too much salt — especially for people like me with blood pressure issues who need to be careful. I’d cut the salt by at least half and probably even more than that. Think it would work out ok? Thanks.

    As far as taste, I generally go with about a scant 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup – that’s about what this one is. You can certainly cut back on the salt, realizing that your rising times will be much faster. Just account for that, and you’ll be all set – PJH

  17. Joni M

    Thanks Erin for sharing your recipe! The recipe for challah in itself will be worth the try, but whoa, to use it in creme brulee french toast–now that just might be what puts it over the top! Thank you thank you!

  18. Ariel

    To Anony Mouse

    I’ve used half white whole wheat flour in the ABin5 challah recipe to great success! A trick I learned from the King Arthurs whole grain cookbook was to put in a bit of OJ with whole wheat to counter some of that wheaty-ness, and I’ve done that in the challah recipe…just subbing out about (no more than) 1/4 cup of the water for OJ. I typically thrown in a couple teaspoons or so of vital wheat gluten as well when I make the substitution.

    Anyone remember the round apple challah bread-cake from last september? I’ve used the ABin5 challah leftovers to make that whenever I have apples in the house. Everyone I’ve met loves that recipe. I have bring one home nearly every time I see the grandparents!

  19. Dwight

    36% Whole Wheat Challah

    I used a breadmaker to mix one third of the recipe using 4 oz whole wheat of 11.2 total ounces of flour. After mixing, the dough appeared a little dry compared to the pictures, but moistend up quite nicely over the next half day or so. Didn’t need much flour to roll it out, which was a relief because I didn’t want to dry it up too much.

    My cake pans were too shallow, so I used an 8″ cast iron skillet that was almost 2″ high. Ended up with a quite nice loaf. Would have been perfect if I had distributed the mass of the braid a little more evenly around the pan. It is quite delicious. Picture link below:

    Dwight – Definitely looks good enough to eat! Thanks for sharing – PJH

  20. Dwight

    Will this 21 oz. dough ball fit in a 9 x 5 x 2.7″ loaf pan?

    What is the largest mass of dough(of this type or any good rising dough) for that size pan?

    Depending on the type of bread you are making a 9 X 5 pan is usually considered a 1 1/2 pound loaf. This will be 24 ounces of dough. Joan@bakershotline

  21. Barbara G

    Can the extra dough be put in the freezer instead of refrigerated?

    Yes, you can freeze this dough for up to about 2 months. Be sure to leave enough time for it to thaw, then rise once it’s been frozen. PJH

  22. Karen

    Wow. This is GOOD! I made this for Sunday dinner tonight, but dinner isn’t ready yet and there is only about 1/4 of the Challah left! So easy too. I’m really glad I found you!


    P.S. I just commented on how I needed to make coffee cake again the other day, so I’ll be trying that too!

    Karen, we’re really glad you found us, too. Welcome! PJH

  23. itsworthalook

    I’ve made the ABI5 Challah and it is wonderful! I made it into a braid and “hid” colored eggs within the braid, and topped it with poppy seeds for Easter dinner – wow!

    My question is, if I freeze the dough, do I just thaw it in the fridge overnight? What then, can it be shaped? How do you work with this frozen dough? Thanks!

    Yes, thaw in the fridge overnight, then work with it like regular dough Understand it’ll be cold, and will take longer to rise – that’s the difference. PJH

  24. Lesley

    I love this recipe! If I add currents and raisins to this the Challah will be perfect for Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur. Round Challah is traditional for these holidays! Is there a way to add honey to this recipe? That is the other traditional ingredient for High Holiday Challah! (round represents the yearly cycle of our lives)
    When I looked at the recipe it says to use 1/2 cup of honey. Hope this helps. I love that the round shape represents the yearly cycle of our lives-thank you for explaining this tradition. Joan@bakershotline

  25. Bonnie

    Where’s the “Saffron” in the recipe for the Challah bread?

    There’s generally not saffron in challah, Bonnie – the golden color comes from the eggs. PJH

  26. Alvara

    Hi PJ, The stoneware pan worked perfectly. I rolled the ropes longer and skinner just like you said and it fit perfectly. Looked beautiful and was delicious. We ate it warm. This one goes into the favorite file. Thanks again, as always. Alvara

    Now onto grilled pound cake with chocolate squares in between the slices. Maybe a little vanilla ice cream on top. Possibly some chocolate sauce on top of that.

  27. Andrea

    Your recipe has the perfect ingredient profile for a New Year challah, and I’m going to give it a test run for this Friday night. Incidentally, we tried the baguette and it was perfect: crusty, airy, light, and delicious.

  28. Laura

    Just made this recipe for the first time this week. What a wonderful bread! We topped half with sesame seeds and half with poppy seeds. Didn’t get as much oven spring as I was hoping for, but I think I may have worked too much additional flour into the dough while rolling out the strands. Will try again with less flour tomorrow.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    Thanks for checking in, Laura – yes, more flour creates a drier, heavier loaf, so keep your hands greased and WORK that sticky dough! PJH

  29. Larry

    Since all the positive comments I made the dough today. Tomorrow is the test. I expect to make it in a 5×9 loaf pan (I think it an easier form for making standard French bread). Based on prior comments this would be 1.5lbs of dough (correct?). I would also like to make rolls (some small twisted ones if I could). Any suggestions on how much each roll should weigh and how to shape?

    Yes, I think 1 1/2 lb. of dough would do well in a 9 x 5 pan. Rolls are usually about 3 oz. Since the dough is so sticky, I think shaping would be pretty tough. You could try rolling in flour and tying some simple knots; or rolling in sesame seeds and just making plain rounds. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350°F. Good luck – PJH

  30. Andrea

    Resisted the urge to add flour – dough was tacky but judicious use of a dough scraper + patience = no sticking to the counter. Dough had plenty of spring but the baked loaf did not have the structure of my honey challah recipe. There was a backbite of overyeasty-winey flavor. Husband suggested that this particular recipe would make great French toast. I think that this dough would make a fine coffee cakeas noted above. Better yet, I’d try forming the dough into a filled pecan ring ala those white-boxes-with-the-blue-printing on them we find in the supermarket. That is what I’m going to do with the remaining challah dough in my fridge – either that, or do a fold in with a sheet of butter and make some Danish pastry.

  31. Carol

    I made the Challah for a my daughter’s birthday dinner along with the white cake with the raspberry filling. They were both winners! I made french toast with the leftover Challah. It makes the best french toast!

    Thanks so much.

  32. Larry

    Thanks for the suggestions on weight of dough to use in 5×9 pans (1.5 lbs per pan). I took out dough and let rise in two pans about 2 hours and baked at 350. Tops started to get to dark so dropped temp to 300 until I got 195 degrees on internal temp test (about 40 minutes total baking time). Excellent crumb and great for french toast – just right for soaking up french toast batter. Made small round rolls with the remainder of the dough and topped with sesame seeds. My family loved them with tuna fish salad. Thanks for all the great comments and tips that allowed me to have success on the first try!

    YEAH Larry! Congrats on using your imagination, and some science/math, to create successful loaves – as you say, first time out… 🙂 PJH

  33. Lea

    I made this bread yesterday with all white whole wheat and it was great in texture and taste! I didn’t plan on using all white whole wheat but I got carried away and decided to go with it. Having made your all most no knead baguette several times I knew the basic texture (flour to water ratio) to aim for. The only adjustment I needed to make was a bit more water, around 1/4 cup, added slowly so as to not over moisten the dough.

  34. Annie

    Hi: Thanks for the recipe! How long can the dough sit in the refrigerator before it has to to be frozen or baked?
    HI Annie,
    If you are going to bake later that day, you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few hours. If you know you are going to freeze the dough, it’s best to get to the freezer early on. ~ MaryJane

  35. Suzanne Sherwood

    Your Cinnamon Bread recipe lists 1/2 cup instant potato flakes. If I don’t have these on hand, how will leaving them out affect the bread? Thanks! It will stale a bit faster, and maybe wonm’tbe quite as moist. Mary@ KAF

  36. Sabrina Thorn

    I wondered if I could use sugar instead of honey? I don’t want to go to the store. We live 45 miles from town. :~( but was hoping to try this out tonight.

    Definitely need to save yourself a trip to town! Do you have any other kind of syrup? Corn syrup, maple syrup…? If not, use 1/2 cup sugar, and add 1/2 cup water. PJH

  37. Josie B

    Is this dough too soft to braid and bake in the traditional manner for challah, i.e., just braid, place on pan, allow to rise, and then bake?

    It might be a bit flatter than you’re used to, Josie, but sure, go ahead and make your normal long, “freeform” challah. Should be just fine. PJH

  38. Amy

    Hi, Please help! I have tried the no-knead challah recipe and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I didn’t want to make the whole recipe so I halved the ingredients to the following quantities:

    16.5 oz king arthur bread flour

    1 3/4 tsp salt

    2 1/4 tsp yeast (I used the kind from the jar of fleishman’s “rapid rise’)

    3/4 C water

    2 eggs

    1/4 C honey

    1/4 C canola oil.

    I used a bowl and spoon to mix it, not an electric mixer. it was very dry and crumbly– looked very different than the photo on the blog. After a 3 hour rest on the counter with a dishtowel over it, it didn’t rise at all. I figured I had nothing to lose so I put it in the fridge overnight. it only rose a little bit, and developed a crusty shell on the top (I had covered the bowl with a dishtowel in the fridge). So it was a pasty mess with a hard crusty top. It would be impossible to braid or even shape.

    I threw out the dough since it looked so weird, and started again. The same thing happened again! Is my math in halving the recipe wrong? Is it that I didn’t use SAF brand yeast? Is it that you have to use an electric mixer? please advise.

    Amy, you were almost right – but using bread flour instead of all-purpose will yield a MUCH drier dough. Did you use large eggs, also? You must use large eggs; and if you need to use bread flour, you’ll need to increase the amount of water till it looks like the dough in the picture. I’d add at least an additional 1/2 cup water, perhaps more, if you use bread flour. Also, please cover tightly with plastic, not with a towel. So – more water – large eggs – cover with plastic. That should do the trick. And if not – call our Baker’s Hotline, 802-649-3717. They’ll talk you through it. PJH

  39. robinwaban

    I made this challah tonight and was blown away! It was fantastic! I thought when I was making this that it sounded too good to be true – no knead and putting in the fridge? I have been making a different challah every week for the past 10 weeks, and this is the best one EVER. I’m not going to search for a better one. My company raved about it. One question – can it turn out as well if I don’t bake it in a coil shape? Thank you KAF. I am your biggest fan!

    This should work in various yeast bread shapes. Let us know how yours works out! Irene @ KAF

  40. yaffaglass

    I have made this challah 3 times now, it looks good, it taste great but it seems to dry faster than other recipes. I prepare the mix on Tuesday and follow the instructions and keep it refrigerated until Friday. It is great on Friday night, every person who tasted itloved it, but the following day it felt slightly dry am I doing something wrong? have read and re-read the recipe – is it the case that this is what happens with this recipe? Thanks your internet site is fantastic. I love it.

    Hi- Challah is generally a bit drier than other breads, I find. But refrigerating bread robs it of moisture SUPER-quick; there’s no better way to make bread go thoroughly stale, very quickly, than to store it in the fridge. Store at room temperature, tightly wrapped; if you’re in a very humid environment, wrap tightly and freeze. But never put bread in the fridge, OK? Good luck – PJH.

  41. cont. last comment

    Sorry, I did not write clearly enough in my question. What I meant was: I store the mixture in the fridge – not the ready made challah. I store it there (as per your recipe) from Tuesday to Friday when I bake it.

    Oh, I get it… well, that wouldn’t make a difference in the finished loaf, then. Challah is generally a drier bread, I’ve found; perhaps you could try baking it a shade less, to preserve more of the interior moisture? Put it on an oven rack closer to the top, to promote browning. Also, try adding a 2 to 4 tablespoons of our cake enhancer to the dough; it works just as well in bread as in cake, as far as keeping things fresh. PJH

  42. jvgrossman

    Question: Does the shape have bearing on how this loaf rises and bakes? Could I do a 4-strand braided round loaf (very beautiful, just saw on foodgawker…)?

    Sure, you might just want to bake it a bit longer, since there’ll be less of the loaf’s surface exposed to the oven heat. Play it by ear (or eye, or thermometer…) – it should be fine. PJH

  43. Ken Venick

    So if you are hand mixing, do you mix until shaggy and then fold as, say, P Reinhart would have you do, to get the smoother texture before refrigerating?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can if you’d like, Ken. We didn’t for this recipe, but it is always an option. Jon@KAF

  44. hila

    I forgot to leave the dough out on the counter for the first couple of hours. What will happen (i.e., as it went straight into the refrigerator)?

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Hila,
      Don’t worry about the dough, it will be just fine, but will take longer to rise in the cooler temperatures. ~ MJ

  45. Roxy PaloAlto

    Just had to share.
    I divided this dough in half and made one traditional loaf which was delicious. Then, inspired by the Harvest Apple Challah, I used the H.A.C. technique for the other half of the dough, but used poached quinces (from the tree outside my kitchen) instead of apples. Quinces can substitute for apples, but must be pre-cooked. They taste like a cross between an apple and a pear, but are a little drier and denser. (I added some of the poaching liquid to the cinnamon and sugar mixture I coated them with.)
    This challah was fantastic! What a wonderful way to “honor” the quinces!
    Thank you, PJ and KAF!!

  46. Shay


    I just tried this recipe, but the process didn’t resemble your photos. I’m in Australia, so I’m not using KAF, but the flour I use is about 10% protein. When combining the ingredients to mix, the dough was dry (though kind of smooth), dense, and clung to the paddle, climbing up it rather than looking as loose as described in the picture.

    It doubled in volume in the outside rest, then collapsed about a third in the fridge. When I took it out to bake two days later, the top inch was pretty dry, and there was no elasticity like I see in other ABin5 recipes, or in the photo. It just broke away.

    When baked as a braid, there was decent oven spring, and the crumb and texture is pretty good fresh out of the oven, though visually not as fluffy as the photos. But I’m wondering if it would have been even better if the dough texture more closely resembled yours.

    Do you have any suggestions for making the dough more loose, is it just a matter of adding more water? And also, what could I have done so that when I pull some out of the tub, it stretches instead of breaks.

    Thank you!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      It sounds like the low protein level of your flour is part of the problem; it wouldn’t account for the fry dough, but it would definitely be a reason the dough is breaking, rather than stretching. If you can’t find a higher-protein flour, then you might try kneading it longer, to develop whatever gluten is there. As for the dryness, I’d suspect it’s how you’re measuring your flour; some of us are more heavy handed than others! Try using a bit less flour or, as you say, a bit more liquid; that should help give your dough a softer texture, and will help it rise, as well. Good luck – hope you’re enjoying your summer Down Under! PJH

  47. Shay

    Hi PJH,

    Thanks for the response. I looked up your AP flour and it suggested it was about 11%. What percentage protein is the flour being used in the recipe? I can try to match it. We also like scales here, so I went with the recipe where it said “33 ounces of flour”. 😉 I’ll try more liquid though. Thanks for the tips! Summer is pretty toasty over here. Hope you’re not freezing too badly!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Hi Shay – our all-purpose flour, used in this recipe, is 11.7% protein. And I’m glad you’re weighing your ingredients – that definitely helps. Definitely try more liquid next time. And I hope you’re not getting TOO toasted – if so’ c’mon over here, it’s 8°F this morning! 🙂 PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Harvey, for most of our bread recipes, unless otherwise specified, we’re using a fine salt, which weights 4.9 grams per teaspoon, or 17.2 grams for 3 1/2 teaspoons. Barb@KAF

  48. Aaron Frank

    Hi PJ,

    I am way behind on this but the no knead challah recipe was suggested to me by someone in the Baking Circle as a good alternative for people who don’t have a big, expensive stand mixer. I’m going to master it and add it to my challah class.

    Do I need to do the first rise out of the refrigerator or can I just put it right from the mixing bowl into the fridge?

    I really like the braid in in the cake pan. It looks fantastic, is a little different, and is much simpler than a six strand braid!

    An alternative to the dough bucket or bowl is a turkey baking bag. I spray mine with cooking spray and drop the dough in there. I still like to put that in a bowl and put that in the refrigerator but sometimes the fridge is full so I just put it in the bag.

    When I’m done with bag for a batch of dough I fold it up and put it in the freezer with my yeast.



    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Aaron,
      You can definitely do the first rise in the fridge, up to overnight. It’s a great way to get a jump start on baking the next day. Give the dough about 20 minutes at room temperature to get going, and then into the fridge in the big bag. Off you go! ~ MJ

  49. Aaron Frank

    Wow. I’m looking at my own comment from a year ago. Last week I made 34+ pounds of this over Friday even and Saturday, all by hand with no mixer. The 7th & 8th grades at our synagogue made challah as a fundraiser and I made and prepped all the dough before hand.

    We were not making round loaves in pans but free form braids. The first couple of batches I made used 33 ounces of KAF bread flour and were very soft. I divided each batch of dough into 7 ounce balls to be rolled into ropes. I labeled the soft batches so I would know when the kids were using them.

    After my first two batches I upped the flour to 36 ounces for a stiffer, easier to work dough.The soft, 33 ounce dough was a challenge for the kids but we added in a touch of extra flour, made the ropes and braided them. We ended up with 27 loaves of challah each about 19 ounces after baking.

    I made a batch while we were waiting for the second rise so the kids saw me make a batch of bread dough with just a bowl and a scraper and they know it doesn’t require a $250 stand mixer.

    It was a fun day.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like a success in more ways than one, Aaron! Thanks for baking for good in your community. Kye@KAF

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